Learning from the past: Temporary housing criteria in conflict areas with reference to thermal comfort

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11 Scopus citations


Emergency shelter is usually provided in natural or man-made disaster situations. In the case of long sheltering periods, it may be called temporary housing. This study aims to investigate this notion with reference to the Gaza Strip experience. A survey was first carried out with local specialists in the field to discuss the policies and solutions that have been implemented to shelter displaced people in Gaza. Based on the output of this survey, design criteria were implemented for a proposed conceptual design of temporary housing units based on the reuse and adaptation of shipping containers. The criteria established include the issue of thermal comfort, which was a main point of weakness, to a dangerous level, in previous sheltering solutions implemented in Gaza. Thus, a parametric numerical assessment of thermal comfort conditions in the proposed temporary housing unit was carried out. The assessment examined the effect of three design measures to improve thermal comfort as follows: reducing solar absorption, grouping of units, and using thermal insulation in walls and roofs. The study results show that it is very difficult to achieve thermal comfort and ensure the safety of displaced people in the examined temporary housing units, considering the hot climate of Gaza, without the use of well-designed thermal insulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101206
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Emergency
  • Gaza
  • Sheltering
  • Temporary housing
  • Thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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