One of the greatest hurdles with humanitarian aid is proper shelter. We are not talking about just a roof over the head, but one that is humanized, you know, a shelter that protects folks living within from the element with reasonable comfort. With this mind, a modular, adaptable temporary house, called Better Shelter, was designed and it has been in deployment since 2015. The brainchild behind this ingenious temporary shelter solution is none other than Ikea, which kind of makes cos’ when it comes to flat-packing, no one knows better then the Swedish furniture giant.
The fact that a single 17.5 square meters (188 square feet) Better Shelter comes in two logistically-friendly flat-pack boxes, each weighing 80 kilograms (176 lbs), and it can be setup fairly quickly without the need for a whole lot of manpower earned Better Shelter the 2017 Beasley Design of the Year award, as well as a place at MoMA’s permanent collection. But just how fast can it be put up? Well, according to a new video released, it took a four-man team and a little over four hours to complete a Better Shelter. It may sounds like a whole lot of time when compared to a tent, but hey, Better Shelter is no tent; it is a temporary house, complete with proper ventilation, windows, lockable door and semi-solid walls and roof held up by strong and robust galvanized steel frame.
So yeah, it is essentially a proper house, a dwelling which folks taking refuge can feel home away from home. And it has a few other benefits too: it has modular, which means it can be longer or shorter according to the need, and it can be taken down and rebuilt somewhere else when requires. Most importantly, when anchored to the ground, it can stand up to almost all form of beatings unleashed by Mother Nature, namely rain, snow and strong winds. The walls and roof, which are made of polyolefin panels, are UV-treated too, to prevent them by deteriorating under the harsh sun.
Each completed Better Shelter measures 5.68 meters long, 3.32 meters wide and stands 2.83 meters (18.6 x 10.9 x 9.3 feet), offers 17.5 square meters (188 square feet) of living space for a family of five, and it even comes with a solar rechargeable LED lamp that provides up to four hours of use. The light, which is capable of outputting between 20-100 lumens, can also be used to recharge mobile phone via an in-built USB port. In 2015 alone, 10,000 units of Better Shelter were deployed for humanitarian operations worldwide. Continue reading to catch the time-lapse video of the build up.
Images: Better Shelter/Jonas Nyström.