The greatest challenge after a natural disaster is the mobilization of resources and aid to the affected areas. Roads are usually cut off and access is extremely difficult. With this in mind, my approach to designing an emergency shelter has been to create one that can be deployed through the most methods of transportation as possible - road, rail, sea and air. The standard shipping container is the unit through which goods and items are transported through all these means. From the onset, I decided to design an emergency shelter that could be transported in a standard shipping container. To make this feasible, the dimensions of the shipping container (W- 8ft, H- 9.5ft, L- 40ft) dictate the shelter’s dimensions (W- 7.8ft, H- 8.5ft, L- 7.8ft).
To maximize on space and reduce mobilization costs I have designed a shelter that collapses and folds. To make this work I have designed a system of wall and floor plates with barrel hinges in between them, allowing for a bending movement. The material for the wall and roof member is hollow fiber-reinforced plastic. This makes the overall structure lightweight and durable, allowing for reuse in subsequent disasters. The shelter has wheels that make it easy to move. The sides have brackets at the bottom through which stakes can be driven in to stop movement.
I have designed a universal emergency shelter that can be used in all forms of natural disaster throughout the world. The shelter’s interior has folding beds (top bunk for children) for sleeping and treating the wounded. It also acts as a private space for light baths. I opted not to include a toilet for technical reasons and all cooking is done outside of the shelter in a covered space using portable cookers. The shelter is ventilated through windows.