Proposal for Refugee Housing in Southeast Europe Utilizing Regionally Appropriate, Sustainable, and Affordable Construction Methods


  • Hana Cicevic University of Florida
  • Sarah Gamble University of Florida



earthbag construction, crisis housing, architecture


This research focuses on the emergency-housing demand caused by the on-going refugee crisis in Southeastern Europe. The research and proposed solutions focus on Northern Serbia, as this region generally lacks permanent housing solutions for accommodating the increasing influx of immigrants. The outcome of this research is an architectural proposal for the refugee housing unit designed particularly for the situational factors of this focus region.   

The study identifies earth architecture as the primary building technique, due to its ability to satisfy a range of defined end-product goals.  These goals include: the sustainability of the material, quality and durability of the final product, skill level required for non-professional construction, final cost of material and execution, historical regional precedent, and opportunity for communal engagement of the immigrant population. The proposed architectural design uses earth-bag construction as the sub-method most suitable for this location and in keeping with the goals outlined above.

The proposed housing unit is a singular component that could be duplicated to create larger communal housing communities.  A broad overview of possible solutions is included, followed by the development of the earth-bag construction option. The development of this proposal includes material studies, sketches, and an architectural model as representation tools. The outcomes of this research serve as a guideline, rather than a precise construction model, in creating much needed refugee housing communities in North Serbia.




Author Biography

Hana Cicevic, University of Florida

Undergraduate, School of Architecture