BY: ZOE MELNYK
IKEA recently announced plans to send 10,000 out-of-the-box-ready refugee shelters to people in need around the world.
Working with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, IKEA’s foundation called Better Shelter will be providing more sustainable homes for struggling nations around the world.
Testing these refugee homes began back in 2013 in places like Lebanon and Iraq. After having successful results, IKEA and UNHCR will finally be able to deliver large numbers of these homes to refugee camps across the globe.
Each home costs approximately $1000 and could revolutionize the lives of thousands of people who are driven into refugee housing situations. These effective shelters are designed to last years if necessary, replacing what was once inadequate housing with an expiry date of a few months.
Each unit, inspired by IKEA’s standard easy-to-make reputation, is practically ready as soon as it arrives, with minimal assembly and absolutely no tools required. A new home can be easily put together in less than four hours with the help of simple illustrated instructions.
The home consists of polymer panels connected to a steel frame, with aluminum-mesh roofing that’s designed to keep the home at a comfortable cool temperature during the day while also trapping the warmth in at night.
With 188 square feet, each unit comfortably fits a family a five—comfortable meaning that each person can have their own bed. There is also access to solar power, mosquito nets, lights, and ventilation in each home.
In order to help people in any circumstance, IKEA’s design for the refugee home can be used in climates around the world including withstanding extreme heat and the bitter cold.
Not only do these new shelters offer people a reasonable shelter from harsh weather conditions, they allow access to solar power, mosquito nets, lights and ventilation—resources that many people would otherwise never receive.
These homes provide refugee communities with reliable shelters and can lift a major weight off the shoulders of families, giving many the opportunity to rebuild a stronger, sustainable and more productive society.
Photos 3 & 5 by : Jürgen Schrader