Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

College of Engineering and Technology

Committee Member

Shinming Shyu, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Suleiman Ashur, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dorothy K. McAllen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kasim Korkmaz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Schmitz, Ph.D.


This dissertation examines the associations between the technology acceptance model and modernization theory with Libyans’ perceptions of cave dwellings in the Nafusa Mountains region, West of Tripoli. The researcher formally tested hypotheses linking cave dwelling's ease of use, usefulness, and the perceived intention to live in a modernized cave dwelling with the education, income, age, gender, and employment categories of Libyan participants in the study. A framework for constructing modernized cave dwellings that are attractive to local residents for temporary and permanent living is then provided.

Using 450 responses from Libyans worldwide, this study found that the technology acceptance model is a statistically significant framework for understanding Libyans’ intentions to live in modernized cave dwellings. More specifically, Libyans were found to be more willing to live in such homes if they perceived them as easy to construct, maintain and utilize, and useful in decreasing their utility bills and providing comfortable living standards. On the other hand, modernization theory was partially supported in its predictive power to explain Libyans’ intentions to live in cave dwellings. More educated and perceived high-income individuals are associated with a higher likelihood of living in a cave dwelling. Gender, age, and employment type were not statistically significant.

The dissertation offers a framework demonstrating how renewable energy systems can make Libyan cave dwellings sustainable for local citizens. It provides details on how solar panels, natural lighting, rain harvesting, and wastewater treatment systems could help local citizens lower construction costs and increase sustainable living. The renovation of cave dwellings offers an excellent opportunity for local economic development and a cultural renaissance of the structures, making them global sites of world heritage.

Included in

Architecture Commons