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Semi-Permanent

Emergency Relief
Shelter
Design Report
Group 10 Rupert Maspero, Rebecca Madden, Sam Morriss, Matt
Paget, Oliver Milton, George McDonald, and Xin Mao
Dr Andrew Gallant & Mr Steve Luard
`

Executive Summary
The Dicax relief shelter fills a gap in a large global market, offering unique features for a semipermanent relief shelter. It offers a flexible and comprehensive system for charities and governments
who wish to find a more permanent solution for people who have been displaced. At 2,500 it is an
affordable and reusable solution to an unavoidable world-wide issue.
The shelter incorporates amenities to address the daily needs of refugees such as water purification,
sanitation, lighting, security and privacy. It is designed to be usable in many environments around the
globe, however for the purpose of this project, the focus is on designing it for Syrian refugees
displaced in south east Turkey.
The design itself is of a modular nature making it highly adaptable. Not only will it provide individual
shelters for families but it can also be reconfigured to produce different buildings for communal use,
allowing refugees to rebuild their whole community. This has been achieved through the careful
design of a limited number of components with common interfaces which maximises extensibility.
Through all aspects of design, the sustainable and ethical credentials of the Dicax shelter have been
considered, from the choice of materials to the impact of installation on the surrounding
environment.

Contents
Executive Summary .................................................................................................................................. i
Contents ................................................................................................................................................... i
Table of Figures ...................................................................................................................................... vi
Table of Tables ...................................................................................................................................... vii
Nomenclature ...................................................................................................................................... viii
1

Business Case .................................................................................................................................. 1


1.1

URS .......................................................................................................................................... 3

1.1.1

Habitation and General Function .................................................................................... 3

1.1.2

Facilities ........................................................................................................................... 3

1.1.3

Fire Safety, Water Damage and Pests ............................................................................. 3

1.1.4

Cost, Lifecycle and Maintenance ..................................................................................... 3

1.2

Target Costs............................................................................................................................. 4

1.3

Operating Locations ................................................................................................................ 4

1.3.1

External Environment ...................................................................................................... 4

1.4

Target Market.......................................................................................................................... 6

1.5

Health and Safety .................................................................................................................... 6

Concepts.......................................................................................................................................... 7
2.1

Concept 1 Mesh wall ............................................................................................................ 7


i

2.2

2.2.1

Poles ................................................................................................................................ 8

2.2.2

Panels .............................................................................................................................. 8

2.3

Concept 2 The Concertina .................................................................................................. 8

Concept 3 Domed Roof house .............................................................................................. 9

2.3.1

Poles ................................................................................................................................ 9

2.3.2

Walls ................................................................................................................................ 9

2.3.3

Roof ................................................................................................................................. 9

Final Design ................................................................................................................................... 10


3.1

Poles ......................................................................................................................................10

3.1.1

Finite element analysis ..................................................................................................10

3.2

Joints .....................................................................................................................................12

3.3

Walls and Roof.......................................................................................................................14

3.4

Additional Fixings ..................................................................................................................15

3.5

Assembly ...............................................................................................................................15

3.6

The Wider Community ..........................................................................................................16

Features......................................................................................................................................... 18
4.1

Water ....................................................................................................................................18

4.1.1

Water Collection............................................................................................................18

4.1.2

Water Purification .........................................................................................................19

4.2

Sanitation ..............................................................................................................................20

4.3

Electricity ...............................................................................................................................21

4.3.1

Solar Panels ...................................................................................................................21

4.3.2

Electricity Storage..........................................................................................................22

4.3.3

Lighting ..........................................................................................................................23

4.4

Ventilation .............................................................................................................................25

4.5

Insulation ...............................................................................................................................26

4.5.1

Areas of concern ...........................................................................................................26

4.5.2

Types of insulation.........................................................................................................26

4.5.3

R-value and U-value.......................................................................................................27

4.5.4

Final Choice ...................................................................................................................28

4.5.5

Heating ..........................................................................................................................29

4.6

Flooring .................................................................................................................................30

4.6.1

Flooring Specification ....................................................................................................30

4.6.2

Raised Floor (Stilts) ........................................................................................................30


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4.6.3

Tanking ..........................................................................................................................30

4.6.4

Final Flooring Solution ...................................................................................................31

4.7

4.7.1

Concrete Footings .........................................................................................................32

4.7.2

Spikes ............................................................................................................................33

4.7.3

Screw Piles .....................................................................................................................33

4.7.4

Final Solution .................................................................................................................33

4.8

Foundations...........................................................................................................................32

Security..................................................................................................................................35

4.8.1

Keyed Locks ...................................................................................................................35

4.8.2

Chains and Bolts ............................................................................................................35

4.8.3

Viewfinder .....................................................................................................................35

4.8.4

Keeping the door closed ................................................................................................35

Materials ....................................................................................................................................... 36
5.1

Poles ......................................................................................................................................36

5.1.1

Specifications for the Pole .............................................................................................36

5.1.2

Discussion of potential materials...................................................................................36

5.1.3

Plastics ...........................................................................................................................37

5.1.4

Production of Aluminium and Steel ...............................................................................37

5.1.5

Weather Resistant properties of aluminium .................................................................37

5.1.6

Protecting steel against corrosion .................................................................................39

5.1.7

Mechanical properties of Steel S235and Aluminium 6063T6 ........................................40

5.1.8

End of life ......................................................................................................................40

5.1.9

Final material selections ................................................................................................41

5.2

Panels, Wall and Roofing .......................................................................................................41

5.2.1

Panel Specifications .......................................................................................................41

5.2.2

Materials Discussion ......................................................................................................41

5.2.3

Properties of Polypropylene ..........................................................................................41

5.2.4

Properties of PE .............................................................................................................42

5.2.5

Industrial processes and manufacturing of PP and PE...................................................42

5.2.6

PP products ...................................................................................................................45

5.2.7

Production of PE ............................................................................................................47

5.2.8

Discussion of PP product and PE product ......................................................................48

5.3

Roof .......................................................................................................................................48

5.3.1

Roof Panel Materials Specifications ..............................................................................48


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5.3.2

Panel Materials Discussion ............................................................................................48

5.3.3

Roof Panels ....................................................................................................................49

5.3.4

Roof waterproofing sheet membranes .........................................................................49

5.3.5

Product of Window Panels ............................................................................................49

5.4

Flooring Materials .................................................................................................................50

5.5

Fire retardant ........................................................................................................................52

Manufacturing ............................................................................................................................... 52
6.1

