Designed with and for refugees

Focusing on the needs of the end user and a rational design process allows us to create temporary shelter that deliver hope and safety in short and long term.

A Better Shelter


The Better Shelter is a cost effective and sustainable shelter solution designed to meet the needs for the activities of basic living, for privacy, security and familiarity – a safe base that offers a sense of peace, identity and dignity.

The shelter’s modular design allows for altering and adaptation to different areas of use, making it a versatile and scalable shelter option for humanitarian organisations operating in different contexts worldwide.


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  • Modular, 17.5 m2 post-emergency shelter for 5 persons.
  • Developed according to the Sphere minimum standards in shelter, settlement and non-food items.
  • Steel frame securely anchored to the ground and clad with lightweight, opaque roof and wall panels, with four windows and four ventilation openings, and a lockable door.
  • A solar panel generates power to a lamp, which provides light for 6 hours and power for charging of electronic devices.
  • Delivered in two flat packs with all components and necessary tools included, and can be assembled by four people in four hours without electricity.
  • Can be altered to suit specific contexts and applications – sections can be added and removed to create different sized structures and the frame can be upgraded with local materials.
  • Components can easily be replaced in the event of any damage.
  • Can easily be dismantled, moved and remounted.
  • Easily maintained and components can easily be replaced in the event of any damage.
  • 5-40°C temperature range
  • 28m/s or 101km/ h wind resistance  
  • 36 months lifespan
  • 3 year shelf life

Entire structure

Living area: 17.5 m2 = 3.5 m2 covered living space per person, in line with the Sphere minimum standards.

    Length: 5.68 m

    Width: 3.32 m

    Height: 2.83 m

Max. indoor height: 2.7 m / Min. indoor height [eave level]: 1.8 m



Door Leaf 1.7 m x 0.75 m / Frame 1.9 m x 1.0 m

Windows Outer dimensions 0.45 m x 0.38 m

Effective open window area: 0.062m²

Ventilations Outer dimensions 0.41 m x 0.45 m

Effective ventilation area: 0.064m²



Volume per unit

Volume per packed unit = 1.14 m3 (2.02×1.09×0.52 m)

One shelter is delivered in two boxes, which together weigh 160 kg.

    Box A measures 2020x1090x230 mm (87 kg)

    Box B measures 2000x1090x290 mm (73 kg)

48 units fit into a container 40 feet HC. 36 units fit into a container 40 feet DC


Roof and wall: polyolefin foam panels treated with UV protection

Frame and foundation: lightweight galvanized steel

Door and door frame: UV stabilised polymer plastic

Window and ventilation frames and hatches: UV and heat resistant polymer plastic

Smaller components: polymer plastic

Floor sheet: woven high-density polyethylene fibres

Assembly tools: Steel



  • The Better Shelter does not contain any REACH SVHC substances and is RoHS compliant.
  • All materials used in the unit should be disposed in accordance with local legislation and as stipulated by the responsible authority.


Assembling a 17.5 m2 Better Shelter requires a team of four people and takes around four hours depending on experience, conditions and location.

The shelter is delivered in two cardboard boxes which have been packed to reflect the order in which components will be used in construction. The two boxes can be lifted by four people and also contain all necessary tools and instruction manuals.

The shelter is constructed in three stages:

  1. Steel foundation
  2. Roof with ventilation and solar panel
  3. Walls with windows and door

For any enquiries about assembly and support, please contact our support team.

Support services

Although not complicated, the assembly is complex. Components have been standardized throughout the structure so that familiarization with the different parts and overall structure is easy, and all tools and manuals for the assembly are provided. Still, the shelter will have to endure harsh weather, the changing seasons and as well as everyday wear and tear by residents. Ensuring that the shelter is assembled and implemented in a correct way, allows for partners to feel confident in the product’s specifications, and the shelter’s residents can benefit from the protection the shelter offers.

Better Shelter does not take any operational responsibility from its partners. Each partner will provide access to and fully manage the site for its shelter program, its own human resources and material. Better Shelter’s role is to support its partner’s shelter program, ensuring the safe and efficient assembly of the shelter according to its partner’s planned programs and to optimize its partner’s available resources.

Better Shelter’s services may be adapted to different contexts depending on the specific requirements of each partner, operation or location.

Assembly training program objectives

  • Ensure safe and correct project implementation and installation of Better Shelter’s shelter solution
  • Ensure safe and correct use of Better Shelter’s shelter solution
  • Provide support in partner’s capacity building
  • Enable cost-effective use of resources