Involving Community Volunteers in Recording Deterioration of Buildings After Disaster

Chaohsing Huang, Chipang Lu, Yishan Chen


On 6 February 2016, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 6.4 struck southern Taiwan, impacting Meinong District of Kaohsiung. The earthquake caused widespread damage as well as psychological pressure on residents of the area. In Tainan city, there were as many as 5387 requests for building inspections, among them 579 were labeled red (with damage in main structures or tilted that can endanger life) or yellow (with damage of non-main structure). As large number of buildings were damaged, and residents anxious about their safety and possible loss of their properties, technicians from neighboring cities rushed in and sacrificed their time and energy but they barely met the expectations of these affected people.

This report will introduce an experimental project operated in Yujin District, one of the earthquake-affected area, by a team of faculties and graduate students of architecture and community work professions from National Chen Kung University and Chang Jung Christian University. The project, with a series of workshops, aims to facilitate community volunteers with basic skills of portraying and recording deteriorations of a building. As the professional technicians may not be able to reach the damaged area immediately after a serious disaster, the project expects to build up a team that is able to collect basic information of affected buildings so that the professionals can prioritize their inspection tasks.

Due to previous collaboration in community development projects, the team were welcomed by local credit union and they worked with its volunteer group which is one of the major voluntary forces in the region. For the workshops, we simplified the procedures of recoding a deteriorated building, tested and received feedback from the community beforehand so that it will be feasible for lay people to use. Each workshop ended with a new homework for next session so that the learning experience can keep building up. Each workshop was also followed by a team meeting to review the achievements of the workshop and to revise the original design for the next session. Two ‘LINE’ groups were formed. One was for the project team and the other for all the participants. The LINE group of the team involved leaders from the credit union to make the project transparent to community. The participants’ LINE group became handy for homework submission. The LINE app is a good venue for all members to communicate between workshop sessions. An evaluation form was filled by participants at the end of each workshop. In-depth interviews and focus group involving participants as well as university team will be conducted after all workshops came to an end. By the time of conference, this report will present the design and the practice of the serial workshops, the feedback from the participants, and the reflection and lessons learned from the university team. 

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Asian Education Studies  ISSN 2424-8487(Print)  ISSN 2424-9033(Online)   

Copyright © July Press 

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.