6.1.1

Steel Core ......................................................................................................................52

6.1.2

Plastic Casing and Connectors .......................................................................................52

6.1.3

Universal Connector ......................................................................................................53

6.2

Wall and Roof Panels .............................................................................................................53

6.2.1

Panels ............................................................................................................................53

6.2.2

Windows........................................................................................................................53

6.3

Poles and Connectors ............................................................................................................52

Systems .................................................................................................................................53

6.3.1

Water Collection............................................................................................................53

6.3.2

Electronics .....................................................................................................................53

Sustainability ................................................................................................................................. 54
7.1

Reusability .............................................................................................................................54

7.2

Recyclability ...........................................................................................................................54

Costs .............................................................................................................................................. 54
8.1

Manufacturing Costs .............................................................................................................54

8.2

Transportation.......................................................................................................................56

8.2.1

Air ..................................................................................................................................56

8.2.2

Sea .................................................................................................................................57

8.2.3

Conclusion .....................................................................................................................57

8.2.4

Transport in South-East Turkey .....................................................................................58

Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 58

10

Bibliography........................................................................................................................... 59

11

Appendices ............................................................................................................................ 67

11.1

Project Plan GANTT Chart ...................................................................................................67

11.2

Maturity Grid .........................................................................................................................68

11.3

Engineering Drawings ............................................................................................................70

11.4

Business Projections Year One ..............................................................................................77


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11.5

Yearly Summaries ..................................................................................................................78

11.6

Cost Breakdown ....................................................................................................................78

11.7

Supplier List ...........................................................................................................................80

11.8

Start Up Manufacturing Costs ...............................................................................................81

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Table of Figures
Figure 1: Five year profit forecast ........................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2: Earthquake in South-East Turkey ............................................................................................. 4
Figure 3: Adobe house [15] .................................................................................................................... 5
Figure 4: The Mesh Wall Concept ........................................................................................................... 7
Figure 5: The 'Concertina'........................................................................................................................ 8
Figure 6: The domed roof concept .......................................................................................................... 9
Figure 7: The pole design, note the central steel core and rubber sealant for panels .......................... 10
Figure 8: Wall Panel Section after Analysis ............................................................................................ 11
Figure 9: The rear of the panel after testing ......................................................................................... 11
Figure 10: Strain plot of the deflected panel ......................................................................................... 12
Figure 11: The inline connector in the centre of two poles - notice the pin joints ................................ 13
Figure 12: The Universal joint and pin system ....................................................................................... 13
Figure 13: The angle connectors - Left: Along top of Poles, Right: for universal connectors ................ 14
Figure 14: The wall lamination .............................................................................................................. 14
Figure 15: The Clip ................................................................................................................................. 15
Figure 16: The Guttering Bracket - Note the clip. .................................................................................. 15
Figure 17: The 'Community Centre' ....................................................................................................... 16
Figure 18: The 'Public Convenience' Concept........................................................................................ 16
Figure 19: The 'Dicax Community' ......................................................................................................... 17
Figure 20 CAD rendering of the gutter bracket ..................................................................................... 18
Figure 21 CAD rendering of attachments for the solar panel ................................................................ 21
Figure 22 CAD rendering of the wire clip that fits into the frame ......................................................... 23
Figure 23: A graphic showing the difference in traditional and modern technologies [31] .................. 23
Figure 24 Electrical wiring illustration ................................................................................................... 24
Figure 25: Areas of heat loss in an ordinary home ................................................................................ 26
Figure 26: Cross section of the shelter wall ........................................................................................... 28
Figure 27: Example of a Stilted House [93]............................................................................................ 30
Figure 28: Total floor system ................................................................................................................. 31
Figure 29: Jointing Solution ................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 30: Floor Tiling Solution .............................................................................................................. 32
Figure 31: A screwpile ........................................................................................................................... 33
Figure 32: A structure containing Bamboo Element.............................................................................. 36
Figure 33: Methods or negating pitting in metal structures [54] .......................................................... 38
Figure 34: Bitumen coated Aluminium Bars [54]................................................................................... 38
Figure 35: Structure of Polypropylene .................................................................................................. 41
Figure 36: Structure of Polyethylene ..................................................................................................... 42
Figure 37: Industrial Process of Polypropylene creation ....................................................................... 43
Figure 38: Test of Volume Resistivity..................................................................................................... 43
Figure 39: Test of Tensile Strength ........................................................................................................ 44
Figure 40: Test of Shear Stress .............................................................................................................. 44
Figure 41: Size Measurement of Panel .................................................................................................. 45
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Figure 42: Left - PP Sheeting; Right - Welding PP Sheet ........................................................................ 47


Figure 43: Product of HDPE Panel from Xinxing Company .................................................................... 48
Figure 44: Roof Waterproofing Sheet Membrane ................................................................................. 49
Figure 45: Product Introduction and Polycarbonate Sheeting [69] ....................................................... 49
Figure 46: Water Absorption Characteristics ........................................................................................ 50
Figure 47: Percentage breakdown of cost by part ................................................................................ 55
Figure 48: Characteristics of 20 and 40 foot containers [92] ................................................................ 57

Table of Tables
Table 1: Comparison of Main Competitors.............................................................................................. 2
Table 2: A comparison of Water Filtration methods ............................................................................. 19
Table 3: A comparison of waste storage solutions ................................................................................ 20
Table 4: A comparison of Solar Panels................................................................................................... 22
Table 5: A Comparison of lighting solutions .......................................................................................... 24
Table 6: Material Properties [37] [39] ................................................................................................... 29
Table 7: Data for different Shaft types for screw piles .......................................................................... 35
Table 8: Corrosion Protection Characteristics of Aluminium ................................................................. 39
Table 9: Mechanical Properties of Al 6063T6 and Steel S235 ............................................................... 40
Table 10: Physical Properties of Polypropylene..................................................................................... 46
Table 11: Technical Datasheet for PP .................................................................................................... 46
Table 12: Comparison of flooring materials .......................................................................................... 51
Table 13: Comparison of Aircraft Capacities [80] .................................................................................. 56

