Since 2015, UNHCR and Better Shelter have delivered over 50,000 housing units to refugees and internally displaced people in more than 50 countries. The durable, self-standing structure has helped to create a safer, more dignified shelter for some of the world's most vulnerable people.
Frequently asked questions and answers about Better Shelter
The shelter is 17.5 m2 and designed to host 5 persons with 3.5 m2 covered living space per person, in line with the Sphere minimum standards. Shelter dimensions are (L) 5.68 m x (W) 3.32 m x (H) 2.83 m.
One shelter is delivered in two packages, which together weigh 162 kg and measure 1.11 m3. Box A measures 1990x1090x230 mm (88 kg) and box B measures 1990x1090x280 mm (74 kg).
Yes. The shelter can be disassembled, re-packed, moved and re-assembled. Disassembly takes about 2 hours and requires a team of minimum four people. The boxes must be handled with care and stored in dry conditions if to be used again.
The roof and wall panels are made of polyolefin foam treated with UV protection. The frame consists of lightweight galvanised steel pipes. Screws, bolts and brackets used to attach the envelope to the frame are made of plastic.
The shelter is wind and rain resistant. You can find more information about the Better Shelter's performances on our product page.
Most components are produced in Northern Europe, with the exception of a few small components that are made in China. Our long‐term objective is to establish production operations as close to the end user as possible.
The current price of a Better Shelter is €1150.
The shelter’s expected lifespan is three years with basic maintenance, depending on climate conditions and maintenance. One can also easily replace parts of the shelter in the event of any damage. The shelter frame can be upgraded with local material further on, and may be turned into a more durable shelter.
Yes. While it was developed as a temporary family housing unit primarily, partners are using the shelters for several purposes besides accommodation: first aid clinics, storage space, registration centres, child friendly spaces, offices, libraries, clean water distribution kiosks, and even creative labs.
Better Shelter is a social enterprise wholly owned by the philanthropic Housing for All Foundation, which was established by the IKEA Foundation.
The social enterprise Better Shelter is a development partner of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and the IKEA Foundation. The IKEA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Stichting INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group (INGKA Holding BV).
Better Shelter is owned by the Housing for All Foundation to ensure that the company and any profits from it are used to benefit people in need of better housing solutions, and to protect the company from focus on short-term financial gain.
Better Shelter is a social enterprise created with the sole purpose of providing housing solutions for displaced persons. It is set up as a for-profit company to allow maximum scaling of relevant housing solutions independent of any need for charitable contributions. It has no revenue objectives and any potential profits will be re-invested in the company or distributed for humanitarian purposes.
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