Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2021-05-07, 18:23 authored by Mahdi AfkhamiaghdaMahdi Afkhamiaghda

Post-disaster temporary housing has been a significant challenge for the emergency management group and industries for many years. According to reports by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), housing in states and territories is ranked as the second to last proficient in 32 core capabilities for preparedness.The number of temporary housing required in a geographic area is influenced by a variety of factors, including social issues, financial concerns, labor workforce availability, and climate conditions. Acknowledging and creating a balance between these interconnected needs is considered as one of the main challenges that need to be addressed. Post-disaster temporary housing is a multi-objective process, thus reaching the optimized model relies on how different elements and objectives interact, sometimes even conflicting, with each other. This makes decision making in post-disaster construction more restricted and challenging, which has caused ineffective management in post-disaster housing reconstruction.

Few researches have studied the use of Artificial Intelligence modeling to reduce the time and cost of post-disaster sheltering. However, there is a lack of research and knowledge gap regarding the selection and the magnitude of effect of different factors of the most optimized type of Temporary Housing Units (THU) in a post-disaster event.

The proposed framework in this research uses supervised machine learing to maximize certain design aspects of and minimize some of the difficulties to better support creating temporary houses in post-disaster situations. The outcome in this study is the classification type of the THU, more particularly, classifying THUs based on whether they are built on-site or off-site. In order to collect primary data for creating the model and evaluating the magnitude of effect for each factor in the process, a set of surveys were distributed between the key players and policymakers who play a role in providing temporary housing to people affected by natural disasters in the United States. The outcome of this framework benefits from tacit knowledge of the experts in the field to show the challenges and issues in the subject. The result of this study is a data-based multi-objective decision-making tool for selecting the THU type. Using this tool, policymakers who are in charge of selecting and allocating post-disaster accommodations can select the THU type most responsive to the local needs and characteristics of the affected people in each natural disaster.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Construction Management Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Emad Elwakil

Additional Committee Member 2

Randy R Rapp

Additional Committee Member 3

Eric Dietz

Additional Committee Member 4

Soowon Chang