Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)


Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Weichiang Pang

Committee Member

Michael Stoner

Committee Member

Laura Redmond


Rapidly deployable structures currently play a vital role in the recovery aspect of disaster-stricken areas and the safety of military personnel in hostile zones. More recently there has also been a need for the structures to deal with unforeseen disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic, such as COVID testing centers or backyard pop-up offices. These structures could be used in different environments and serve many other purposes. Along with the structural performance of these shelters, they need to integrate into systems set in place effortlessly. For that reason, four key factors were taken into consideration, namely (1) deployability (how difficult is it for the system to be fully deployed), (2) transportability (how difficult is it to ship these structures to the target locations), (3) cost, and (4) building envelope resistance (the resistance and durability of the building’s envelope to unforeseen hazards). This study aims to design a rapidly deployable structure for emergency response such as disaster relief with the potential for military applications. This research begins by covering existing deployable shelters used for disaster relief and military applications. Next, it presents a few alternative designs using different materials and different functionality. Then, it addresses how these new designs compare to the existing shelters in each category. Finally, it discusses tests performed on the folding mechanism, hinges, being used throughout the design of a deployable wood structure. The testing in this research shows a method that can be used to quantify the capacity of hinges. As a result of the study, new designs are shown to be competitive with the existing ones. The results of an experimental study of how hinges perform as structural elements will be discussed.



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