We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

better shelter

Ikea has designed an amazing new shelter for refugees

It can last up to three years, while current UN tents only last about six months due to harsh weather conditions.

EARLIER THIS YEAR, the UN’s Refugee Agency ordered 10,000 shelters for refugee families around the world.

But these aren’t any ordinary shelters.

These were designed by Ikea and built by Better Shelter, a social enterprise run by Ikea’s non-profit foundation, to help refugees fleeing violence and conflict by “putting their needs at the heart of the development process”.

These Ikea-designed shelters are safer, more durable, more cost effective, and generally bigger and more useful than the tents the UN typically uses for refugees.

Take a look at how they work.

Ikea’s Better Shelters can last up to three years. In contrast, current UN tents only last about six months due to harsh weather conditions.


The shelters are composed of three individual parts — the frame, the panels, and a photovoltaic system for lights and power — which are easy to assemble, disassemble and reuse.


The photovoltaic system is housed on the shelter’s roof, and it’s powered by the sun.


These self-standing shelters can be built without needing any extra tools or equipment.


There’s 57 square feet of space inside these shelters, which are also six feet tall so people can stand upright.


Ikea ships these shelters in two giant cardboard boxes, which can each be lifted by four people, according to Better Shelter.


Construction can take anywhere between four and eight hours.


Each shelter comes with flexible, lockable doors, aimed at protecting families from intruders and sexual assault.


Since the shelter lacks ropes or wires to keep it tethered, these shelters include ground anchors to help withstand strong winds.


Shelters come with four windows and two ventilation openings, which are all adjustable and come with mosquito nets.


The lightweight foam panels on the sides of the shelter can withstand all the elements, including rain, wind, snow and the sun.


“Putting refugee families and their needs at the heart of this project is a great example of how democratic design can be used for humanitarian value,” Ikea Foundation’s head of strategic planning said about these shelters.


All images:

You can learn more about Better Shelter here.

- Dave Smith/Tech Insider

Read: Banksy’s theme park taken apart to build refugee shelters

Read: US politicians just voted to make it almost impossible for refugees fleeing ISIS to come to America

Published with permission from
Business Insider
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.