2021 Projects

Teaming for Interdisciplinary Research Pre-Seed Program

Coastal Resilient Housing

Coastal Resilient Housing

aerial of flooded houses

Coastal areas throughout the world are vulnerable to sea level rise and weather-related hazards such as high winds and flooding. The effects of these coastal hazards are particularly acute in rural, isolated communities with limited resources. Adequate housing is critical to the long-term resilience and prosperity of these smaller communities, but this essential element is often overlooked in planning and disaster preparedness. There is a need for inexpensive resilient housing that can be readily installed after a disaster and that will be able to withstand future events.

 We are working with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, ecologists, planners, social scientists and other specialists to design housing units that meet the twin goals of resilience and practicality. First, the designs need to incorporate best practices to enhance resilience in the face of sea level rise and storm events. Second, they need to be cost-effective and efficient. We also want to ensure that the homes are culturally appropriate for the Georgia coast. Our intention is to use the designs that come out of this project to pursue funds from both public and private sources to build model homes. We anticipate using the UGA Marine Institute (UGAMI), which is located on Sapelo Island, as a proving ground for this project, as this will allow us to develop strategies for addressing the challenges associated with building sustainable, resilient infrastructure in small, isolated coastal communities.

Team Lead

Merryl Alber
Department of Marine Sciences

Team Members

Stephan Durham
College of Engineering

Mi Guem Chorzepa
College of Engineering

Nik Heynen
Department of Geography

Mark Risse
Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Jennifer Lewis
College of Environment + Design

Scott Pippin
Carl Vinson Institute of Government