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Nomenclature
A Area (m2)
AH Total area of projected helical plates (m2)
c Soil cohesion (kN/m2)
CAPEX Capital Expenditures
Cd Drag coefficient
d Thickness of material (m)
EPS Extruded Polystyrene
F Force (N)
FRP Fibre reinforced plastic
Gh Gust response factor
h Total height (m)
H&S Health and Safety
HDPE High-Density Polythene
k Thermal conductivity (W/mK)
Kz Exposure coefficient
LED Light Emitting Diode
LEDC Less Economically Developed Countries
MDPE Medium-Density Polythene
Nc Bearing capacity factor for cohesions
NFP Not-for-Profit
NGO Non-Government Organisation
NPO Non-Profit Organisation
Nq Bearing capacity factor for granular soil
P Pressure (Pa)
PE Polythene
PP Polypropylene
Psf Wind pressure (Pa)
Pu Ultimate load of helical screw pile (N)
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q Soil overburden pressure to mid-plate depth (Pa)


R-value Thermal resistance (mK/W)
U Overall heat transfer coefficient (W/m2K)
UHWPE Ultra-High-Weight Polythene
ULDPE Ultra-Low-Density Polythene
UNICEF United Nations Childrens Fund
URS User Requirements Specification
UV Ultraviolet
v Wind speed (mph)
Wp Watt-peak
XPS Expanded Polystyrene
z Depth of soil (m)
z Height from ground to mid-point (m)
Density of the soil (kg/m3)

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1 Business Case
After discussion and initial research, the need for a temporary to permanent relief shelter design which is
flexible enough to create a variety of different buildings from a small selection of parts was identified. It was
felt that there was a high demand for flexible relief solutions and that current designs do not provide the full
range of necessary facilities.
Refugees can be affected by anything from natural disasters to conflict zones. Currently there are 51.2 million
refugees and internally displaced people globally [1], meaning the need for relief shelters is huge. Both
international governments and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) alike spend large amounts of money
yearly on providing humanitarian relief, with global spending in 2013 reaching a record 12.93bn. 1.82bn
has already been spent on providing shelter, food and emergency relief for refugees from the Syrian conflict
alone [2]. A large number of these refugee camps are located in South East Turkey, the chosen initial
operating location of the Dicax project. A good percentage of this total spending goes on shelter provision.
For example in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the American Red Cross set aside a budget of 143.5 million for
shelters [3]. By 2011 almost 25% of this had been spent coming to a total of 33.5 million. A further break
down of this cost is given, with 18.6 million spent on semi-permanent shelters and 14.9 million on tarps,
tents and tools.
Several charities were contacted regarding their current methods of providing emergency relief including the
British Red Cross, United Nation Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and many other smaller charities. The
Red Cross currently adopts a strategy of sending out either tents or a shelter kit consisting of building
materials which can be used by local people to create their own shelters. The Red Cross also has a standard of
what a shelter should provide, including; protection from the local climate, privacy and dignity, and personal
safety and security [4]. Having analysed the current strategy taken by many charities, it was noted that a
shelter could be designed to fulfil all of these criteria as well as solving many other issues which are currently
handled by other relief areas. These include, but are not limited to water collection and filtering, the
generation of electricity, and the provision of sanitation. After several meetings and discussion it was decided
that this project would aim to create such a shelter. A full User Requirement Specification (URS) was
established identifying all the essential needs of refugees (see section 1.1).
Some of the current products on the market already address some of the issues currently missing from
traditional shelter methods. For example: IKEA has designed a flat pack shelter which makes use of solar
panels to generate electricity, EXO produces a shelter which once set up lasts for up to 10 years and the
Global Village Shelter makes use of a modular factory which can be used to manufacture shelters on site [5].
However, after comprehensive research of competitors it was decided that none of the available models
currently offer all of the features identified by Dicax as necessary.
The Dicax shelter consists of a modular design kit which can be used to create a shelter for a family of six. This
can also be used to build numerous other structures of varying sizes such as health centres, classrooms and
toilet facilities. It is a flat pack kit which can be assembled with minimal tools and no technical skill to provide
a shelter within a few hours. The flat pack nature of the kit makes transport to the desired location simple,
and low cost. Facilities will include an electrical supply for lighting, a water collection system, and a lockable
door for security. Additionally, the chosen material for the walls and the sturdy waterproof flooring will allow
the structure to become permanent if necessary. The main benefit is its modular design meaning it can be
used to build a large variety of buildings in different sizes and with different facilities. This will allow residents
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to not only build the standard shelter design but also to rebuild their whole community. Table 1 shows a
comparison of the Dicax shelter with its main competitors.
Table 1: Comparison of Main Competitors

Main
Features:

Solar
Power

Water
Collection

Min
Reusability
Floor
space
(3.5m2
per
person)

Flexible
Usage

Permanent
Structure

Lockable
Door

Solid
Flooring

IKEA
EXO
Dicax

Y
N
Y

N
N
Y

Y
N
Y

N
N
Y

Y
N
Y

Y
Y
Y

N
Y
Y

N
Y
Y

This shelter has clear advantages for the end users. However it also affords benefits to the charities that will
purchase the shelter. The shelters are quick and easy to install and uninstall. Once removed, the shelter can
be easily cleaned and repacked to be sent to a new location. While many charities have different teams
focusing their efforts on different provisions, including but not limited to shelter, water, sanitation, and
health, this shelter will combine many of these aspects providing a cross functional tool for each facet of any
relief effort.
Dicax will secure initial funding through a combination of government grants, a bank loan and private
investors. In total this will give a start-up fund of 650,000. The first quarter of year one will start with a
prototype production run of 100 units at a total cost of 2,562 per shelter including overheads and start-up
costs. No shelters will be manufactured in the second and third quarters allowing the prototype to be tested
and to give time for prototype development. Once these shelters have been tested in the operating location,
any feedback will be incorporated into the design before moving to full scale production. The shelter itself will
cost 2,302 per unit to produce after the initial set up period. From year two to year five, production will be
increased slowly from 870 units being sold in year two to 1550 units sold in year five. At a sale price of 2,500
each, this gives a total turnover of 3.88m. The profit forecast for the first five year period is shown in Figure
1.

Five Year Profit Forecast


Profit (Thousand s)

300
200
100
0
-100

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

-200
Figure 1: Five year profit forecast

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A full breakdown of the projection for year one can be seen in Appendix 11.4. Summaries of each year can be
seen in Appendix 11.5. Given the nature of the product it is important to take into consideration the
manufacturing time and ensure that a sufficient stock pile is kept in order to keep up with demand. Thus,
Dicax also aims to build up a stockpile of shelters over time that can be distributed at short notice.

