Better Shelter, Re-innovating Refugee Homes.

Ikea’s better shelter, an innovative social enterprise driven by a mission to improve the lives of persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters has been awarded Design of the Year by London’s respected Design Museum with their innovative 17.5m2 light weight, modular emergency , solar-powered housing units have just 68 components, making them easily assembled in just a matter of hours.

The better shelter meets the basic needs for the activities of basic living, for privacy, security and familiarity. It is a safe base offering a sense of peace, identity and dignity. The shelter can easily be dismantled, moved and reassembled and adapted to different needs and areas of use.

Th better shelter was developed together with UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation, a family of five can comfortably call it a home away from home, it is made out of galvanized steel frames with recyclable polymer plastic walls and lockable doors. A singular rooftop solar panel charges the indoor LED lamp and a USB port capable of charging mobile phones.

In numbers

  • 2   One shelter is delivered in 2 flat pack boxes, which each weigh about 80 kg.
  • 4   It takes 4 persons 4-8 hours to build a Better Shelter. No additional tools are required and most components are assembled by hand.
  • 4   The shelter kit includes a solar panel, which charges an LED light during the day. Once fully charged, the light can be used for 4 hours and also charge a mobile phone through a USB port.
  • 5   One shelter is designed to host 5 persons.
  • 17,5   The shelter is 17,5 square metres.
  • 68   One shelter consists of 68 unique parts, including manuals and spare parts. The shelter is modular and can be adapted to different fields of application.
  • 169   One Better Shelter weighs 169 kilograms.
  • 10 000   In 2015, Better Shelter delivered more than 10 000 units for humanitarian operations worldwide.

Design Museum awards recognize “design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”

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