Exel Composites (Vantaa, Finland) is working with the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), Better Shelter and the IKEA Foundation to provide new, innovative, safer and more durable shelters for refugee families around the world. The UNHCR has placed an order of 10,000 shelters with the social enterprise Better Shelter.
Better Shelter was started by the Housing for All Foundation, a non-profit foundation established by the IKEA Foundation. The aim is to bring dignity and safety to the millions of refugees fleeing violence, armed conflict, persecution and natural disasters.
The shelter is composed of a lightweight composite-reinforced steel frame, roof and wall panels, floor covering and a solar energy system. Special attention has been given to transport volume, weight, easy assembly, price, safety and comfort. The expected lifespan of the shelter is three years. Prototypes were field-tested by refugees in Ethiopia and Iraq.
Exel Composites has been chosen as a partner for the development and delivery of composite parts for the shelters. The value of the agreement is not disclosed.
“Around 10,000 families will be provided with Better Shelter this upcoming year and that is just the beginning. We will continue to develop the Better Shelter and also other solutions to benefit the many displaced people. Innovation is our strongest driving force,” said founder Johan Karlsson at Better Shelter.