Earthquakes, Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and so on are disasters that are not under man’s control but the first thing they take from man is their land and shelter. Emergency shelters are an execution taken up by firms, NGOs, and government initiatives to help the victims of the disaster with quicker temporary shelter homes. The primary objective of these shelters is to protect the people from the external environmental factors including air, water, and sunlight. One example of implemented emergency shelter is as follows:

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1. Tentative

This module is a smart compact and a temporary shelter structure. It is made of fiberglass shells and has weather-resistant textiles that are thermally insulated with perlite and are quilted sewed. Every detail has been well thought of and executed thoroughly. The roof has been designed to collect water, provide lighting and ventilation for favorable living circumstances. The floor consists of thermally insulated recyclable composite decks that help in heat loss and also elevate the modules from the floor. it can be folded and get compacted easily which means easy transportation and feasibility which makes it potable for post-disaster management housing.

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Initially, the most efficient method of housing provided in this scenario was to set up tents but typology of housing changes with one geographical area’s terrain and climate, hence newer designs and ideologies were proposed and executed according to the area and local adaptability.

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One such environmentally friendly and futuristically sustainable method is deployable structures. Deployable structures are a structural system development that adapts and responds to every kind of environment it has been set up from terrestrial architecture to outer space applications. These structures have great transformability properties ranging from short closed configurations to long open configuration. There are several reasons why this category of the structural system is a unique innovation for the future as an ideal implementation for post-disaster management housing.

Deployable structures are very light weighted which in terms means ease of transportation and less manpower to build the structure. It also offers flexibility in the shape the geographical area responds to i.e., the characteristic of transformability. Moreover, it is highly compacting and provides ease of assembly and disassembly of the structure and also the material used is reusable and transformable with forth going time. All these factors of ease transportation, enhanced speed construction, reusable and long-lasting material, and requirement of less manpower make it an ideal structural system for post-disaster management purposes. At certain places, designers and engineers have acknowledged these properties and have constructed modules accordingly whose examples are stated below.

2. Rapid Deployment Modules (RDM)

A deployable structure module developed by a Massachusetts company named Visible goods. The designed shelter is portable, reusable, no tools required, and can be assembled within twenty-five minutes indulging only two people. The module is a self- contained unit i.e., the shipment crate itself acts as the base of the structures. It also includes hard walls which also double-ups as whiteboards, raised roof, and a vented fabric roof. With the little capital invested in it, it provides sufficient windows and doors for further security and also confirms a decade long lifespan.

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3. ReCover Shelter

This structure is a folded plate deployable structure that is in the shape of an origami form. It has been designed on the Gulf Coast for post-disaster management housing facilities. These are easily compatible structures that can fold completely down to a horse-show shape or flat shaped for easy transportation even if the roads remain unusable these can get transported easily. The material used to manufacture these is polypropylene which means no harmful gas production during manufacturing and is completely recyclable. The set up of this module requires minutes and one person to construct. These are manufactured and kept in case of any emergency and at other times are used as tents pitched for camping or hiking.

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There are several types of the structural system within deployable structures which is as follows: scissor bracing which includes linear, radial and so on patterns, folded plate structures, strut cable system, tensioned membrane and so on. Many other proposed modules have similar structural systems but not as efficient or feasible as the deployable structures hence, a proposed replacement can be a step towards using the module further and in times of emergency, there will be more units to accommodate a family with varying numbers. One such case has been described below-

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©Graziano Salvalaia et al. / Procedia Engineering 180 ( 2017 ) 1110 – 1120

4. Resilience Shelter Project- Ski Shelter

The shelter projects are also alternative for post-disaster management housing and are made of recycled skis providing lightweight skin covered by a textile envelope with the further addition of thermal reflective multilayer insulation which provides high-quality thermal comfort. This module has been designed to offer sustainability and an even lesser carbon footprint. The load provided by the roof of the structure gets uninformed due to extensive bracing provided at skeletons of walls. Some tests showed its minor lack of adaptivity to a drastic change in conditions but otherwise, this module is highly efficient.

The proposal for such modules that can be implemented can start from replacing the extensive bracing with minimal scissor bracing under deployable structures which would decrease invested capital, ease in transportation, confirm drastic adaptability and reusability.

With the flexibility and transformability according to one’s design into any shape and form and also with the variety of several structural systems available yet being affordable, reusable, approachable, transportable, and adaptable, these temporary shelter housing made using deployable structures should be the future of post-disaster management housing.

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©Stevenson CM. Morphological principles: current kineticarchitectural structuresAdaptive Architecture,The Building Centre, 2011
Shivangi Agarwal

Shivangi is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Architecture degree. She desires to explore in the field of research and literature while leaving a mark on the world with her influence, design and experience. She believes that architecture is a proportionate part of her life inculcating other interests like playing sports, reading novels and travelling.

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