Advancing Resilience in Urban Residential Construction: Formalizing Housing Design and Delivery in the Developing World



The residential construction industry in developing nations is often plagued by numerous constraining systems, including underdeveloped financial markets, ineffective governing bodies, and unregulated material and labor markets, which restrict safe and disaster-resilient housing to the wealthy minority. The majority are left in nonengineered, informally constructed homes, which, in countries with high exposure to hydro-meteorological and/or seismic hazards, can prove deadly. The thesis presented herein utilizes an integrated approach to increase the resilience of the informal residential construction industry in high-risk developing nations.

Through collaborative research and proposed intervention in multiple stages of the housing delivery process, this thesis will develop practical, evidence-based designs, frameworks, processes, tools, and recommendations that seek to advance the resilience of urban residential construction by providing a pathway to formalizing housing design and delivery in the developing world. The advantages and disadvantages of a variety of relevant housing typologies are discussed, and a comparative material cost analysis is used to establish the masonry-infilled special moment frame as the most cost-effective seismically-detailed typology. An exhaustive parametric analysis and evaluation framework is then utilized to select structural designs best-fit for the Haitian case study scenario. The methodology and results of a nonlinear static analysis, which assessed the performance of the selected designs when exposed to the seismic hazards characteristic of the case study scenario, is also presented. Lastly, this thesis proposes an integrated implementation framework to increase the market-driven uptake of the selected designs. It is the intention of the author that the housing design and delivery process presented in this thesis be applied, evaluated, and iterated by any organization seeking to create a lasting, positive impact on the sustainable development of housing in developing nations with significant exposure to natural hazards.


Attribute NameValues
  • Christianos Burlotos

  • structural engineering

  • international development

  • University of Notre Dame

Date Created
  • 2020-08-25

  • English

Departments and Units
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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