Friday, 20 September 2013

IKEA Foundation develops shelters for refugees

The Swedish furniture company IKEA, through its foundation, established a partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency to start producing shelters for refugees all over the world. The units will be assembled in 4 hours, and will present an area of 17,5 sqm and a capacity for 5 persons. The units weigth about 100 kgs and have an estimated cost of 760 euros per unit, when mass produced. The IKEA shelter is made out of light laminated panels, that protect the inside from UV rays and from very high or very low temperatures. The panels are transported in flat boxes, with all the assembly accessories needed and a solar panel to provide energy to the unit. Each unit have an estimated lifetime of 3 years.

Oliver Delarue, from United Nations, stated recently that the tents that have being used over the last years are still very basic, made of canvas and structured by ropes and stakes, with and estimated lifetime of just 6 months due to weather aggressions. According to the United Nations, refugees live in improvised shelters for an average time of 12 years. The first 50 IKEA shelter units will be tested in Ethiopia, in Somalian refugees communities.

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