Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Prinz, Gary

Committee Member/Reader

Hale, Micah

Committee Member/Second Reader

Fairey, Julian


Natural disasters in developing regions often displace people from their homes, into temporary shelters. These temporary shelters often consist of single-story pre-assembled tents designed to provide short-term aid for individual families. Unfortunately, single-story temporary shelters are not sufficient for accommodating large displaced populations in urban settings due to issues of land overcrowding and disruption to utilities providing water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services (along with many other issues).

This study investigates the feasibility of implementing a multi-story steel structure, constructed with multi-use structural members and special end connectors, into future relief efforts. A multi-use structural member is an element whose original use is something other than being a structural member, but can be modified under certain circumstances, such as natural disasters, to create shelters for a displaced population.

The paper starts by describing the search for multi-use structural member within existing manufacturing supply chains in developing countries. Next, a description of the special end connection prototyping and experimental testing is provided. The results from the connection tests are then used in a multi-story structural system design and the construction of a prototype structure is discussed. Lastly, conclusions are made regarding the performance of the prototype structural components and design, along with a discussion on potential avenues for future work.