Rapid Deployment Module Redefines Portable Shelters

rapid-deployThe Visible Good company has developed a new portable shelter that can be set up quickly and easily with no tools. Their Rapid Deployment Module, or RDM, can be a valuable aid during a crisis situation when shelter is needed fast.

Visible Good’s RDM is portable, reusable, and can be assembled in under 30 minutes by just two people. The fact that the 130 square foot RDM requires no tools makes it an even better emergency shelter. If a natural disaster or emergency situation should occur and shelter is needed, the RDM can be delivered as a self-contained unit. The shipping crate is utilized as the base for the shelter.

The RDM features hard walls that double as whiteboards, raised floors, and a vented fabric roof. The doors and windows are lockable on the RDM for better security. Visible Good says that their product can be used and then reused in a variety of emergency situations, including disaster relief, first-response, and even education. The RDM has been given a lifespan of a decade, allowing for multiple uses over time.

This portable emergency shelter has already been used in the field. BP purchased 26 RDMs for its ongoing cleanup operation of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Army has also given Visible Good a research and development grant to create an “extreme” RDM that would be suitable for more challenging weather conditions.

Collapsible, Lightweight Portable Shelter could Save Lives in Disaster Situations

Emergency Shelter

Unfortunately, the increase in natural disasters around the world has created a need for rapidly deployable emergency housing. While many portable shelter designs have been put into production in the last decade, this one may be the best one yet. In terms of being able to airdrop and quickly deploy emergency housing for large numbers of people, Peter Anthony’s design is top-notch.

Peter Anthony’s collapsible, lightweight mobile platform is a self-contained living space made from composite material. Each unit is 8’x8’x8’ and weighs less than 200 pounds. The whole thing can be folded flat and can be assembled by two people in less than 30 minutes. The simple transport trailer can be modified to carry up to four units along with off-grid support systems that tether with the shelters for extended use.

Anthony has been a professional building designer for twenty years, but with the housing market down, has moved his focus to creating portable emergency housing. “The whole thing started from my desire to get involved in supporting relief efforts with disasters throughout the world,” Anthony said. Weight was his primary design and development concern and his patent-pending lightweight composite panel system makes assembly quick and easy.

“The shelter is simple, lightweight and portable. Traditional materials and methods have historically shown significant weakness, being complex and requiring skilled labor to assemble, being extremely heavy, nearly all of them necessitate additional erection equipment and they’re costly in relation to energy consumption and transport and logistics.” – Peter Anthony

Anthony’s design is adaptable to many situations, ranging from emergency sheltering to mobile treatment stations. The applications of the portable shelter are only limited by the imagination. Its lightweight and folding design allow it to be airdropped into remote locations that are in need. Anthony is still working on the project, hoping to expand and make it better by adding a self-contained dry toilet. When it is completed, it will surely be one of the best portable emergency housing systems created to date.

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Emergency Portable Shelters for Disaster Zones


When natural disasters like earthquakes, storms, and floods hit a region, there are many problems that rescue workers face. One of the biggest problems is providing a safe place to treat wounded citizens and provide shelter for those who have lost their homes. A new portable shelter may be able to alleviate some of the difficulty in bringing in short term shelters.

Argentinian architecture studio Proyecto 2M has developed a portable shelter called the Modularflex. The Modularflex can be packed flat for easy storage and delivery and can be built in Portable Shelterjust half an hour. The innovative design allows for the shelter to be assembled by two man teams or popped up by using a crane for even faster building time. The Modularflex also has a huge hinge that allows them to be collapsed like accordians.

The Proyecto 2M company states that their easy to assemble portable shelters are lightweight, flexible, and sturdy. When packed flat, six Modularflex shelters can be placed on the back of a truck for easy and efficient transportation to where they are needed. The walls of the Modularflex are made from insulated thermal panels similar to a supermarket cold storage room. They can withstand temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 49 degrees Celsius.

The modular design of the shelter makes it possible to put multiple units together to create larger dwellings. Every Modularflex comes with electrical wiring and LED lighting. Different designs are available, such as camouflage for the military or marked with a red cross for humanitarian efforts.

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