IKEA Foundation’s temporary shelter

Leiden / Netherlands / 2012

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17 Love 5,569 Visits Published

This shelter is the result of three-year long partnership between UNHCR, the Refugee Housing Unit (subsidiary of the Swedish non-profit foundation SVID) and the IKEA Foundation to provide refugees and other forcibly displaced people with a compelling alternative to emergency tents for shelter. More than fifteen companies and three universities across five countries have been involved in the development of the prototype. To date, the IKEA Foundation has contributed more than US$ 2 million in support of this project. A pre-test took place in Sweden in September 2012. Twenty-eight shelters have recently arrived in Ethiopia and are pending customs clearance before being tested in Dollo Ado, currently home to more than 195,000 refugees. The plan is to test 12 units in Lebanon and another 12 in Iraq. Government clearance is required in order to go ahead and ship the shelters to the above locations.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION
The Refugee Housing Unit is a 17.5 square meters family shelter. It features a modular design consisting essentially of two main components: 1. A self-supported frame made of ultra-lightweight steel carrying all the loads; and 2. Cover panels for the roof, the walls and the gables. A third component is a shade net for thermal control -to be placed 20 cm over the roof. The shade net has the added value of hosting a lightweight and flexible silicon solar panel providing refugees with light for 3 to 5 hours a day and electricity to charge cell phones and low-voltage devices. The frame has a lifespan of 10 years while the panels can last for up to 3 years. The advantage of this structure is high flexibility. If a panel gets damaged, it can be easily replaced with a new panel whereas a damaged tent needs to be entirely replaced. The panels are made of polypropylene and undergo a lamination process for UV protection. Compared to cotton canvases, polypropylene provides improved thermal and sound insulation. It is fully recyclable, commonly available in the global supply chain and suitable for high volume production. Unlike organic materials it could be stored in any climate for long periods of time without toxic fungicides and pesticides. By allowing adjustable transparency levels, polypropylene is a good compromise to transmit maximum day lighting without compromising on privacy at night. Displaying cast shadow is unacceptable in many cultures, especially for women. Transparency of panels is designed to let light in during daylight hours and prevent light from getting out at night. The transparency level can be re-adjusted following the field test Cooking and heating options are not available in this shelter prototype but there is a chimney exit to allow for the use of a stove or heater. Although they are not in the pipeline, these options could be developed later on. The prototype weights Kg 110.

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    This shelter is the result of three-year long partnership between UNHCR, the Refugee Housing Unit (subsidiary of the Swedish non-profit foundation SVID) and the IKEA Foundation to provide refugees and other forcibly displaced people with a compelling alternative to emergency tents for shelter. More than fifteen companies and three universities across five countries have been involved in the development of the prototype. To date, the IKEA Foundation has contributed more than US$ 2 million in...

    Project details
    • Year 2012
    • Work finished in 2012
    • Client IKEA Foundation
    • Status Temporary works
    • Type Modular/Prefabricated housing
    • Websitehttp://www.ikeafoundation.org
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    Lovers 17 users