Disclaimer: This list of publications is only representative of works published in direct collaboration with our lab and may not represent a complete record of an individual’s scholarly works.

Thatch home with open window

Incoporating Local Building Practices in Response

We focus on ways to facilitate acceptance of local, non-engineered building techniques in post-disaster recovery. Local building practices cover a wide range of local knowledge and practices that are absent from building codes and may be overlooked by institutional actors. The research seeks to analysis social and engineering datasets and assist decision making.

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Housing under construction in Nepal

Adoption of Seismic-Resistant Techniques in Reconstructed Housing in the Aftermath of Nepal’s 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

Earthquake affected households too often insufficiently apply seismic construction knowledge during reconstruction. This study aims to assess to what degree safety guidelines have found their way to practice in Nepal. Differences are explored between communities in the Gorkha and Okhaldhunga districts, which received differing levels of technical assistance following the 2015 earthquakes. Seismic resistance of houses was assessed 3 years after the earthquakes. Findings from 955 houses in 25 communities show high degrees of adoption of earthquake-resistant construction knowledge in all selected communities. Variation in safer construction across communities differs only slightly for different intensities of humanitarian technical assistance. This finding points toward the need to more closely examine the communication methods employed and motivations of households to build back safer.

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Window of house with metal covering

Knowledge Adoption in Post-Disaster Housing Self-Recovery

The purpose of this study is to explore communication of hazard-resistant construction techniques after disaster in the absence of outside influence. It further aims to unpack the barriers and drivers in the adoption of knowledge processes to identify strategic recommendations to enlarge adoption of safer construction practices by local construction actors. This paper is based on analysis of stakeholder perspectives during post-disaster reconstruction in the Philippines in the province of Busuanga after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Data was collected from six communities that received no external housing assistance, analyzing surveys from 220 households, 13 carpenters, 20 key-actors coordinating reconstruction or recovery efforts, as well as 12 focus group discussions. This research argues for a stronger role of governmental agencies, vocational training schools and engineers. Current communication of typhoon-resistant construction knowledge is ineffective to stimulate awareness, understanding and adoption by local construction actors and self recovering households. The analysis in this study focuses on a small sample of communities in the west of the Philippines that are not frequently affected by typhoons. This is one of the few scholarly works in the Philippines focused on adoption of safer construction practices by community-based construction actors when technical housing assistance is absent.

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