Master’s Thesis: The Role of Architects in Post-Disaster Reconstruction 2016 – Awarded PIPEF Postgraduate, and VUW FSRG Research Scholarships

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Master of Architecture (Prof) thesis (2016)

In post-disaster reconstruction, architects all too often create design solutions with little appreciation of the local context in which their solutions are expected to work.

The disaster context for reconstruction is complex and irregular. Issues vary from lack of available resources; difficulty in transporting resources, inflation of costs for construction materials, corruption in the allocation of aid money and resources, language barriers, and the complexity of architects needing to meet the local socio economic and cultural norms of each particular community. These are but a few of the complexities that need to be addressed when working in post-disaster reconstruction.

This thesis draws on grounded theory field research and analysis of reconstruction efforts in Samoa after the tsunami in 2009 and category 2 Tropical Cyclone Evan (TC Evan) in 2012; and category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston (TC Winston) that devastated Fiji in 2016. This paper measures this research and analysis against literature and research and analysis of other post-disaster reconstruction case studies to come up with design iterations that are viable for the post-disaster context of Nanokonoko village, Viti Levu, Fiji.

In collaboration with The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the IFRC Shelter Cluster in Fiji. Va’asili’ifiti Moelagi Jackson, Namulau‘ulu Tautala Mauala and the Red Cross Samoa team. The different villages affected by disasters on Upolu, Samoa. Kolone Vaai, Lai-Yandall-Alama and Jian Vun and the Samoa Government Planning and Urban Management Agency. Leiataua Isikuki Punivalu from the Engineering & Management Consultants. Su’a Pou Onesemo and Anne Godinet-Milbank at the Government Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI). Su’a Julia Wallwork and ADRA Samoa. Elsa Fruean. Athol and Kramer Ausenco Samoa architects. Van Wright and his quantity surveying expertise. Michael Ah Koy. Jamila Homayun and Habitat for Humanity NZ. Chris and Susan Howe and the IFRC Shelter Cluster Fiji. Fiji National University and the Directors, Professors, lecturers and students of the Architecture and Engineering faculties. Warren Yee and the Fiji Institute of Engineers. Masi Latianara and Habitat for Humanity Fiji. Adish Naidu and the Fiji Association of Architects. The Red Cross volunteers in Rakiraki, Viti Levu. Nanokonoko village and the communities on Viti Levu that kindly assisted with my research.

Role: Research and Design

For:  Victoria University of Wellington; Habitat for Humanity NZ

Date:  February 2017

Type:  Thesis and Design