Monday, July 1, 2013

IKEA Creates Flat-Pack Refugee Housing

One of the IKEA shelter prototypes
The nonprofit IKEA Foundation is working in cooperation with the UN and a charitable housing foundation called NGO Peacebuilding Solutions to create new low cost housing solutions for impoverished or disaster-stricken communities.  Meant to replace flimsy tent structures that rarely last six months, the prototypes currently cost thousands, but with IKEA's expertise the price should come down into the $100 range.  Rectangular cabin-shaped modules will incorporate solar roof panels, and a simple geodesic dome prototype is designed to be assembled or disassembled in a matter of minutes, as seen in the YouTube clip below.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Curbed

Link to article:
Ikea Applies Low-Cost, Flat-Pack Expertise to Refugee Housing
Excerpt: "Cheap furniture giant Ikea has teamed up, through the non-profit Ikea Foundation, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and housing-minded NGO Peacebuilding Solutions to produce new inexpensive housing for refugees, something far more practical than its recent foray into dollhouse furniture. Aimed at addressing a need for sturdier accommodations for refugees—many of whom are frequently forced to remain in supposedly temporary camps for close to a decade—the new modular structures incorporate rooftop solar panels to provide electricity. While prototypes are costing around $7,000 apiece, the team believes the unit cost could be reduced to just $100, a price even Ikea's penny-pinching billionaire founder could get behind. The tents currently distributed by the United Nations are designed to last just six months, while these new shelters are durable, portable, and, in what is probably a first for any Ikea product, easily assembled and dissembled."



(Note: Hunter Communications handles marketing for Burbank Town Center, home of IKEA Burbank)

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