Our hearts reach out to the people of Haiti who are trying to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of this week’s horrific earthquake. The country still has an incredibly long road ahead of them – first, in rescuing survivors and then providing them with safe, healthy and environmentally friendly shelters. Since Hurricane Katrina, a number of individuals and companies have worked to develop new and improved emergency relief structures. Read on to see the ones that we hope can be put to use in Haiti.
These shelters, designed by Michael Daniel, are designed to be quickly deployed and (because they are flat packed) many can be shipped to the disaster area at one time. Easily assembled in minutes without any tools or machinery, the Reaction Housing unit can house up to 4 people and is wired for utilities.
This shelter is made out of a lightweight plastic skin that is put on over an aluminum frame. Clothing, fabrics, grass or other materials can be inserted into the skin to create insulation, and it also includes hookups for water and utilities. Minimalist in design, this prototype has a lot of potential to be easily manufactured and deployed.
Beefier than the first two shelters, the Green Horizon Prefab is also environmentally friendly, made from recycled materials, outfitted with solar panels, greywater recycling, wired for utilities and made of prefabricated parts. The prefab can be easily shipped by attaching wheels to the bottom and carting via truck, or it can be placed in a shipping container. Manufacturing for the Green Horizon has already begun, but no word if they are far enough along to be utilized.
A simple yet elegant design, the Folding Bamboo House, designed by Ming Tang, is constructed from bamboo and recycled paper and can be cheaply manufactured. Tang designed the geometric folding structure after a7.9 earthquake hit central China. The structures can be folded into many different shapes, allowing a range of structures to be created.
This first response emergency shelter is super easy to transport and set up requires only one person. Made out of polypropylene, the shelter can form many shapes and provide relief for up to 4 people, while rainwater can be collected from the folds. While it doesn’t include a utility hookup, beds or renewable energy generation, it does provide a quick roof over disaster victims heads.
Conceived by Shelter Architecture in collaboration with Architecture for Humanity, this completely off-grid prefab unit, can provide water, sanitation and renewable generated power. It’s designed to support victims after a disaster as a mid-term shelter, rather than as a first response. Built within a standard shipping container, the unit is self-contained and can be shipped within days.
While we don’t know yet what kind of emergency shelters are being deployed to aid the people of Haiti, we hope that relief organizations are much better prepared than in previous situations and can offer Haiti the help they need. If you want to show your support, please consider donating to a worthy organization like the American Red Cross International Response Fund, Doctors Without Borders, Architecture For Humanity, and more.
Lead photo via NY Times