PHRC Events

Recent Research Efforts by the PHRC on Disaster-Resilient Housing

Date: 12/22/2016

Two studies were recently completed for the National Association of Home Builders’ Construction Technology and Research Sub Committee (CTRSC) by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC): “PHRC Review of FEMA P-942 – Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York” and “PHRC Review of NIST NCSTAR 3 – Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011 Tornado in Joplin, Missouri”.

Both studies analyzed post-disaster reports to identify parts that may affect residential construction practices in disaster-prone areas, particularly to determine how issues such as common residential construction practices, the age of residential structures, the code compliance of observed structures, and cost-effectiveness of any changes in conventional practices may have been addressed in the report and resulting stated recommendations in the context of residential construction.

To continue these research efforts, in collaboration with Architectural Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty, a proposal was submitted to the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) on “Performance Evaluation of Elevated and Retrofitted Coastal Residential Buildings under Combined Hurricane Wind and Surge Flood Effects.” This proposed study will establish a greater understanding of the interaction of hurricane winds and coastal flood with typical homes using detailed, analytical probabilistic modeling consisting of: computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to model wind, storm surge, and wave loading; finite element (FEM) and finite difference modeling; and, analysis of structural and foundation systems to help decision making in relation to home retrofit methods/technologies against flood and wind damage.

For more information on these studies, please contact Dr. Ali Memari at  



The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304