1.1 URS
1.1.1

1.1.2

1.1.3

1.1.4

Habitation and General Function


The shelter should be able to house a family of 6 (3 adults and 3 children/adolescents), each requiring
a floor space of 3.5m2, making the total minimum shelter size 21m2 [6]
The height of the shelter should be 2.4m
The shelter should protect from the elements including rain, wind and sun [7]
o All materials should maintain good condition in a temperature range of -20C-50C [8]
o The shelter should be able to withstand winds at level 6 on the Beaufort scale [9]
The shelter should provide protection from violence and theft [7]; All opening should be securable
The shelter should have wall and roof insulation
A door panel should be provided with each shelter; the door must be 800mm wide and 1980mm tall
The roof should have a pitch of at least 45 for natural materials (e.g. thatch) and 30 for plastics
Facilities
The shelter should be able to collect rain water that falls on the roof via a guttering system
The shelter should be able to store 90 litres of water (enough water for the family for one day)
The shelter should include a water purification system
Each shelter will have solar panels installed on the roof to provide electricity
A battery will be included to store power generated during the day/sunny periods to be used at night
or during cloudy weather
The battery will be used to light the shelter
Fire Safety, Water Damage and Pests
The structure should be suitably ventilated
Materials used should be inert, fire retardant and resistant to UV
The shelter should have a floor to prevent a damp ingress
Windows and openings should be covered with a fly/mosquito net
There should not be holes greater than 6mm diameter in order to prevent rodents from entering the
shelter
Materials should be resistant to termites and rodents
Cost, Lifecycle and Maintenance
The shelter should cost no more than 2000 to purchase, ship and assemble
The shelter should be able to be transformed into a permanent structure
Repairs should be possible from local materials and building techniques
Upkeep of the shelter should require limited technical training
The shelter should be expandable so that new walls can be added to create extra rooms
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1.2 Target Costs


Although the URS defines a maximum costing of 2000, it has been noticed that an initial production run will
more likely cost in the region of 2200, though this will reduce to below the value in the URS once economies
of scale are introduced. During this report it has been taken that $1=0.65 [10].

1.3 Operating Locations


Given the uncertain and immediate nature of disaster relief, it is important that the Dicax shelter is able to
operate in a variety of different environmental conditions.
Overall, the environmental operating points of the specific shelters can vary hugely. It is important to consider
the following points.
1.3.1
1.3.1.1

External Environment
Global Region:

It was identified that this shelter has a global scope due to the variety of humanitarian crisis and natural
disasters occurring around the world. A few examples of where this shelter may be required are as follows
[11]:

Japan - Frequent earthquakes and tsunamis


Circum-Pacific Volcanic Belt - Volcanic eruption
Western north Pacific - Typhoons
East coast of the UK - Flooding
Middle East - Regional conflicts and wars
South-East Turkey - Floods, earthquakes, heavy rains and strong winds

Figure 2: Earthquake in South-East Turkey

1.3.1.2

Specific environmental conditions:

For the initial design however, a few specific environmental conditions were noted which would allow the
accurate design of a shelter for relief efforts, whilst potentially limiting the scope of an otherwise global
product:

Good place for potential solar panels (no shade)


No sloped region or weathered rocks on the upward side
Not near the banks of a river in the rainy season
Not in a clear weald or at the peak of a mountain in case of a lightning strike
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Soft soil, like sand, to dig drainage ditches in order to keep dry in shelters
Not in war zones and disputed regions

It is important that efficient transportation can be realised, so that shelters and other supplies can be
transited as soon as possible. This is discussed in more detail in section 8.2.
1.3.1.3

Targeting conditions: South - East Turkey

As the issue of refugee relief efforts is currently particularly poignant, it was decided that South-East Turkey
would be the main focus of the design effort, and therefore additional research was carried out to define the
likely operating conditions.
Firstly, climatic conditions were investigated:

Temperature Range: 46C high in summer, -12C in winter [8]


Rainfall: 576mm per year [8] - generally rely on irrigation projects for crop growth
Maximum average monthly wind speed: 9kts (2013-2014) [12]

Additionally, besides the humanitarian crisis from Syria, other natural disasters found in this region include:

Flood: 21 people died in a flood disaster in 2006 after a heavy rain in the South - East Turkey [13]
Earthquake: This area is located at the junction of Eurasian plate therefore the crustal movement is
active which causes frequent earthquakes [14]
Strong winds: The probability of wind speed 4 Beaufort (13kts) : 40% (in October 2013/14) [12]
Poor financial situation: This area is undeveloped and many local residents are living in adobe houses
which can be destroyed by natural disasters (see Figure 3)
Human conflicts: There is a medium risk or terrorist attacks

Figure 3: Adobe house [15]

Other appropriate regional infrastructure includes a large electricity supply, mainly from hydroelectric plants
such as the Ataturk dam. These conditions allow the conclusion to be made that south-eastern Turkey is an
appropriate target location.

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1.4 Target Market


The main consumers of the shelter will be larger charities purchasing the units for their relief efforts. This will
include charities such as the Red Cross, UNICEF and Oxfam, all of whom were contacted during the initial
research phase to discover what they consider necessary in a shelter. While some smaller charities may also
purchase the shelter it is likely they will not be the main consumer as, due to limited funds, they are more
inclined to focus on smaller scale relief projects and do not have the budget to provide large numbers of
shelters, however a leasing scheme may be possible in future years to ensure all relief efforts are able to
benefit from the Dicax.

