Portable buildings can be used for a variety of different purposes. For instance, a portable garage is perfect for storing a motorcycle or ATV in the cold winter months when not in use. The other benefit of doing so is saving room inside your not-so-portable home garage as well. Portable shelters can be used as a means of protecting your family in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation. As I have mentioned in this blog before, portable shelters have been sent to areas like New Orleans and Haiti to give people a place to live while they rebuild.
Well, some students at Colorado State University – Pueblo have taken this type of portable shelter to a new level. According to a story in The Pueblo Chieftain, students in an engineering class used an assignment (in which they develop something out of cardboard) to invent something helpful:
“‘We started talking about making a piece of furniture but took that idea in another direction,’ said [Darla] Skolnekovich, a sophomore environmental engineering major. ‘I had the idea of creating a disaster-relief structure – a portable, collapsible structure that could be used to help refugees or people who have been in a disaster.’
Skolnekovich made a PowerPoint presentation about her
idea and quickly persuaded her classmates that they shouldcreate an emergency shelter from cardboard.”
Out of this process came three different cardboard shelters: one “erected a honeycomb cardboard structure,” another made a “collapsible tent like structure” and a third was an insulated shelter with interlocking walls, floor and roof. This project has developed into a business where these shelters are sold along with a cooker and toilet. The real kicker?
“All materials used in the structure are 100-percent recycled and 100-percent recyclable. Skolnekovich said the cost of the kit, which includes the cooker and toilet, would be about $100, less than half the price of the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s temporary shelter kit.”