Rapidly Expandable Shelters

Humanitarian crises and warfare require large shelters capable of housing displaced people, for emergency remote hospitals and for military equipment. Two concepts exist for such shelters, made of solid members and inflatable components. The existing designs for large span shelters of solid components are scalable and versatile, but are often not utilised for said applications because of the time and efforts required for transport and deployment. While inflatable shelters seem to have all of the desired advantages, their deployment and subsequent functioning require continuous power supplier which may not be readily available in the targeted environment and their structure can easily damaged. The industry has reached consensus that solid frames are only viable solution to said applications.

Here we propose a new concept for shelter frames using a series of interconnected Bennett linkages. A large span arch, which addresses all of the issues listed above, can be constructed. A 8m span 5m tall frame is only 52 kg and it can be packaged to a bundle of 2.4m long and 0.3m in diameter. The erection of such frame takes about six minutes.

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A draft technical report on the new shelter can be downloaded here

You can also download the film showing how the shelter is erected

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