Architecture Project Topics

Design of Disaster Management Centre

Design of Disaster Management Centre

Design of Disaster Management Centre

Chapter One


  • To provide a facility that will improve response to disasters for an initial period after which other sources would assist.
  • To reduce confusion on the part of all personnel concern in disasters.
  • To enhance the role of rapid deployment of its personnel in response to emergency
  • Preventing or reducing the risk of disasters and mitigating the severity or consequences of disasters
  • A rapid and effective response to disasters and post- disaster recovery and rehabilitation.
  • To ensure the survival of the maximum possible number of victims, keeping them in the best possible health in the circumstances.
  • To re-establish self-sufficiency and essential services as quickly as possible for all population groups, with special attention to those whose needs are greatest: the most vulnerable and underprivileged.
  • To repair or replace damaged infrastructure and regenerate viable economic activities. To do this in a manner that contributes to long-term development goals and reduces vulnerability to any future recurrence of potentially damaging hazards.
  • In cases involving population displacements (due to any type of disaster) the aim is to find durable solutions as quickly as possible, while ensuring protection and assistance as necessary in the meantime.


  • To create a building for imparting training in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness, relief and rehabilitation and also to undertake research studies, documentation and development of database.
  • Organize state and regional level conferences/workshops in disaster management and related subjects.
  • To develop and encourage NGO’s network in the state to manage disasters in the state.
  • to reduce or avoid the human, physical, and economic losses suffered by individuals, by the society, and by the country at large
  • To reduce personal suffering and to speed recovery.




The word disaster is derived from Middle French “désastre” and that from Old Italian “disastro”, which in turn comes from the Greek pejorative prefix δυσ-, (dus-) “bad” + ἀστήρ (aster), “star”. The root of the word disaster (“bad star” in Greek) comes from an astrological theme in which the ancients used to refer to the destruction or deconstruction of a star as a disaster.

Researchers have been studying disasters for more than a century, and for more than forty years of disaster research. The studies reflect a common opinion when they argue that all disasters can be seen as being human-made, their reasoning being that human actions before the strike of the hazard can prevent it developing into a disaster. All disasters are hence the result of human failure to introduce appropriate disaster management measures. Hazards are routinely divided into natural or human-made, although complex disasters, where there is no single root cause, are more common in developing countries. A specific disaster may spawn a secondary disaster that increases the impact. A classic example is an earthquake that causes a tsunami, resulting in coastal flooding.

All communities are subject to disasters, a disaster is a situation in which the community is incapable of coping. It is a natural or human-caused event which causes intense negative impacts on people, goods, services and/or the environment, exceeding the affected community’s capability to respond; therefore the community seeks the assistance of government and international agencies.


Early society viewed disasters as preordained, however, by the 20th century, the idea of providing disaster preparedness and relief was gradually forming within Governments. Natural disasters have always occurred; Earthquakes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes happened before human activity and likely will happen long afterward. But what really makes a disaster is how humans react to the occurrence of a natural hazard, and Disaster Management has under-gone so many changes. Long before there was an America, Red Cross or FEMA, people were learning to deal with disasters.

Emergency management (or disaster management) is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding both natural and manmade disasters. It involves preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters. It may also involve preparedness training by private citizens, as by FEMA in the United States. All aspects of emergency management deal with the processes used to protect populations or organizations from the consequences of disasters, wars and acts of terrorism. Emergency management doesn’t necessarily avert or eliminate the threats themselves, although the study and prediction of the threats is an important part of the field. The basic levels of emergency management are the various kinds of search and rescue activity.

Natural disaster research became interdisciplinary after the publication of White’s Natural Hazards Research in 1973, and White and Haas’ book, Assessment of Research on Natural Hazards in 1975. The integration and cooperation of crisis management in the US became more comprehensive after the establishment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1979. During the development of the theoretical analytical framework, this study first examined the work of Nudell and Antokol (1988) and Alexander (2000:7-22). Nudell and Antokol define five major crises types. They include:

  1. Natural hazards such as windstorms, earthquakes, floods, etc.
  2. accidents such as transportation accidents
  3. technological accidents such as chemical or nuclear disasters
  4. induces catastrophes such as kidnapping and crime
  5. War related emergencies involving civilians.

