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A Full-scale Rubble-house Construction and Testing Project Powered by Undergraduate Student Volunteers Workforce

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.52.1 - 25.52.23



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Paper Authors


Fatih Oncul Southern Polytechnic State University

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Fatih Oncul is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering Technology program, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Ga. He received his doctoral degree from University of Colorado, Denver, in 2001. He is currently teaching geotechnical and foundation engineering related courses. His main research interest areas are finite element analysis, subsurface exploration, soil-structure interaction, and geotechnical earthquake engineering.

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Wasim Barham P.E. Southern Polytechnic State University

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Metin Oguzmert P.E. Southern Polytechnic College of Engr and Engr Tech

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A Full Scale Rubble-House Construction and Testing Project Powered by Undergraduate Student Volunteers WorkforceIn January 2010, a devastating earthquake destroyed several concrete and masonry structures,killed more than 300 000 people, and left thousands of families homeless in Haiti. As part of therelief work, replacement homes have been built by U.S. non-profit organizations in areasseverely hit by the earthquake. Considering the vast availability of post-earthquake rubble, ahouse built with walls comprised of welded wire baskets filled with loose rubble seemed to be aninexpensive and immediate solution for the needy. In August 2011, XXXX University incollaboration with XXXX, Inc. initiated a preliminary research effort to assess the seismicresistance of such rubble houses. This research project was started under the limited sponsorshipof both parties and largely depended on donations, student volunteers and faculty time. A full-scale rubble house (14 ft. wide, 20 ft. long and 8 ft. tall) was built in the middle of XXXXcampus, and subjected to series of static loads. During construction, more than 500 hours ofstudent work time was spent. Students and faculty from various majors showed great interest involunteering. Engineering students not only involved in construction but also participated inbrainstorming sessions to propose cost-effective rubble-house construction techniques. Thispaper discusses the experience of faculty and students in all stages of the rubble-house testingproject that turned out to be a campus-wide learning opportunity. Results of survey administeredamong volunteered students are also presented.

Oncul, F., & Barham, W., & Oguzmert, M. (2012, June), A Full-scale Rubble-house Construction and Testing Project Powered by Undergraduate Student Volunteers Workforce Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20812

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