Japan’s construction materials company Kuwataka Construction Co., Ltd. has developed an easy-to-assemble disaster shelter called ERRY. The company noted that current disaster shelters do not offer privacy for evacuees, who are suffering from mental and physical stress.
More importantly, this privacy-focused shelter allows for effective isolation of individuals and families in times of disaster relief during a pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. ERRY covers key requirements like privacy for users, spaciousness, strong and durable structure, easy-to-assemble, and a minimal storage footprint.
Several stainless steel frames form the skeleton of the dome tent. The assembled structure has been tested by Japan’s Building Materials Testing Center to be able to withstand an impressive load capacity of 600 kilograms (1,323 lbs) applied from above. Completing the dome shelter is a class 2 tarpaulin which is water and flameproof.
The structure is robust enough to hang a hammock to provide a better rest area as opposed to sitting or sleeping on the hard ground. A dome design not only offers a robust structure but also a spacious interior.
When assembled, ERRY measures 3.7 meters (12 feet) in diameter, which is a space of about 8 tatami mats, and a height of 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) tall that allows for most people to stand upright instead of bending or crouching. But it is not light, coming in at 169.65 kilograms, or about 374 lbs
In addition to the main entrance, it has a couple of windows that can be open for ventilation or closed for privacy.
Putting together the shelter requires only a wrench and it is simple to do too. Assembly only requires the tightening of bolts in sequence, guided by a number system. All you have to do is to line up the numbered labels on the frame parts and secure the frames with bolts with a spanner. The final step would be covering the structure with a vinyl sheet.
Kuwataka Construction said it will take about 30 minutes to assemble one unit. Though I would imagine that is not an easy task considering this is quite a large shelter. I do not believe this is a one-person job. It probably needs at least two people to set up.
When taken apart, the frames can be stacked and the vinyl sheet can be folded and tucked in the space between the frames. All told, each ERRY would have a stacked footprint of 1.0 m deep and 1 m wide (3.3 by 3.3 feet), and 1.2 m (3.9 feet) tall. ERRY can also serve as a triage for the medical team during disaster relief operations by changing to an appropriate color vinyl sheet.
ERRY Easy-to-assemble Disaster Shelter is not only durable but is also maintenance-free, and it can be used indoors and outdoor. Currently, the product is being certified as a recommended product for disaster relief by Japan’s Disaster Prevention and Safety Association.
In the event that it gets the nod of approval, the product will be awarded the “Recommended Product Mark for Disaster Prevention Product” issued by the association.
Meanwhile, the shelter will start commercial sales this month (August). Though it is not clear how much each shelter will cost.
Images: Kuwataka Construction Co., Ltd. [JP].