Publication Date

Summer 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Douglas Chelson (Director), Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Dr. Fatemeh Orooji

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


Many people in Mithi, Tharparkar do not have proper housing, face an unhygienic water supply, and have no sanitation facilities. These factors contribute to disease, suffering and the inability to rise above their destitute existence. The idea for building portable houses for the people of Mithi is presented to provide them with better living conditions and where they can feel a sense of security, ownership and sanitation. Research on existing building systems and materials showed that the most feasible structure for the desert environment is modular panels attached to a core unit that contains all the basic plumbing and electrical fixtures. The unit can be expanded based on family needs. Discussion with government officials showed that these could be used for the immediate needs of the people who have been suffering more acutely the last several years due to a drought. They could also be a permanent solution to the housing crisis if the "Chelson Shelter" communities worked well for ten years. The infrastructure in the Tharparker Desert is inadequate to support typical housing. These shelters have low environmental impact, use little water and electricity and would be a good solution to make a community of people that can support each other and provide security.


Architectural Engineering | Architectural Technology | Construction Engineering