practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

Upgrading the emergency steel RSK

Sandbag shelter

Options to improve the basic emergency shelter include:

1. Converting it to the double frame shelter.

2. Build solid walls as in the earthbag shelter.

3. Insulating the roof.

In addition it should be noted that the steel shelter is designed to be easily repaired and worked on without special skills or materials.

The following points illustrate this "workability " :

Benefits 21

The joint created is strong and flexible.

All the joints are simply cross lashed with sisal twine. They can easily be strengthened and worked on while being inside the shelter.


Here 2 poles have been removed from the central frame to demonstrate that the shelter can still be used..

Steel poles are interchangeable. If any part of the shelter fails it can easily be repaired by simply moving a pole from a less vital part of the frame. 

Benefits 22

A hook can be easily made from a steel tent peg as shown here

The hooks for rope attachment can easily be made by hand from the standard 5mm steel pegs.

If hooks are not available the ropes can be fixed to the ground as in the bamboo RSK.


Here a smaller gauge (19mm) steel prototype frame is being used with corrugated iron sheets.

The frame can be worked with other locally available materials.

Bamboo can be used to replace or reinforce parts of the steel frame itself.

Corrugated sheets can be attached by wire to the frame to make a rigid roof.

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