skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on September 11, 2024

Title: Spectrum of Modularity: An Alaskan Case Study of Modular Housing Types
To communicate and utilize research of different options for Alaskan housing, a framework for comparison is necessary. The desigwork in this document attempts to unify our language and model for approaching modularity in housing by using a set of visualguides to compare variables and characteristics of different housing styles.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2122130 2103556
NSF-PAR ID:
10473748
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
VTech Works, Virginia Tech University Libraries
Date Published:
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["modular housing","arctic","Alaska"]
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract As more urban residents find their housing through online search tools, recent research has theorized the potential for online information to transform and equalize the housing search process. Yet, very little is known about what rental housing information is available online. Using a corpus of millions of geocoded Craigslist advertisements for rental housing across the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States merged with census tract–level data from the American Community Survey, we identify and describe the types of information commonly included in listings across different types of neighborhoods. We find that in the online housing market, renters are exposed to fundamentally different types of information depending on the ethnoracial and socioeconomic makeup of the neighborhoods where they are searching. 
    more » « less
  2. Post-disaster housing recovery models increase our understanding of recovery dynamics, vulnerable populations, and how people are affected by the direct losses that disasters create. Past recovery models have focused on single-family owner-occupied housing, while empirical evidence shows that rental units and multi-family housing are disadvantaged in post-disaster recovery. To fill this gap, this article presents an agent-based housing recovery model that includes the four common type–tenure combinations of single- and multi-family owner- and renter-occupied housing. The proposed model accounts for the different recovery processes, emphasizing funding sources available to each type–tenure. The outputs of our model include the timing of financing and recovery at building resolution across a community. We demonstrate the model with a case study of Alameda, California, recovering from a simulated M7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault. The processes in the model replicate higher non-recovery of multi-family housing than single-family housing, as observed in past disasters, and a heavy reliance of single-family renter-occupied units on Small Business Administration funding, which is expected due to low earthquake insurance penetration. The simulation results indicate that multi-family housing would have the highest portion of unmet need remaining; however, some buildings with unmet needs are anticipated to be able to obtain a large portion of their funding. The remaining portion may be filled using personal financing or may be overcome with downsizing or downgrades. Multi-family housing would also benefit the most from Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). This benefit is a result of modeling the financing sources, that CDBG-DR is available, and that many multi-family buildings do not qualify for other sources. Communities’ allocation of public funding is important for housing recovery. Our model can help inform and compare potential financing policies to allocate public funds.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract. Regional hurricane risk is often assessed assuming a static housing inventory, yet a region's housing inventory changes continually. Failing to include changes in the built environment in hurricane risk modeling can substantially underestimate expected losses. This study uses publicly available data and a long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network model to forecast the annual number of housing units for each of 1000 individual counties in the southeastern United States over the next 20 years. When evaluated using testing data, the estimated number of housing units was almost always (97.3 % of the time), no more than 1 percentage point different than the observed number, predictive errors that are acceptable for most practical purposes. Comparisons suggest the LSTM outperforms the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and simpler linear trend models. The housing unit projections can help facilitate a quantification of changes in future expected losses and other impacts caused by hurricanes. For example, this study finds that if a hurricane with characteristics similar to Hurricane Harvey were to impact southeastern Texas in 20 years, the residential property and flood losses would be nearly USD 4 billion (38 %) greater due to the expected increase of 1.3 million new housing units (41 %) in the region. 
    more » « less
  4. The very rapid growth in wind energy technology in the last 15 years has led to a rapid growth in the amount of non–biodegradable, thermosetting FRP composite materials used in wind turbine blades that will need to be managed of in the near future. A typical 2.0 MW turbine with three 50 m blades has approximately 20 tonnes of FRP material and an 8 MW turbine has approximately 80 tonnes of FRP material (1 MW ~ 10 tonnes of FRP). Calculations show that 4.2 million tonnes will need to be managed globally by 2035 and 16.3 million tonnes by 2055 if wind turbine construction continues at current levels and with current technology. Three major categories of end-of-life (EOL) options are possible – disposal, recovery and reuse. Reuse options are the primary focus of this paper since landfilling and incineration are environmentally harmful and recovery recycling methods are not economical. The current work reports on different architectural and structural options for reusing parts of wind turbine blades in new or retrofitted housing projects. Large-sized FRP pieces that can be salvaged from the turbine blades and potentially useful in infrastructure projects where harsh environmental conditions (water and high humidity) exist. Their noncorrosive properties make them durable construction materials. The approach presented is to cut the decommissioned wind turbine blades into segments that can be repurposed for structural and architectural applications for affordable housing projects. The geographical focus of the designs presented in this paper is in the coastal region of the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico where low quality masonry block informal housing is vulnerable to severe hurricanes and flooding. In what follows, a prototype 100m long wind blade model provided by Sandia National Laboratories is used as a demonstration to show how a wind blade can be broken down into parts, thus making it possible to envision architectural applications for the different wind blade segments. 
    more » « less
  5. Hermann, Victoria (Ed.)
    This brief draws on an ongoing remote ethnographic study examining how varying modes of housing insecurity are experienced by Alaskans. This includes: • an introduction to the term “houselessness,” which describes shifting modes of housing insecurity caused by socio-economic changes and unanticipated life events, but also housing shortages, difficulties acquiring land and permission for building new housing, and (especially for some Indigenous groups) the foreign nature of home financing. • reflections on the precarious living situations that Alaskans from rural communities’ experience across their lifetimes. • the need for further qualitative research that interrogates how assumptions about houselessness are experienced by Alaskans in different contexts, not least because the term houselessness is a proactive attempt to delimit narrowly defined and demeaning terms such as homelessness. 
    more » « less