Designing for Disaster: The DH1 Disaster House


Sustainability Problem

Health and Safety:  Natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often as they were in the 1970s. Flooding and mega-storms were the leading cause of disaster from 2000-2010, and there is growing evidence that warming temperatures are increasing the destructive force of hurricanes. With increased likelihood and destruction of these super storms, there comes a need for better temporary housing.

Technology Summary

Article – DH1: Instant Housing and Designing for Disaster

  • Designed by Architect Gregg Fleishman
  • The DH1 Disaster House is constructed with slotted exterior grade plywood
  • Uses tabs to fit together without fasteners or other hardware.
  • Small pieces: can be transported without cranes, forklifts or other industrial equipment, which are often scarce during disasters.
  • Unit sits 30 inches off the ground to avoid water damage in areas that have been flooded.
  • Materials used allow DH1 modules to  be integrated and used as a permanent solution for neighborhoods.


Organizational Stakeholders

Potential Stakeholders include:

  • Architect/Designers
  • Product Manufacturers
  • Lumber Industry
  • Members of at-risk regions/neighborhoods
  • Representatives of transportation measures
  • Government Agencies



The next three stages in deploying this technology could be:

  • Assess drawbacks and fine-tune product for use; research alternative material options
  • Forge partnerships with institutions to demonstrate technology to at-risk regions and their local governments
  • Develop a funding mechanism to provide structures to at-risk regions, focusing first on developing countries


See also: Climate Change  Gregg Fleishman Structures



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