1.5 Health and Safety


As this shelter is designed to be lived in for a longer time period than other relief shelters, it is important to
ensure that every health and safety issue has been looked into and that measures have been taken to prevent
each issue from occurring.
By using a maturity grid, health and safety concerns were ranked in order of magnitude and this ensured that
the most important issues were addressed first. The maturity grid can be found within the appendix of this
report, found at page 68.
One of the biggest concerns that the maturity grid highlighted was the health issues associated with some
types of insulation, specifically glass mineral wool. Certain chemicals used in the manufacturing process of this
insulation are harmful if inhaled over a prolonged period. To combat this concern, it was decided that no
insulating material should be left exposed to the occupants. This could be achieved by securing plywood
panels on the inside wall of the wall over the insulating slabs. Other types of insulation should also be looked
into using. This is explained in more detail in the insulation section, 4.5.
A common problem associated with refugee camps is the spread of fire. On 26th December 2004 a tsunami
struck the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean and leaving around 1.7 million people homeless [16]. The
subsequent temporary camps and shelters provided proved to be extremely susceptible to fires becoming a
real issue. These fires were largely accidental but were not helped by the shelters being of a poor quality and
being constructed far too close to each other. This helped to aid the quick spread of fires and many resulted
in the loss of life. The Dicax shelter aims to not encounter this problem by utilising fire-retardant materials
and by ensuring that the shelters are constructed far enough away from each other to prevent the easy
spread of fires. The spreading of fires can be easily reduced by spacing the shelters 5-6m apart as is done in
the UK to protect mobile homes.
It is important that the refugee camp that the shelter is deployed to offers some sort of sanitation
infrastructure. Lack of this basic amenity could lead to various health risks and diseases in the community. The
Dicax shelter can be used as a toilet cubicle as due to the modular nature of the shelter, smaller buildings can
be constructed from the common parts. The types of toilets required are outlined in the sanitation section of
the report, 4.2, and further information on how the modular system works can be found in the wider
community section, 3.6.
Disease is also spread in refugee camps through the lack of clean drinking water. The Dicax shelter attempts
to prevent this occurring by collecting and filtering rainwater using guttering. The clean water can then safely
be used for drinking and for washing.
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The average length of displacement for refugees is now 17 years [17]. It is therefore very important to provide
some sort of education system to provide stability for children in the camp, and to also ensure that they can
contribute to the rebuilding of their society at the end of their displacement. The modular nature of the Dicax
shelter can again be utilised here as larger 7x6m shelters can be built by fixing two standard shelters together,
and used as schools or community centres in the camp.

2 Concepts
2.1 Concept 1 Mesh wall
The rectangular shape enables the space inside the shelter to be used effectively by the occupants. Separate
areas could be created for sleeping, cooking and storage. The wall panels are designed to be assembled on
site by the occupants with supervision, with the aim to help them feel more satisfied with their new home by
increasing their feeling of self-fulfilment. A mesh panel would be used as a base layer for the walls as shown
in Figure 4. This will allow the occupants to use local materials available at site, such as rammed earth or
wood chippings, to pack the hollow space between the meshes and provide insulation. This would reduce
material costs to the manufacturer as well as transportation costs due to the panels being lighter.
As it is essential for the roof to be waterproof, it would be unsuitable to construct it in the same way as the

Figure 4: The Mesh Wall Concept

wall panels. The roof panels would be manufactured elsewhere and would be simply fixed to the structure on
site. A bracket would be attached to the top of the wall panels to enable the roof to be fixed securely and
create a barrier against precipitation. The roof panels would feature an advanced insulating material in
between the outer sheets as the majority of heat loss is from the roof.

Page | 7

2.2 Concept 2 The Concertina


This concept, shown in Figure 5, is a permanent solution based on a traditional tunnel tent, seen in many
current relief situations, however emphasis would be put on making the shelter semi-permanent. The unique
feature of this design is the panels would concertina together to make the shelter compact for shipping. The
shelter would then be assembled by sliding the panels out and then locking into place. The dome shape
ensures that rain would run off the shelter without collecting on the top, protecting the roof from potential
damage.

Figure 5: The 'Concertina'

2.2.1

Poles

This shelter design features semi-circular poles to create the dome shape. The poles are designed to allow the
panels to slide between them and be locked in place. The arrangement of poles would form the skeleton of
the shelter, providing structural support. The poles would be manufactured from aluminium or a UV resistant
polymer with sufficient strength.
2.2.2

Panels

The panels featured in this design separate it from the standard tent solution. Instead of a tarpaulin or other
sheeting, more rigid plastic panels would be used. This would increase structural integrity, as the panels work
with the poles to help support the shelter. The panels have been designed with a hollow space in between
which could be filled with a range of materials to provide insulation to the shelter. The panels would be made
from a UV resistant polymer.
The panels at the ends of the shelter would be made with a layer of plastic sheeting cut to size. Insulation
would not be need due to the minimal heat loss through the ends of the shelter in comparison with the roof.

Page | 8

2.3 Concept 3 Domed Roof house


The third concept design builds on Concept 2, the design considered in Figure 6. It was concluded that the
dome shape would be impractical, as the floor space at the sides of the shelter could not be used due to the
roof shape. The shelter was redesigned to solve this issue, and the resulting design, Concept 3 is shown in
Figure 6 above. This design will cover the same area, but would provide much more floor space due to the
vertical walls. This makes the shelter much more cost-effective, as the occupants gain more living space for a
similar amount of materials used.

Figure 6: The domed roof concept

2.3.1

Poles

The vertical poles would be used to provide support for the wall panels and give the structure its necessary
stability. To achieve this, the poles would be driven into the ground to create foundations. The poles would be
manufactured with channels running along their lengths into which the wall panels will slot. This would make
the design fully modular, allowing total customisation of the size and layout of the shelter, and facilitating the
addition of internal walls if desired.
2.3.2

Walls

Vertical wall panels would be used between the poles. Insulation between two sheets of plastic would create
suitable panelling to complement the poles and add structural security and warmth to the shelter. The panels
would slide down in the channels created on the side of the poles, and then be locked into place to maintain
the structural integrity of the shelter in high winds or other testing conditions.
2.3.3

Roof

The roof of the structure is a semi-circular shape to promote rain and snow run off. The roof poles and panels
will slot together in the same way as Concept design 1. There would be rectangular bracket section that
would fit on the top of the vertical poles and panels to increase the shelter strength. This would also enable
the roof poles and panels to be securely attached to the rest of the structure and keep the shelter
waterproof. The roof panels will feature thicker insulation than in the walls due to the greater heat loss from
the roof.
Page | 9

3 Final Design
Having considered a variety of early concepts, a final design solution was chosen, based on concept 3. It was
agreed that this would be modular in nature, allowing for a variety of sizes of structure to be created from the
same basic pieces. It would be constructed from uprights consisting of a steel core and external HDPE
injection mould, with the walls being constructed from hollow Ultra High-Weight Polyethylene (UHWPE), with
internal insulation. It was also found that the roof should be constructed at an angle of 30 degrees, to allow
for sufficient water run-off, whilst keeping the structure at a reasonable height. It was chosen that the roof
would be that of a single pitch, leading to a lean to design. Drawings for each of the following components can
be found in the appendix from page 70 onwards.

3.1 Poles
In order to allow for modular construction on site, it was decided that the walls would need to be attached to
the uprights in a variety of directions. Additionally they need to provide the internal structure for the other
features and amenities that the shelter will offer.

