Thesis & Dissertations

Temporary Houses from Emergency to Sustainability “Towards Developing Guidelines for sustainable design of temporary houses”


Abstract: Globally, the impacts of disasters have risen rapidly over recent decades, affecting developed countries and developing countries alike. Several hundred millions of people are affected annually and losses reached a record US$ 371 billion in 2015. (UNISDR, 2015) This average is increasing everyday. These disasters include natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, storms and Natural fires. They also include man-made disasters such as wars, chemicals pollutions and nuclear disasters …etc. Damages of these disasters make a huge number of people homeless. As a quick and cheap solution for the homeless people, due to the mentioned disasters, this thesis will highlight that temporary housing is an extremely important solution of temporary accommodation allowing the affected people to live normal life activities in a healthy and sustainable environment until or during the reconstruction period. In fact, temporary housing may be used for a long time not only for a short period of time and it has been criticized due to its structural sustainability issues because it does not follow the sustainable architectural and structural standards. Wherefore, this thesis will shed the light on the temporary houses’ sustainability issues that can be faced the temporary houses according to the following points: Firstly, achieving the architectural and structural sustainability requirements to be applied in the temporary house through the temporary residency period, and secondly, the possibility of re-using the temporary house for the same or other new functions by making its resources recyclable and reusable. In other words, it is essential to ensure that shelter assistance programs can evolve toward structure building techniques that are more sustainable in designing and constructing the temporary houses. Thus, this thesis aims to highlight different types of temporary housing by analysing and presenting various local and international examples of temporary housing projects in order to reach the pros and cons of these experiments to conclude the basic architectural and structural standards in the temporary housing. To achieve these requirements, the thesis will be divided into three parts, a theoretical part (Theories of Temporary Houses) which contains two chapters: ● Chapter one: Temporary houses after disasters: It addresses post-disaster temporary housing types. ● Chapter two: Sustainability approach in temporary housing Architecture: It deals with the architectural and structural criteria of the temporary housing, which will serve as a guide for the analysis of local and international experiences that will be discussed in the analytical part. The second part is an analytical part that contains the international and local case-studies distributed in two chapters, chapter three and four; this part will use qualitative methods in analysing the case-studies such as; qualitative data analysis of the case study and then the research will apply SWOT analysis of each case study and a comparative analysis among the various case studies. At the end, this thesis concludes a set of conclusions and recommendations that will come out in general in these results: Tents are not considered sustainable shelters, because they do not provide a sustainable structure needs during the temporary period. Moreover, they should be replaced with more sustainable and durable temporary houses which meet certain requirements such as: low-cost, thermal comfort, using sustainable materials that can be recyclable and reused, and can be transported easily and adopt technologies that can provide heat and electricity from natural lighting. This thesis will use these guidelines to come to the conclusion that a temporary house can transfer from being an only emergency building to a sustainable building within or beyond the disaster period.


Dima Al Habbal


Prof. Ayman Afyfy, Assoc. Prof. Baher Farhat