Investigating Stakeholders' Perceptions of Feasibility and Implications of Modular Construction-Based Post-Disaster Reconstruction
AbstractNatural Disasters cause major adverse social and financial effects by destroying homes and infrastructures. For example, Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 damaged over 214,700 homes in New Orleans and forced over 800,000 citizens to live outside of their homes due to flooding. Thus, these disasters require a quick and efficient response to post-disaster housing issues and provide resources for temporary houses for short-term disaster relief and reconstruction of destroyed and damaged housing for full rehabilitation. Reconstruction of permanent housing for disaster victims is one of the most time-consuming activities in the post-disaster recovery process. However, time is a critical factor which should be minimized for the restoration of affected communities. Modularized construction is a promising solution for improving the process of post-disaster housing reconstruction because of its inherent characteristic of time-efficiency. This paper aimed to evaluate prefabricated modular construction potentials as an approach that can facilitate the design and construction phase of post-disaster reconstruction. An extensive literature review has been carried out to identify the features of modularized construction which can add value to the post-disaster recovery process. To investigate the suitability and feasibility of implementing modular construction for post-disaster reconstruction and also identify major barriers of its implementation, a survey has been conducted in 2018 among AEC experts who were experienced in the prefabricated construction industry and/or involved in post-disaster reconstruction projects. The results of the study indicate that prefabricated modular construction is a promising approach to improve time-efficiency of post-disaster reconstruction and tackle challenges of current practices by its unique benefits such as reduced demand for on-site labor (overcome local labor pool constraints impacted by the disaster) and resources (overcome shortage of equipment and materials), shorter schedule (due to concurrent & non-seasonal), reduced site congestion, and improved labor productivity (due to assembly line-like and controlled environment).
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