Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Amin Mohamed

Second Advisor

A. S. AI-Sharhan

Third Advisor

Essam Abdul Hafiz


Massive housing projects have shown that prospective users are rarely given the opportunity to participate in the design decisions. Subsequently, such schemes commonly fail to accommodate all their needs. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the housing projects that aim at resettling of Bedouin into newly developed urban communities are state-funded. Many of these houses that were built in the late seventies and early eighties were transferred back to the state (in a very bad condition due to the users random modifications and additions) in exchange of newer better houses. The lack of an adaptive design concept that can accommodate their changing needs also contributed to this problem. This thesis addresses the current problem and identifies user-responsive and environment-sensitive recommendations for future state funded housing schemes.

A general review of the available literature is conducted along with past local efforts made to deal with the problem. In order to better understand the causes contributed to the user modifications and additions, data were collected and analyzed as part of the methodology used in the study. The United Arab Emirates climate and topography is studied in order to analyze the natural environment impact on the housing in general. In addition, contextual impacts were studied with respect to the current housing prototypes in the study area. The social environment impacts are also addressed to conclude a user responsive and environment sensitive recommendations for future housing schemes.

The purpose of the case study is to demonstrate the natural and psychosocial environments affects on state funded houses and the inhabitants adaptations in response. Accordingly the conclusion drawn from this study should benefit the future housing schemes in reducing or eliminating the undesired modifications. Although the state funded housing represent the largest stack of housing in Abu Dhabi emirate, much factors and considerations regarding environmental impacts were overlooked. Both natural environment and psychosocial environment consideration need further assessment in terms of their impact on any future upgrading scheme. The research highlights many recommendations regarding planning, designing, and upgrading schemes of state funded housing.