Architects for Society has developed a prototype for a prefabricated home that can be rapidly set up to house victims of natural or man-made disasters.
Called the Hex House, 40m2 unit is largely made of steel-and-foam Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which can be flat-packed and delivered by truck.
The estimated cost for each unit is between $15,000 and $20,000 and they could be usable for more than a decade
The shelters can be arranged in various ways and can be combined with exterior gardens, courtyards, driveways and pedestrian paths.
“Units can simply be arranged next to one another in appropriate patterns or they can be joined and share walls for enhanced thermal performance,” said Architects for Society, a US-based non-profit design practice established in September 2015 by designers from Jordan, US, Spain, Canada and The Netherlands.
“There are natural and man-made catastrophic events affecting the living conditions of large population groups,” the humanitarian organisation said.
“Architects for Society has embarked on designing building solutions that target these populations by providing housing designs that are not only cost effective but also dignified.”
Each Hex House unit contains two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room and a small porch. Units can be combined to form larger homes.
“Interior walls are not attached to the ceiling to accommodate customisation of layout and provide natural ventilation,” the design team said, adding that two ventilation shafts on opposing sides of the structure push hot air upward and out of the home.
The interiors also feature “simple, functional and elegant finishes” such as gypsum walls, bamboo cabinetry, and ceramic tile flooring in the bathroom.
The structure’s walls, flooring and roof would be constructed of SIPs with steel facings and rigid foam insulation. Walls are affixed to a hexagonal steel frame and are designed to be self-supporting
They are locked together with the roof panels using tongue and groove joints, and form a sturdy structural shell. The exteriors can be clad in stucco, wood, or other materials using typical mechanical fasteners.