Ikea solar powered shelter can last 10 times longer than a refugee tent and could cost $1000 in mass production

The best shelter we can usually offer the world’s tens of millions of refugees is a tent. Ikea has designed a cheap, solar-powered hut that only takes four hours to assemble but offers refugees more protection and privacy. It is a steel frame with Porta potty plastic panels and solar power on the roof.

More than 43 million people–globally–live as refugees or “internally displaced” (refugees within their own countries), having fled home due to “a well-founded fear of persecution” of race, religion, nationality, or socio-political membership. Right now, 3.5 million of them live in UN-provided tents, says Per Heggenes, CEO of the Ikea Foundation.

Canvas UN tents that start to disintegrate after about six months. The new Ikea-inspired shelters are built to last 10 times that long. They’re twice as large as an old-school refugee tent, at 17.5 square meters (fitting five people comfortably) and take about four hours to assemble.

They currently cost $10,000 to make, but they’re hoping to get that price down to less than $1,000 when they’re in mass production. The tents cost half that, but they hope to have the cost even out, given the long life of the shelters

The flat-pack house comes in four boxes weighing more than 100kg

Visible Good has a Rapid Deployment Module that can last 10 years and costs about $15000

The Rapid Deployment Module is a small building designed to provide safe, insulated, securable, semi-permanent shelter in disaster-stricken areas.

Comprised of just 40-odd pieces, it can be shipped and assembled quickly and easily without the use of special tools or skilled labor.

* Hard walls, locking doors and windows provide security and safety
* Lightweight wall and floor system produces a comfortable, well insulated interior
* The unit sits on adjustable feet, keeping the floor off the ground and away from insects, vermin and minor flooding
* Lightweight roof is vented, and the shade fly provides passive-cooling and heating
* Set up does not require tools or hardware
* Sets up with 2 people in about 30 minutes
* Multiple configurations include the base unit, showers, latrine, and complete living unit (none of these require any tools to assemble)
* Units can also be attached to form larger spaces

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1 thought on “Ikea solar powered shelter can last 10 times longer than a refugee tent and could cost $1000 in mass production”

  1. HI Ben,
    This Ikea Soalr Powered shelter would be a good idea for us in Houston, TX. Is there a place here in Texas that we can get access to this technology for our homeless population? I can't wait to see this in person. This could answer a lot of questions on how to house the homeless here. Thanks so much for this article.
    Christina Gerrer
    Mobile Mission 2

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