IKEA Starts Producing Flat-Pack, Durable Shelters For Homeless Refugees

By Yap Yen, 25 Mar 2015

IKEA has started producing 10,000 of its flat-pack temporary shelters designed specially for refugees whose circumstance is due to conflict and natural disasters.Working together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), IKEA will supply the ‘Better Shelter’ units that will be distributed globally later this year.The prototype for ‘Better Shelter’ was revealed and tested by 40 refugee families in Iraq and Ethiopia in 2013. With their feedback, IKEA has refined the designs further so that the shelters are more durable and better insulated, twice as large as the traditional refugee tents and with an expected lifespan of three years.The structure is made from lightweight polymer panels with thermal insulation that clip onto a steel frame, with other materials all packed in cardboard boxes like IKEA’s furniture and an estimated assembly time of four hours.

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