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This article was published on June 10, 2021

AI-powered construction supervisor app ensures buildings are earthquake safe

An open-source solution to democratize safety

AI-powered construction supervisor app ensures buildings are earthquake safe

“It’s not an earthquake that kills people, but the collapse of a poorly built building.”

Build Change, a foundation dedicated to preventing housing loss caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes and windstorms, is announcing the “Intelligence Supervision Assistant for Construction” (ISAC-SIMO) app. It’s an open-source, AI-powered quality assurance tool for construction. And it could save countless lives.


The tool utilizes machine learning to help people ensure they’re using the best materials and construction methods to ensure buildings are disaster-ready.

Typically, when we discuss earthquake-proofing, we’re talking about making skyscrapers and bridges safe using advanced engineering and materials. But the challenge of rebuilding communities in emergent areas isn’t necessarily about coming up with new engineering solutions.

Often, one of the biggest challenges in these scenarios is finding enough expertise to ensure that laborers are building back safely and with the correct materials.

According to Elizabeth Hausler, Founder & CEO of Build Change:

ISAC-SIMO has amazing potential to radically improve construction quality and ensure that homes are built or strengthened to a resilient standard, especially in areas affected by earthquakes, windstorms, and climate change.

We’ve created a foundation from which the open source community can develop and contribute different models to enable this tool to reach its full potential. The Linux Foundation, building on the support of IBM over these past three years, will help us build this community.

The app got its beginning as a runner up in the Call for Code challenge, a yearly open-source development event hosted by David Clarke Cause, IBM, The Linux Foundation, and other partners.

Quick take: Anyone who’s ever done construction in emergent areas where regulatory bodies are either stretched thin or non-existent can attest to the fact that you absolutely never know what you’re going to find when it comes to building safety.

Putting an app in people’s hands that will let them know things such as whether the brick and mortar in their walls is safe, down to whether the proper rebar and brackets are in use ahead of a build, will definitely save time, money, and lives.

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