UN places order for 1,000 next-generation flat-pack refugee shelters

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One screw is missing in the package and the fastener is a flimsy useless thing?

While an open-sourced shelter design is important I think it’s understandable that the UN invests in pre-fabbed durable container dwellings - the UNHCR is often a first responder after a crisis and needs to provide shelters fast and in high quantity.


“while tents are designed to last for just six months, these new shelters last for a minimum of three years in harsh conditions, and up to 20 years in more temperate climates.”

That seems to be a decent bang for the buck, “seems” is the opperal word there.


I would be more than happy for my government to spend their bombing campaign money on this sort of thing.


Just ask arms manufacturers. They’ve been making technological breakthroughs for decades.


In this part of the world, people would be forcibly removed from such dwellings “to protect them” from not having mortgages.


These hexayurts are interesting though maybe not scalable for a refugee crisis.


Is anyone aware of any professional U.S. nonprofits or groups implementing them as part of a local Continuum of Care HUD emergency shelter plan?

Edit: D’oh! Thanks, @albill you’re right. Hexayurts are mentioned right in the article. Sorry. I saw a hexayurt exhibit at Maker Faire in 2014 and have wondered if a Continuum of Care group in the U.S. has attempted to integrate them as part of an operational emergency shelter strategy. Still wondering.

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If the $1150 is for the size pictured, that’s a fantastic deal. I don’t know where you’d get a tent that size for under $400 but I’d be very surprised it if weren’t the flimsiest crap imaginable, prone to collapsing in mild breezes. Also, unlike most tents, the parts here are modular, so if a panel rips or a strut kinks it can be replaced piecewise instead of having to write the whole thing off.


Can I get one for Burning Man?


Cory mentions hexayurts in his article…

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I’m assuming if you can afford burning man these day, then yes.


I’d be curious to know what went on internally; but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is actually a nontrivial amount of institutional pressure to avoid durability in ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’ infrastructure.

Even when it isn’t true; people tend to prefer the idea that crisis situations, refugees, ‘internally displaced persons’, and similar are temporary conditions, ideally short term ones. Actually coming out and saying “Yeah, looking at history, I’m going to estimate ~25 years of low to moderate intensity conflict, with enough atrocities to prevent return of most refugees; with ownership of land and infrastructure being sufficiently shuffled by the time a vaguely stable situation is restored that a fair number of these people won’t have anything to return to.” is hardly what anyone wants to hear; either the backers of the aid project or the location housing the crisis.

In practice, more than a few ‘refugee camps’ have lasted long enough that they should really have been upgraded to ‘town’ years ago; but that would imply normalizing their presence and accepting that this problem just isn’t going to get solved within the next few decades. Buying relief gear that is built to last, in addition to being slightly more expensive upfront, looks dangerously like an admittance of the fact that it’s built to last because it’ll probably still be needed for that long.


From the few photos it looks great, and even has a modicum of power. I am not in the least being flippant here, a small amount of power to charge a phone could mean life or death (or knowing where hour loved ones are).


all the empty hotels and condo’s at sharm el shek ? migrants need a new home. not rocket science is it

My barista goes to Burning Man…

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I get the feeling that they aren’t getting official traction. Vinay Gupta seems to think they need people to start using them “bottom up” in NGOs and whatnot as there is too much money and other issues involved in refugee structures.

Yeah, aside from the insufforable heat it isn’t that expensive of a vacation.

Ticket is expensive but the rooms are cheap!


That’s my fear. Still too groovy for the Continuum of Care scrum — or even direct advocacy that parallels and challenges by counter-example Continuum of Care “Housing First” programs.

On the other hand, if some group were trying to operationalize (good grief) an ad hoc program based on emergency relief to unsheltered persons using hexayurts or other DIY / open source strategies, who knows how/if the work would be reported?

Edit italicized

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Still? It’s at least an indi coffee shop right? They still have those in SF / Oakland I am assuming.