Following every disaster is a search and rescue effort, however, the search and rescue effort are usually too slow, sometimes it’s because the scene of the disaster is not easily accessible or the deliberate nature of the officials involved and these results to increase in death and cause more pain and anguish to the affected people. Although having cohesive emergency management practices remains vital to saving lives during a disaster, newer methods of handling disasters attempt to reduce or even eliminate some of the risks long before the earth quakes or rivers flood. Disaster risk reduction attempts to look back at the root causes of risks and vulnerabilities in a society, state, town or even a single household. Factors can be broad or specific, depending on the scope of risk and vulnerability assessments.




It is generally believed that the case-study method was first introduced into social science by Frederic Le Play in 1829 as a handmaiden to statistics in his studies of family budgets. (Les Ouvriers Europeans (2nd edition, 1879).This is a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular matter over a period of time.

Case study is defined as a research strategy, an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context. Case study research can mean single and multiple case studies, can include quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources of evidence, and benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions. Case studies should not be confused with qualitative research and they can be based on any mix of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Single-subject research provides the statistical framework for making inferences from quantitative case-study data. This is also supported and well-formulated in (Lamnek, 2005): “The case study is a research approach, situated between concrete data taking techniques and methodological paradigms.”


  • The purpose of a case study is to provide a more thorough analysis of a situation or “case” which will reveal interesting information to the reader. Case studies often accompany reports, to give ‘flesh’ to written reports.
  • Know why you are conducting this interview. To what end will you ask questions?
  • To aid for a good design.

Case studies where carried out in different organisations which include; Enugu State Government Fire Service Station, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Enugu Branch, Disaster Management Centre For Ehlanzeni District Municipality, South Africa.




Geographical Location:

The site is located in Port Harcourt, the capital of River State, a state located at the southern part of Nigeria. It lies on latitude 4°N and longitude 7°E of the equator. It covers approximately 700 square hectares of land and according to the 2006 Nigerian census Port Harcourt has a population of 1,382,592. It has an area of 360 km2 (140 square mile) it is the fifth largest urban area in Nigeria.

Site Selection Criteria

The conditions for selecting the site are based on certain factors. These factors include;

  • The site is located where bulk of business and commercial activities take place.
  • The site is situated in accident prone area.
  • The site is accessible by pedestrians, vehicles and all forms of movement.
  • The site is accessible by water and land.
  • Its topography encourages good natural drainage of water
  • It provides a good atmosphere and natural setting
  • It is appropriately zoned and sizeable for its intended use.




Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. Exceptional design must be approached from the client’s perspective. The needs, wants, desires, purpose of the building and vision of our clients and/or occupants who will ultimately use the space must be thoughtfully considered and reflected in the end result. So we centre everything we do on these values and our philosophy of designing responsible, environmentally conscious, and aesthetically pleasing solutions that leave a positive impact.

The essence of designing a Disaster Management Centre is to provide the facilities and environment requiste to foster knowledge and learning about the importance of the management and control of disaster and disaster related issues. The Centre aims at developing a creative approach to understanding and providing solutions to design problems with the motivation to seek new solutions to the issues and challenges facing a developing country (Nigeria) with disasters and also preach the philosophy of prevention and mitigating all formsof disasters in the modern world.

My design philosophy steams from Architecture of ideas, sustainable innovations and substantive intensions, an architecture that accommodates for humankind and the habitability of buildings to encourage consistent quality and design expression within the state while allowing for individuality of architectural expression by its Owners.


A design concept is an idea for a design. Concept design (or outline design) requires that the architect grapples with the real issues of form and bulk, scale and mass and the generic appearance of a building within its surrounding urban context, resolving and encapsulating the principles of the scheme. Concept design implies an idea, or range of ideas, a development approach, a guiding concept and design intent. It resolves the issue of ‘what’ and ‘how much’ and begins to set the stage for understanding ‘how’. Concept design explores the resolution of the brief, implied or set out in the feasibility and assessment stage. The conceptual approach places the quantum of development intelligently on the site.


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  • Stock, R (2003). Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia.
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