The role of temporary accommodation buildings for post-disaster housing reconstruction


The number of houses damaged or destroyed after disasters is frequently large, and re-housing of homeless people is one of the most important tasks of reconstruction programs. Reconstruction works often last long, and during that time, it is essential to provide victims with the minimum conditions to live with dignity, privacy, and protection. This research intends to demonstrate the crucial role of temporary accommodation buildings to provide spaces where people can live and gradually resume their life until they have a permanent house. The study also aims to identify the main problems of temporary accommodation strategies and to discuss some principles and guidelines in order to reach better design solutions. It is found that temporary accommodation is an issue that goes beyond the simple provision of buildings, since the whole space for temporary settlement is important. Likewise, temporary accommodation is a process that should start before a disaster occurs, as a preventive pre-planning. In spite of being temporary constructions, these housing buildings are one of the most important elements to provide in emergency scenarios, contributing for better recovery and reconstruction actions.

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The first author gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, FCT, through grant SFRH/BD/73853/2010.

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Correspondence to Daniel Félix.

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Félix, D., Monteiro, D., Branco, J.M. et al. The role of temporary accommodation buildings for post-disaster housing reconstruction. J Hous and the Built Environ 30, 683–699 (2015).

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  • Destruction
  • Disasters
  • Homeless
  • Housing
  • Reconstruction
  • Sheltering
  • Temporary accommodation
  • Temporary buildings