Competition Details


by Ryan Mahan
Co-authors: Beth Blair

Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes bring devastation to regions all over the world. The RB5.5 emergency shelter is designed to respond to those basic needs that arise in the hours and days immediately following such disasters. Made of lightweight, inexpensive, recycled polypropylene plastic, one or two adults can easily assemble the shelter without the need for tools. The ease of assembly is based on two unique design elements; a dome-shaped top that snaps open from its compressed storage position and a stake-and-hole mounting system. The mounting system is secured to the perimeter of the bottom panel by using the force of a heel.

Ventilation gills along the sides and a top vent encourage smart air-flow through the translucent structure. Measuring a top height of 7 feet, a total length of 9.5 feet and a width of 6 feet, the RB5.5 will accommodate up to three adults within this secure and private structure.

In addition to being easily deployed, inexpensive and extremely durable, the RB5.5 comes in three colors. This color coding system is used to distinguish between residencies (light green), first aid stations (light red), and municipality stations (light blue). This simple color-coding system can be universally translated and is easily identifiable from long distances on the ground and from the air. The translucent colors allow for light to penetrate into the structures.

The RB5.5 in its compressed storage position is stackable and fits efficiently within the dimensions of standard shipping containers. This makes it easily distributable to a wide variety of regions. The inert quality of the polypropylene material means that the RB5.5 can be used repeatedly. When considering the frequency with which some areas of the world are devastated by natural disasters, its reusability is an important aspect of its design.