Swedish retailer Ikea has partnered with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) to develop a shelter now being used in Syrian refugee camps. The modular flatpack shelters, constructed to house up to five people, are made of insulated plastic panels that snap into a metal frame. The units also have solar panels and USB ports for electricity, and a shading sheet that reflects heat during the day but traps warmth at night. Unlike tents, which last only about six months, these modular structures are built to last three years. As businessweek.com informs MHProNews, there are 3.5 million refugees around the globe living in tents and shelters, with the average stay in a camp of 12 years. 50 prototypes were sent to the camps in Syria. The Ikea Foundation has invested $4.8 million to develop the unit.
(Image credit: uneco-business.com)