Whether the matter is aid for refugees, a humanitarian crisis or victims of a natural catastrophe, emergency shelter is constantly needed across the world. For this reason, graduates of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences have developed a housing solution for people in need called zeltHAUS. The project came about through a visit to a refugee camp in Idomeni in northern Greece. After returning home, Fabian Hegner, Marius Mersinger, Michelle Gallinari and Jonas Eiden had an idea about offering people safe and halfway decent emergency accommodation that is easy to transport and quick to build. The result of this idea is the team’s zeltHAUS (German for “tentHOUSE”), which combined design and architecture expertise in an initial project supervised by Claudia Lüling, a professor at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FUAS). This project has since developed into a start-up.
The zeltHAUS is a sustainable, temporary shelter which can be used during humanitarian crises and, furthermore, for events or various outdoor activities. Unlike a conventional tent, it is insulated and therefore offers protection in any climate at any time of the year. Thanks to its innovative fold-up system, which has been registered for a utility model, the shelter can be set up and dismantled easily and without any prior knowledge in a short space of time. The structure combines the characteristics of a marquee and a house and is made from a novel monomaterial based on recycled PET, which can theoretically be re-recycled after use. The standard module, measuring 18.8 square metres in area and standing 3.5 metres high, features an awning and a wind catcher. It can be expanded as desired thanks to the modular structure. When it is folded up, each individual module makes a parcel measuring 2.2 × 2.4 metres and weighing 12.5 kilograms per square metre. The emergency shelter can be set up in just 60 minutes, which is significantly faster than most competing products. The makers maintain contact with various aid organisations and are seeking to bring the zeltHAUS to actual crisis zones.
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