A Brooklyn-based design firm has built a low-cost shelter, using 100 discarded shipping pallets, ideal for refugee camps.
Now, Brooklyn-based firm I-Beam is taking the concept of reuse a bit further. Made from repurposed shipping pallets, these 250-square-foot shelters are a superb solution for emergency or aid situations. Supplies, including food and medicine, can be shipped to locations using wood pallets which can then be repurposed into homes.
Assembly of the shelters takes less than a week with a five-person team and requires only basic hand tools. Various materials, such as tarps or corrugated roofing can be used as temporary barriers until more permanent and locally sourced options are available to thoroughly cover the walls. According to I-Beam, 84 percent of the world's refugees could be housed with just a year's worth of recycled pallets from the United States.
In addition to an aesthetic appeal, more importantly these shelters are much sturdier and more permanent than the tent and tarp structures most commonly used in refugee camps. On average displaced individuals will live at a refugee camp for seven years, so long term living solutions are much needed.
I-Beam has built prototypes across the US and Europe. They are currently working on housing for camps in Haiti and Pakistan. These homes are also a great solution for anyone looking to downsize to a "tiny house" or possibly as a long-term solution for Occupy Wall Street camps.