practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

The RSK supports tarpaulins exceptionally well.


Same length poles



9 square metres

6 square metres

50% more covered floor space

The efficiency that the reciprocal frame supports tarpaulins is seen in this dramatic example.

The two roofs opposite are made using 4 identical bamboo poles. The reciprocal frame "A" covers 50% more floor space than the traditional roof "B".

The reciprocal frame poles appear longer due to an optical illusion ( you can measure them on screen)

This ability of a very basic 4 pole reciprocal frame to cover 50% more floor space is a huge advantage in a relief shelter where every square metre makes a difference to the beneficiary family.

The additional span is due to the unique "self-supporting" ability of the reciprocal frame .

Furthermore, this support is at the centre of the roof where it is needed most.

Not only do the 4 poles support their own weight but they also work together to evenly share the weight of any additional loads placed on the roof.

This weight bearing ability of reciprocal frames can be put to good use in constructing a relief shelter; by supporting insulation the shelter is much cooler in the tropics and warmer in a cold climate.

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