Anyone who has ever struggled to pitch a tent can attest to how difficult it can be to assemble a temporary shelter. Add the stress of a natural calamity, and every second saved by quick and simple construction is a blessing aided by the genius of good design. Argentine architects Matias Alter and Matias Carrizo have created the Modularflex, a foldable disaster housing unit that packs flat and can be assembled in about half an hour.
Lightweight, flexible and sturdy, the Modularflex modular units are able to be folded flat when not in use and packed six to a group on the back of a truck. With a hinge located halfway up the wall, they can be collapsed like accordions into flat panels. The walls are made from insulated thermal panels, similar to a supermarket cold storage room. They can stand temperatures ranging from -5° to 120° Fahrenheit, and can be customized to be added to other modules for larger dwellings as well as varying the placement of doors and windows. Each model comes with electrical wiring and LED lights.
By being compact and easy to set up, the homes take less energy to move and assemble. These attributes help the Modularflex to conserve fuel in transportation and provide much-needed shelter in a short time frame. Able to be quickly deployed at the point of a disaster without the need for cranes or heavy machinery, the small houses can be stored, saved, and reused in areas that are prone to storms, seismic activity, or other forms of disruption.
The Modularflex was launched in 2012 at the Expo Logisti-k in Buenos Aires. The architects are currently in negotiations with mining companies to provide housing for workers as well as the Argentine military.