As evidenced by the tragic and ongoing events in Europe, the need for refugee housing usually comes with a dire urgency. Accordingly, temporary shelter designs must be easily transportable and allow for fast assembly. This new modular SURI shelter meets and exceeds those requirements. Designed by Spanish company Urbana de Exteriores, SURI (Shelter Unit for Rapid Installation) is a sustainable, transformable, low-cost, lightweight and easy-to-assemble transitional shelter.
Although disaster shelter designs are quite ubiquitous these days, SURI’s accordion-like design is the key to its practicality. The housing system consists of a lightweight framework that encases multiple layers of DuPont Tyvek, a UV-resistant breathable membrane that can be folded and unfolded to extend the structure. This flexible feature allows SURI to be easily flat-packed for fast transport. Additionally, the innovative modular design allows for multiple units to be joined together, allowing for larger dimensions suitable for medical centers, canteen services, administrative offices, etc.
Along with its versatility, SURI shelters have a number of sustainability features such as solar panels and a rooftop water collection system that filters rain into drinkable water. Interior light can be controlled through adjustable apertures, reducing the need for energy. Additionally, all SURI shelters are constructed with recyclable or biodegradable materials and have a 10-year life span.
According to Pedro Sáez, director of Urbana de Exteriores, the modular design makes SURI an ideal option for emergency humanitarian situations, “The advantage of SURI is that this is a modular system that can be assembled to create a variety of facilities from family dwellings to primary healthcare centres. It is also ideal for emergency field hospitals or mobile operating theatres in advance positions. As the system can be connected in multiple directions it allows for the creation of virtually any type of temporary building.”
Images via Suricatta Systems