If IKEA makes it a shelter will the homeless be able to put it together?

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Ikea refugee shelter
Millions of displaced refugees could benefit from an ingenious flat pack shelter designed by Ikea. It has the durability of a small house, solar panels on the roof to provide power, and can be easily dismantled to fit inside two boxes when ready to relocate. The aptly named ‘Better Shelter’ can be firmly anchored to the ground, andis said to last six times longer than a typical emergency tent. It has already been sent to thousands of refugees around the world, and has won the Beazley design of the year award from London’s Design Museum. It’s easy to assemble in a few hours with pictured instructions and just a hammer.

The non-profit Ikea Foundation worked together with the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) over the last five years to develop the shelter. It consists of a sturdy steel frame clad with insulated polypropylene panels. The solar cells on the roof provide four hours of electric light and mobile phone charging via a USB port. According to Per Heggenes of the Ikea Foundation: “It’s almost like playing with Lego. You can put it together in different ways to make small clinics or temporary schools. A family could also take it apart and take it with them, using the shelter as a framework around which to build with local materials.” The shelters provide security, insulation and durability. They are guaranteed to last for at least three years, and are easy to repair. If the plastic panels degrade, the frame can be reused and clad in whatever local materials are to hand – anything from mud bricks to corrugated iron.


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