practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

Open invitation to bamboo relief shelter demonstration and workshop Nepal.


Working together with Bikalpa, a local NGO, the workshop and demonstration of the bamboo ReciproBoo shelter will be based at IB&MS College, Chakupat, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal from 30th April to 3rd May 2013 (see schedule details)

I will also be demonstrating the steel ReciproBoo shelter kit at this time.

Aims of the workshop

1. Demonstrate this simple construction concept in bamboo and learn more about how easily it
can be adapted to local needs and skills.

2. Build the various stages of the shelter:

basic emergency shelter - a very simple but exceptionally strong roof.

elevated shelter - on low stone or mud brick wall up to a fully horizontal supported roof.

double shelter - providing 25sq metres of covered space.

3. Investigate the applications for the reciprocal frame roof to be used for transitional and more
permanent shelter construction.

4. Develop guidelines for using locally sourced materials ( see Medair project South Sudan )

5. Investigate the potential for local shelter groups to rapidly assemble and / or stockpile bamboo
RSKs in large numbers if required in a disaster situation.

This has always been an open and not for profit project to promote the only existing frame kit that is capable of supporting standard relief tarpaulins. With an emphasis on self-help using basic skills and local materials, the aim is to empower local groups and organisations to be able to mobilise large numbers of this shelter when needed.

If you, or your organisation are interested in learning more about this innovative relief shelter
you are very welcome to attend.

For details of the workshop

please contact Shaun Halbert at shaunvet@hotmail.co.uk

About ReciproBoo Shelter

The ReciproBoo shelter was developed and built soon after the Haiti earthquake to provide for an urgent need after massive disasters. This need remains today: there is still no frame available for supporting the hundreds of thousands of tarpaulins that are delivered by aid agencies worldwide. By using the proven weight bearing strength of a reciprocal frame, this shelter not only meets this need but, by being the only tarpaulin shelter that can support additional insulation, actually exceeds it.

For the cost of only two relief tarpaulins, 7 bamboo poles and locally sourced fixings, this low tech shelter is exceptionally strong and versatile. Due to its unique ability to support insulation it is also cooler than any tent. The construction concept is also very simple for families affected by disaster to use and adapt to their own needs.

The shelter can easily be built in a country where bamboo resources are available thereby offering limitless opportunities for using the reciprocal frame concept in sustainable shelter during the long term recovery phase of a disaster. There is also potential for disaster preparedness by prepositioning the kits and for teaching local people how to assemble the shelter before disaster strikes. Using simple innovation the ReciproBoo Shelter also offers many dual benefits for both the aid agency and the families affected by a disaster.

Research Findings

Wind tunnel testing of the ReciproBoo storm shelter was recently carried out in the high speed wind tunnel at the University of West of England under laboratory conditions. Sensitive electronic sensors were located at strategic points on the frame and a rope hook to record deformation under increasing wind loading. The data will now be analysed and published as part of an engineering project. The shelter performed very well under all the rigorous test conditions.

Previous research by two Bachelor of Civil Engineering students at NUI Galway recommended: “There is in fact a great need for the ReciproBoo shelter kit and it is felt that it would be of significant interest to humanitarian aid agencies to invest in the further development of this product.”

About Shaun

Shaun Halbert : Trained in disaster response. 7 years’ experience deploying shelters worldwide. Associated medical training with a particular interest in family health and welfare problems associated with living in tents long term.

For more information, please visit www.reciproboo.org

bamboo workshop

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player