Last edited 01 Jan 2021

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BRE Group Researcher Website

Humanitarian shelter exhibition


In November 2017, a new collaborative exhibit officially opened at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, demonstrating the dynamic shelter techniques and materials used in disaster relief.

When humanitarian disaster strikes, providing shelter for displaced people is one of the most critical components of the emergency response. The exhibit by BRE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is a life-size, walk-through recreation of emergency shelters for different situations. Such shelters need to be designed for resilience, rapid construction and deployment, and the exhibit also reveals the crucial role of local skills, labour and materials.

The 17.5 sq. m shelter on display is designed to be occupied by a family of five, and is typical of the space allocation for such buildings. The international humanitarian SPHERE standards, allow just 3.5 sq. m per person as a minimum. The model shelter will meet the gender, social, cultural and psychological needs of people after disasters and is especially focused on the most vulnerable – women, children, elderly, sick and disabled.

Demonstrations range from the integration of toilets into shelter structures to ensure adequate sanitation, to highlighting the links with health programmes.

Jamie Richardson, Shelter and Settlements Technical Advisor for CRS (the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the US), said:

“Recovery after extreme weather events such as Hurricane Irma may take many years, which often requires some kind of transitional shelter. This exhibition shows how organisations can collaborate to build safer, stronger shelters and better to meet the challenges of a changing climate and environment.

"The shelter design addresses the physical environment but also the processes that need to accompany this, allowing people to live normal lives in safety, good health and with dignity.

“Our aims are to share information with stakeholders and the wider public and media on these issues. It will be part of our outreach to building professionals and materials experts, and act as a stimulus for wider research and understanding on issues such as climate change resilience and sustainability."

This article was originally published here on 10th Oct 2017 by BRE Group.

--BRE Group

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