A Sustainable Design Methodology for Temporary Housing

  • Lindsey Rankin Gilbert

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Temporary housing has emerged as a practical solution to a myriad of contemporary circumstances, including, though not limited to, emergency housing, worker housing, and large-scale events housing. Unfortunately, achieving the short-term nature of temporary housing is less than straightforward. One design pitfall leads to scanty housing that does not meet occupants' functional requirements, while another leads to overdesigned, permanent homes that may evolve into unsightly unstructured settlements. Thus, current design practices may not fully meet the diverse range of stakeholder requirements adequately. The demand for better temporary housing is rapidly becoming evident; however, while new designs regularly come to market, there is no systematic methodology guiding the design process. In particular, there is no methodology that utilizes the voice of the customer to guide the designer's decision. What is more, complex decisions, like material selection, are done in an ad hoc fashion that does not take all pertinent tradeoffs into account. Typically, designers will turn to the accepted methods used in their respective fields of expertise to approach the design problem; however, literature shows that this approach frequently results in inappropriate designs. This thesis presents a novel approach to the design process for temporary housing by adopting and linking emerging manufacturing methodologies, such as Quality Function Deployment, Analytic Hierarchy Process, and Axiomatic Design, into a new methodology that systematically and seamlessly guides the conceptual design phase based on stakeholder requirements. The method also allows for an effective framework to help evaluate and compare conceptual design decisions.
Date of AwardMay 2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohammad Omar (Supervisor)


  • Sustainable Buildings; Temporary Housing; Sustainable Design; Technological Innovations.

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