Competition Details

Water Shelter - Sustainable Shelter Solutions

by Robert Nightingale
Co-authors: Robert Nightingale

The Water Shelter responds to the needs of rural populations in developing countries who live in areas of recurring floods, with a geographical focus on the Zambezi basin. The design provides the user with the necessary tools and information to migrate temporarily and efficiently. Encouraging self sufficiency at each stage of the disaster.

The bespoke design addresses four vital needs:

Potable water
Product transport
Migratory information

The design provides family shelter (4-6 persons) in a 3 phase strategy: Transit, Transition and Return. Phase one provides emergency shelter on route to safer locations, on arrival the transition shelter utilises local materials (mud, grass, sticks) to increase in size. The Water Shelter package also includes a graphical template for planning self sufficient, temporary and sustainable communities. Finally the design offers a structural template for permanent housing upon return or relocation, which reflects the traditional design of local architecture.

The Water Shelter product contains, several items that compliment the shelter to ensure a safe and efficient re-location: The Water Shelter (current prototype made from high tenacity polyester), Aluminium structure/Water Roller frame, 2 large treated mosquito nets, first aid kit, an integrated water filter (Barrel lid), family blanket (which hosts the graphical instructions for the Water Shelter construction, health advice (to prevent Maleria, Cholera etc.), bespoke map of safe locations and the initial plans for a Water Shelter community; supply routes, shelter location/spacing, latrines, schools etc...

The design incorporates local (Village-Village ground distribution) and remote (Airdrop) product distribution and a water collection system (which harvests and filters rainwater from the shelter canopy). The Water Roller is a robust floating container which is used to transport the shelter, possessions and water, whilst creating value for the user on a day to day basis in water collection pre, during and post flood.