I recently came across the IKEA refugee housing solution that appears to have been around for a couple of years. It got me thinking…
I have a great belief in social justice and in everyone taking part in helping to alleviate someone else’s suffering, in whatever way interests you. As a structural engineer I’d wondered if I could ever be involved in designing products such as these, so I thought I’d find out more about what other products are currently available. Below are those that I’ve so far come across.
SpaceMax modules start off the size of a steel carrier, however with clever design each side opens up creating a ceiling, floor and walls, tripling the internal space. Hard to explain, but they have a useful video on the webpage. The space within can then have bathroom, bedroom, kitchenette modules inserted (presumably these are transported within the remaining space in the container shape?).
A corrugated steel panel is the key structural element in Conport structures. Conport have been building structures since the mid 1960s and have contributed to aid shelter design and production ever since. Some in Amman, Jordan are still around, having been constructed in 1967, so definitely durable!
The Lada Cube is a prefabricated wall, ceiling and floor product that allows for full design flexibility. Every panel is also reusable so contributes towards a more sustainable environment. Although this product isn’t strictly advertised as usable for environmental disaster victims or refugees it could certainly help create more permanent homes for those who need them.
All of these structures are created by companies that don’t solely work within the not for profit / charity sector. Presumably companies require the commercial / industrial work to support their charitable endeavours.