Figure 7: The pole design, note the central steel core


and rubber sealant for panels

Although aluminium was initially considered for the manufacture of the poles, in order to reduce weight and
cost in materials, the decision was made to construct the poles from a central steel core to add strength, with
the rest of the geometry being made from a HDPE extrusion.
3.1.1

Finite element analysis

In order to ensure that the pole was suitable for the task which it had been designed for, a finite element
model was created using the modelling tool within Solidworks. It was seen that the most likely location of
failure within this pole design was on the weaker outer geometry, so the model was set up with a single wall
panel mounted between two uprights. In many ways this can be seen as a worst case scenario as this could
only happen whilst the structure was being erected, as when fully constructed each panel will be supported to
a greater extent by the walls at 90 degrees to it.

Page | 10

Figure 8: Wall Panel Section after Analysis

For this model, the base of both poles were marked as fixed geometry, with a force being applied to the
panel. Per panel, this force had been calculated to be 290N, derivation of which can be found in section 4.7.3.
In order to add a safety factor of three, the force applied for this test was 870N. The results of this test can be
seen in Figure 8.
It can be seen that the wall section can cope exceptionally well with this sort of loading, as the maximum
deflection is just over 5cm. The panel does deflect to a greater extent than the poles, but this is to be
expected from relatively thin wall polythene panelling. On looking at the back of the panel however, it can be
seen that this effect has not been carried through to the other side of the panel, and this means that torsional
loads will not be placed on the inner panelling and insulation in the event of wind loading. Instead, they will
be subject to simple bending, as can be seen in Figure 9. The lasting deflection from this bend is negligible due

Figure 9: The rear of the panel after testing

Page | 11

to the elastic nature of the plastic extrusion.


Having looked at the pole-panel interface it can also be seen that there is little to no additional deflection of
the external geometry of the pole, suggesting that the choice of material and design chosen is appropriate.
Due to the geometry of the inner steel core, which only starts roughly 30cm up the pole in this simulation, it is
interesting to see that the vast majority of the stress concentration is located at the lower half of the pole
(see Figure 10). Although this effect is partially due to the stress concentration at a fixed geometry, it also
shows the strengthening effect of the steel core to the final design of the pole.

Figure 10: Strain plot of the deflected panel

3.2 Joints
To further reduce the complexity of design, and to limit the number of parts required for the final structure, a
number of joints and fixings would be required. It was decided that the general structure would be a pin
jointed frame. This would allow for simple construction on site, requiring a minimum number of tools whilst
still providing rigidity. This would allow for a greater flexibility within the structure, creating better resistance
to wind loading.
It was noted early that it would not be possible to ship all of the poles in their final lengths for the entirety of
the structure, so as such, a method would be required to allow the extension of poles, whilst not hindering
the installation of wall panels. An inline connector was designed to allow for this extension, and can be seen
below:

Page | 12

Figure 11: The inline connector in the centre of two poles - notice the pin joints

At the corner of the frame, a connector would be necessary that would allow poles to be installed from any
side. This requirement led to the development of a universal connector, which would both allow for the
installation of poles and panels from all sides. To allow the poles to attach to this connector, a universal pin
was created, which is inserted into both the pole and the joint, allowing a pin joint to be created. This joint
solution can be seen below in Figure 12:

Figure 12: The Universal joint and pin system

Page | 13

In order for the roof to be installed at a 30 degree angle, a set of connectors were developed which would
allow for this. It was seen that these connectors would be required in one of two locations, either at the top
of the universal connector, or along the top of a pole. It was therefore decided to design one connector which
would have the ability to slot into the top of the universal connector, and a second with a set of guide rails to
allow it to slide along the pre-existing poles, using their existing geometry.

Figure 13: The angle connectors - Left: Along top of Poles, Right: for universal connectors

In order to solve the issue of poles meeting each other perpendicularly at locations other than where there is
a universal connector, a separate part was needed that was able join from the top of one pole into the
grooves on the side of a second pole. These fixings have a track system very similar to that of the angle
connectors above. This allows the structure to use these few components for the maximum number of design
solutions.

3.3 Walls and Roof


It was decided that a wall thickness of 30mm would be used for the panelling within the structure. This would
be structurally secure, whilst the air gap provides another level of insulation. Due to the one metre spacing of
the uprights within the structure, the dimensions of the full sized panels will be 2400x940x30mm. These will
also be the panels used for the roof, and due to the varied requirements this will place on the material, it was
decided that UV-resistant polythene would be used for these. In order to further increase the insulating
properties of the walls, additional insulation and an inner skin of thin plywood will be added. A cut away of
this laminate can be seen in Figure 14. Further details of the insulation can be found in section 4.5.

Figure 14: The wall lamination

Although the larger panels will be used to create the main walls and roof of the shelter, the smaller panels
that fill in the gap under the lean too roof will be constructed from a two wall acrylic material. These panels
will act as windows, allowing natural light into the structure. The structure will be oriented to maximise
Page | 14

sunlight exposure for the solar panels. The two wall nature of these panels will also provide insulation, which
is important considering no additional insulation will be installed inside of these windows.

3.4 Additional Fixings


As mentioned earlier, the design of the poles allow for extra fittings to be attached, by utilising the grooves
designed for the rubber sealing. Examples of such fixings include wiring conduit and the support structure for
the solar panels. The majority of these fixings are based around the clip which can be seen above in Figure
15.

Figure 15: The Clip

This could then be combined with other elements to provide access for many of the amenities. This
extensibility adds to the long term uses for this structure, as it would mean future variants could include other
amenities being requested by users, whilst also allowing for inclusion of pre-manufactured components that
were not solely designed for this shelter. In order to keep costs down it was important to use existing
products. One example of this is the guttering solution. The components making up the system were bought
in, though the clip to hold this guttering in place needed to be designed, and can be seen below in Figure 16.

3.5 Assembly

Figure 16: The Guttering Bracket - Note the clip.

The end user was considered through all stages of the design process. One of the examples of this was the
consideration of the assembly process once it had been delivered to the area requiring relief. The structure
has been designed to have clear and obvious assembly methods. The method of construction is to create the
main upper frame and install the roof, before raising this onto the uprights and installing the inner walls. This
should be possible without any external tools, other than hammers to ensure the pins are seated correctly.

Page | 15

3.6 The Wider Community


As the design is modular in nature, it was noted that it would be possible to extend the basic units to produce
other structures. This would ensure that the same basic parts can be used to construct a number of units
providing a wide variety of services to a displaced community. This will help people feel more settled
following either internal conflict or natural disaster. Example structures that could be created include a
community centre, which could be used either for a teaching space or central community control. This could
be created by placing two structures back to back to create a hipped roof, providing a space of 42 square
metres, this solution can be seen in Figure 17.

