The U.S. residential housing stock is increasingly vulnerable to wind damage associated with tornadoes, due to a rise in the frequency of tornado disasters and growing suburban development. The construction industry plays a critical role in post-tornado recovery efforts by supplying material and labor necessary for repairing damaged residential houses. The availability of construction resources needed for rebuilding is determined by the network of construction organizations providing materials and labor within construction industry supply chains. This study expands upon the concept of construction capacity, defined as the maximum building volume a construction industry can supply due to regional supply chain availability of material and labor. The Oklahoma City (OKC) region of the U.S. is used to illustrate how predisaster construction capacity influences post-disaster reconstruction of residential housing, since OKC has been struck by multiple tornado disasters since 2002. We employ supply chain management theory to measure pre-disaster construction capacity (e.g., supply) and compare against post-disaster need for construction services (e.g., demand). Pre-disaster regional capacity utilization and labor productivity metrics are used to: (a) measure the maximum supply of construction materials available in a given year; (b) measure the net value of residential construction work the available labor force can install per year; and (c) determine the typical demand for residential housing in terms of permitted single-family houses. The regional pre-disaster construction capacity baseline is then compared with the post-disaster additional demand for construction services, based on FEMA damage assessments. By comparing the pre-disaster regional construction capacity with the post-disaster FEMA assessed losses (both calculated in terms of $USD), we quantitatively measure the discrepancy between regional construction industry supply and demand. Such quantitative assessments of residential construction industries are necessary to improve housing reconstruction work provided by organizations within regional supply chains.
Arneson, E., Javernick-Will, A., and Hallowell, M. (2017). “Construction Capacity: How Construction Resource Availability Affects Post-Tornado Rebuilding of Residential Housing." Engineering Project Organization Conference. Stanford Sierra Camp, CA.