practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

The RSK is a truly sustainable relief shelter.

The bamboo RSK is the first relief shelter that is designed to enable people to not have to rely on plastic sheeting and use ONLY sustainable materials.

In an emergency situation people can build the walls of their shelter but find roof construction very difficult. The reason for this is the relatively complex structural elements needed in traditional roofs to achieve a structure that can support the weight of thatch or adobe. Add to this the necessity of building the roof in situ, high off the ground, and the task is beyond the capability of most families.

Sustainable production and consumption :

" is the use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better qualify of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations."

Symposium: Sustainable Consumption. Oslo, Norway; 19-20 January 1994.

The RSK provides a simple alternative method of roof building;

Two people can build a simple reciprocal frame roof unit on the ground and then proceed to thatch it or use a wattle and daube lattice before lifting it into position.

The following materials might be considered as sustainable under certain conditions, based on a Life-cycle assessment.

Cellulose insulation
Composite wood (when made from reclaimed hardwood sawdust and reclaimed or recycled plastic)
Compressed earth block
Insulating concrete forms
Lime render
Lumber from Forest Stewardship Council approved sources
Natural Rubber
Natural fiber /coir, wool, jute, etc.
Organic cotton insulation
Rammed Earth
Reclaimed stone
Reclaimed brick
Recycled metal
Recycled concrete
Recycled paper
Soy-based adhesive
Soy insulation
Straw Bale
Structural insulated panel


Thatch the roof on the ground.

The RSK is designed to make use of all these materials.

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