The shelter exhibition structure was manufactured in Wales and transported as a flat pack to the BRE Innovation Park in Watford. It was constructed on site by a team of volunteers and officially opened on the 17th November 2017.

Providing shelter for displaced people and families is one of the first critical components of disaster relief. Shelters need to be designed for resilience, rapid construction and deployment, but also crucially able to make use of local skills, labour and materials.

It is with this in mind that CRS (Catholic Relief Services) and BRE (Building Research Establishment) collaborated to create a demonstration of the techniques and materials that can be used to create an effective humanitarian shelter. How a shelter contributes to the wider humanitarian effort and rebuilding process is also considered.

“Our collaboration with BRE is designed to create a focal point for demonstration and research in the provision of humanitarian shelters.

Shelter after disasters is more than a building, it is a complex process that involves many different issues.  Finding sustainable solutions requires us to work closely with communities and to build upon their strengths and capacities, so that they can live in a safer and better environment.

This exhibition shows how organisations can collaborate to build safer, stronger shelters that better meet the challenges of a changing climate and environment.  The shelter design addresses the physical environment but also the processes that need to accompany this, allowing people to live normal lives in safety, good health and with dignity.” says Jamie Richardson, Shelter and Settlements Technical Advisor for CRS.”

Within the shelter, a variety of boards containing information from construction materials to NGO (Non-government organization) natural hazard responses will be presented. These include:

    • Humanitarian Bamboo Guidelines
    • Post-earthquake response CRS
    • Earth as a construction material
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • Building resilience CRAterre
    • Retrofitting for resilience – Build change
    • Confined masonry
    • Build back safer- global shelter cluster
    • Supporting self-recovery CARE International
    • Timber for recovery
    • Lima social housing ARUP
    • Engineers without borders: Low cost sustainable Built environment
    • Shelter in Conflict, Cordaid

You can access the humanitarian demonstration shelter case study here link