Lightweight shelters might be an affordable and quick option for emergency housing, but they are also susceptible to damage from high winds. This prototype could be a better solution.
The team at Extremis Technology, which has been working toward creating "robust portable shelters" and other solutions for people displaced from their homes due to natural disasters and war, has developed a viable prototype for a transitional shelter that can be put up in two hours with without any special tools or skills.
The Hush2, which is designed for the transition period between the initial emergency tent housing and the eventual permanent resettlement, is meant to be flat-packed for shipment, does not require a costly or time-consuming concrete foundation, and can house a family safely, even in Category 5 winds (up to 200 mph winds).
The 4.3m2 Hush2 shelter stands 2.4m high, and in its conventional deployment, is a fairly standard rectangular building with a pitched roof, but its secret sauce comes from its ability to be transformed from its cube shape into a "storm safe" prism shape (as seen above) by folding its walls down, which only takes seven minutes to complete.
The Hush2 shelter, which is built from marine plywood, is modular in design, facilitating the construction of larger community buildings from several conjoined shelters, and is also designed to be "easy to take down and simple to repurpose after transitional use." This model has a number of differentiating factors that set it apart from other current humanitarian shelters, as explained by Extremis Technology team members:
"The Hush2 is more than just a shelter. It is the starting point for dignity and community. Deploying the shelter in smaller hubs offers support and a sense of ownership, creating an empowered and sustainable environment." - Hush2
Extremis Technology has raised about £350,000 of angel investment, and is raising further funds through Crowdcube to advance its mission and bring about the commercial development of the Hush2 and other appropriate technologies for humanitarian relief. According to GrowthBusiness, the company is working to send shelters to earthquake-hit areas of Nepal, as well as to deploy them in the Dominican Republic for its first in-the-field project.