Figure 17: The 'Community Centre'

Each structure consists of a set of repeating units measuring 3x1m. The standard shelter for a family of 6 uses
seven of these units to create a 7x3m structure, however if the number of units is reduced, smaller structures
can be created for a variety of purposes. One example is a 3x2m structure which could be used for public
conveniences. This would allow for dedicated facilities to be created away from peoples individual homes.
This has both health and welfare benefits, especially for communities where defecating on your own private
premises is considered unclean.

Figure 18: The 'Public Convenience' Concept

Page | 16

These separate variations of structures created with the same basic units allow for, as mentioned earlier, an
entire relief effort to be created from a standard kit. Figure 19 shows an example of what a community
created with this system could look like.

Figure 19: The 'Dicax Community'

Page | 17

4 Features
4.1 Water
4.1.1

Water Collection

Water is an integral part of supporting life and so it was important that it was considered in the design of the
Dicax shelter. An option for achieving this was plumbing in water pipes, however due to the costs and large
scale ground works involved this would not be an appropriate solution for this design. Especially in the case of
a semi-permanent shelter as the removal of this infrastructure afterwards would be difficult and expensive.
Pipe work would also take time to install and not offer the immediacy required from a relief effort.
A more reasonable and flexible solution is for each shelter to collect water for itself. With the roof pitch at 30
degrees [7], which is ideal for water run-off, and the surface area of the roof is large enough to provide
adequate supply. This solution would need guttering, a collection tank, screens and filters to ensure the water
is safe to drink.
After looking at various types of guttering, PVC offered a light, cheap solution that would last for the entire life
span of the structure. Other materials which are used in guttering, such as aluminium, are often chosen for
their aesthetic as opposed to practicality, and often cost more1. In contrast to this, the PVC guttering chosen
is priced at $1.75 per metre.2
A simple bracket for the guttering was created so that it could be easily attached to the shelter on site with
minimal effort as shown in Figure 20.

Figure 20 CAD rendering of the gutter bracket

To meet the URS requirement of 90 litres of water to be stored, a water butt of suitable size needed to be
chosen. Standard sizes included 200 and 250 litres, both of which exceed the URS requirement. Therefore the
decision was made to go for the 200 litre water butt priced at 29.993.

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/5-Aluminium-Rain-Gutter-Anodized-Aluminum_1721177279.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/PVC-rainwater-gutter-round_60028482228.html

http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Water-Butt-200L/p/194674

Page | 18

4.1.2

Water Purification

In order to ensure that the water collected would be safe to drink, methods of purification were researched.
Water collected from the guttering can contain pathogens and particulates attained during run off from the
roof. To remove these before they enter the water butt, it was chosen to install a screen, which is a common
method used. This would catch large particulates and can be easily emptied and cleaned, whilst being priced
competitively at $13.954. This screen would not remove small pathogens, so two options for further
purification were considered; water purification tablets and the use of additional filters.
Water purification tablets are a very common solution to this problem and act to kill off any bacteria found in
the water. They are typically iodine [18] based and are very effective at eliminating pathogens in fresh water
and complete purification can be achieved by using 7g per 30cm3 of water. However, they can take up to 30
minutes to fully purify the water. Due to their abundant nature, they can be purchased for 0.06 per tablet 5.
There are other practical considerations, which make these unsuitable for the shelter. For example the need
for multiple new tablets daily to produce drinking water would require regular deliveries and storage space
for the tablets. This is therefore not a viable solution as new tablets would be required every day.
Filters, the second option, are found in many different varieties and a comparison of these can be found in
the following table.
Table 2: A comparison of Water Filtration methods
Type
Cost
Features

Charcoal [19]
Low
Carbon filtering uses a
bed of activated carbon
to remove contaminants
and impurities, using
chemical absorption.
Pollutant molecules in
the fluid are trapped
inside the pore structure
of the carbon substrate.
It is able to remove most
pollutants however
struggles with heavy
metals such as lead.

Ceramic [20]
Medium
Ceramic water filters
are an inexpensive
and effective. They
rely on the small pore
size of ceramic
material to filter dirt,
debris, and bacteria
out of water.
They are very
lightweight, however
they have a very slow
flow rate.

Reverse Osmosis [21]


High
Reverse osmosis uses a
semipermeable
membrane to remove
larger particles from
drinking water.
It was originally
designed to purify
seawater. Besides salt,
the reverse osmosis
process also removes
all minerals. Water
without minerals can
present a health
problem.

Ultraviolet [22]
High
UV systems use high
frequency light to irradiate
water through a glass
element. Water passing the
element is exposed to the
light, killing all living
organisms. Although an
excellent sterilizing system,
it is impossible to know
whether the system is
always working without a
laboratory analysis of the
output water. It also does
not remove finer sediment
that might still be in the
water.

Due to the low cost, appropriate life span and wide availability, charcoal filters were chosen to be used. They
would provide safe drinking water filtering out smaller particulates and pathogens. A charcoal filter can be
purchased for 34.996.

http://www.rainharvest.com/rain-harvesting-pty-rainwater-collection-screen-12-standard.asp

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OASIS-Water-Purification-50Tablets/dp/B003JYUC9S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425568951&sr=8-1&keywords=water+purification+tablets
6

http://www.growell.co.uk/budget-carbon-filters.html

Page | 19

4.2 Sanitation
Data outlining recommendations for sanitation facilities such as toilets and washrooms was found during
preliminary research. It was important to take into account cultural differences such as toilet placement and
separation of the genders. For this situation it was recommended that segregated communal toilet blocks be
used. This would be possible due to the modular nature of the design and is covered later in section 3.6. The
use of communal blocks would also reduce the need to install plumbing across a large area for waste removal.
Table 3: A comparison of waste storage solutions

Type
Advantages

Disadvantages

Features

Costs

Composting
No water or
pipework is needed
Aerobic processes
are faster at
decomposition than
wet anaerobic
processes
Still has an odour
Will eventually fill
up
Heavy ground works
required

Chemical
Little odour if
kept clean
No pipe work

Flushing
Removes waste
immediately
No odour

Septic Tank
Tank emits odour but
can be placed further
from shelters without
inconvenience

Requires regular
emptying and
resupply with
chemicals

Requires expensive
ground work for
pipes

Sawdust, coconut
coir or peat moss
support aerobic
processing by
absorbing liquids,
helping to mitigate
odour.
Low

Uses chemicals to
deodorise the
waste instead of
storing it in a hole
or piping it away

A flush toilet
disposes of waste,
by using water to
flush it through a
drainpipe to
another location

Requires running
water
Large tank and
pipework must be
installed
Tank will require
emptying
A tank is used to
temporally store
waste before it is
collected and taken
off site.

