After the Gulf Coast was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, FEMA provided temporary trailers to displaced people in Louisiana and Mississippi, which turned out to be not only inadequate but also a health hazard. To address the need for low-cost, emergency shelters made from non-hazardous materials, Green Horizon Manufacturing has developed QuickHab, flat-pack, modular housing system that clicks together and comes in a variety of sizes to meet most short- to medium-term housing needs.
These houses are not designed to look good, but rather to provide quick, safe and affordable shelter. Similar to SIP panels, the wall and roof are made from 4-foot-wide sections that lock together. Shipped in a bundle, the walls are set on an anchor base frame which can be set on a temporary or more permanent foundation. The roof panels are supported by a ridge beam, providing 10-foot-tall ceilings. The base 4-by-4 unit includes a kitchen, shower and bath module, and it provides a cozy 215 square feet, costing only $14,600 to build. Panels can be added on to create a custom sizes, and the house can be deconstructed easily. The houses come in two other basic sizes as well, 4×6 measuring 310 square feet of living space and a 4×8 with 410 square feet.
Green Horizon is not only looking to provide quality emergency shelter, but also options for low-income housing. Because the panels can be built with higher R-values for energy efficiency, occupants are not saddled with an uncomfortable and expensive home. The anti-microbial walls are resistant to mold and super low VOC so that occupants are also not burdened with unhealthy living conditions. This is huge step up from the now now-infamous FEMA trailer, which made occupants sick because they off-gassed dangerous chemicals. The lifespan of a QuickHab is 20 years, making it more suitable for transitional housing than permanent residences.
Green Horizon also offers a portable modular power and water treatment system that can support 20 QuickHabs. The self-contained CSU (“Contained Service Unit”) is a utility in a box with a solar electric array, diesel and hydrogen fuel cell, frash water output and grey water processor. The entire system is designed to create a quick, low-cost village.