Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Science

Document Type



The adverse social and financial impacts of catastrophic disasters are increasing as population centers grow. After disastrous events, the government agencies must respond to post-disaster housing issues quickly and efficiently and provide sufficient resources for the reconstruction of destroyed and damaged houses for full rehabilitation. However, post-disaster housing reconstruction is a highly complex process because of the large number of projects, shortage of resources, and heavy pressure for delivery of the projects after a disastrous event. This complexity and lack of an inconsistent, systematic approach for planning lead to an ad-hoc decision-making process and inefficient recovery. This research explored modular construction as a highly time-efficient approach to tackle the abovementioned challenges and facilitate the housing reconstruction process.

Firstly, this research investigated the feasibility of using the modular construction method for rapid post-disaster housing reconstruction through a targeted literature review and survey of subject matter experts to broaden the understanding of modular construction-based post-disaster housing reconstruction, benefits, and barriers. Second, this research focused on improving the design and pre-planning phase of modular construction that can facilitate the successful implementation of modular construction in a post-disaster situation. To this end, a BIM-based generative modular housing design system was developed by using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to automate the entire design process by incorporating manufacturing and construction constraints to fit the needs of the modular construction method. The framework was further extended by developing an optimization model to optimize the modularization strategy in the early design phase which was capable of reflecting the entire multi-stage process of modular construction (production, transportation, and assembly), and considering both individual project’s requirements and post-disaster housing reconstruction portfolio’s requirements.

The outcomes of this study fit the MC industry that may be used by designers and modular housing companies looking to automate their design process. It is also expected to provide critical benchmarks for planners, decision-makers, and community developers to facilitate their decision-making process on considering modular construction as an efficient way for mass post-disaster housing reconstruction and addressing communities’ housing needs following a disastrous event.



Committee Chair

Lee, Yong-Cheol.