Medium

Very High

High

Each type of toilet [23] therefore offers different features suitable for different time frames. For this reason it
was decided that recommendations would be based upon the length of time that the shelters are expected to
be erected for.
0-2 weeks: Chemical toilets [24] - Due to their requirement for regular emptying and chemicals they can only
work as a short term solution. It is unlikely the shelters will be used simply for 2 weeks and so this is more
likely to be used as a temporary measure to cover the installation of more permanent toilets.
2 weeks - 5 months: Composting toilets [25] - Depending upon how many people are using them full capacity
could be reached within this time frame and so new ones would have to be built.
5 months+: Septic tank [26] - This would be an ideal long term solution as it provides many of the functions of
a fully flushing toilet without the need to install a network of pipes taking waste to a treatment plant. They
only require periodic emptying and can be placed so that waste is not near residences.
It was decided that a fully flushing system [27] would be inappropriate and excessive for a refugee situation.
We expect the shelter to be typically erected for 3-18 months; this would make the septic tank solution the
Page | 20

most feasible. A typical 6-person septic tank can cost 5997 including installation. 1-2L of waste is expected
per person per day [7]. In a community of 100 shelters, and including a factor of safety of two, a 16,800L tank
would be required which would be emptied weekly.

4.3 Electricity
It is important that the shelter comes equipped with electric lighting. Various methods of providing this were
investigated. It was noted that in areas where refugees are often displaced to, power grids are too far away or
require too much extra infrastructure to be a reliable and viable solution. The operating locations singled out
two methods, wind power and solar. Wind power was not chosen due to its intermittence and both the
weight and number of parts required.
4.3.1

Solar Panels

After further investigating solar power, a selection of solar panels were compared to find an appropriate
model. ASuperStores 10.5 Watt panel was chosen at a price of 15.998. The dimensions of the panel allow for
it to fit within the frame and produce more than enough power to fulfil the needs of the occupants.
The solar panel would be attached to the shelter on top of two railings that slide into the pole structure
created for the modular design. This can be seen in Figure 21.

Figure 21 CAD rendering of attachments for the solar panel

http://shop.septictank.co.uk/septic-tanks/klargester-sigma-septic-tank-6-person

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Solar-Panel-12V-10-5W-for-Mobile-Charger-boat-Car-Battery-PowerBank/281573339739?

Page | 21

Table 4: A comparison of Solar Panels

Description
Brand
Panel Dimension
in mm
Open Circuit
Voltage (Voc)
Optimum
Operating
Voltage (Vmp)
Short Circuit
Current (Isc)
Optimum
Operating
Current (Imp)
Maximum Power
under standard
test conditions
(Pm)

4.3.2

2.5 Watt
PowerUp
238x156
x16
21.0V

5 Watt
Suntech
306x216
x18
21.4V

10 Watt
Suntech
368x310
x18
21.6V

20 Watt
Suntech
656x306
x18
21.2V

30 Watt
Suntech
680x426
x18
21.6V

10.5 Watt
ASuperStore
320x220x1.5
19.6V

45 Watt
Suntech
665x537
x30
21.9V

17.0V

16.8V

17.2V

16.8V

17.2V

12V

17.6V

0.17A

0.32A

0.66A

1.32A

1.93A

0.39A

2.7A

0.15A

0.3A

0.58A

1.19A

1.74A

0.3A

2.56A

2.5Wp

5Wp

10Wp

20Wp

30Wp

10.5Wp

45Wp

Electricity Storage

The majority of the power usage will be during the night whilst no power is being produced by the solar panel.
To combat this, a system using batteries for storage was proposed.
As new batteries are typically expensive, a solution is to use reconditioned older batteries. Reconditioning
improves battery longevity and capacity [28]. Car batteries are readily available and lots of companies
recondition them before reselling at a reduced price of $10-509. A new battery would typically cost between
$30-9010. For the LED bulb used in the shelter, a 0.8 amp 12V car battery would be required. Therefore 16
amp hours equates to 20 hours of lighting [29].
In order to maximise battery life, a charge controller costing 29.9511 will also need to be installed. This will
allow for selection of the power source, either solar or battery.
Standard domestic wiring would be used to connect this. It was estimated that 10 meters of cable per shelter
would be required. The cabling costs 0.2912 per meter, with a total cost of 2.90 per shelter. A simple clip
that can be injection moulded was designed. It would clip into the existing frame structure of the poles and
hold the wiring securely so it can run uninterrupted along the frame of the shelter.

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/reconditioned-car-batteries-for-sale-bulk_1810049670.html

10

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Dry-car-battery-56638-12V66AH-VISCA_51828380.html

11

http://www.sunshinesolar.co.uk/khxc/gbu0-prodshow/EMT002.html

12

http://www.edwardes.co.uk/en/products/1-5mm-6242y-grey-twin---38--earth-cable-per-100mtreel?utm_medium=google_shopping&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=google_shopping&p=1

Page | 22

Figure 22 CAD rendering of the wire clip that fits into the frame

4.3.3

Lighting

In order to calculate the appropriate level of lighting for the shelter, a general rule of thumb that is typically
applied is to multiply the length of the room by the width, and multiply by 1.5. This calculates the required
power needed to sufficiently illuminate the shelter. Performing this calculation suggests that a 40 watt bulb
would be the most suitable for this task and this would produce approximately 380 lumens. [30] Figure 23
outlines the difference between traditional incandescent technology and modern lighting solutions, whilst
Table 5 goes on to compare the characteristics of different types of LED bulbs.

Figure 23: A graphic showing the difference in traditional and modern technologies [31]

Page | 23

Table 5: A Comparison of lighting solutions


Type
Output
Cost
Other

LED Bulb13
400 Lumen
$1-4 + $29.99 for Inverter
Standard Screw Fit, Requires 5W 110v
AC. Would require an inverter to work
with DC from solar panel and battery.
16

Strip14
100 Lumen/meter
$0.3-1.5/meter
12v DC required. Would
need 4m to produce the
light required to fill the
room.

DC LED Bulb15
320 Lumens
$3-5
12v DC power supply

The chosen solution for the lighting is to use a standard DC LED bulb. This does not require the use of an AC to
DC converter, and this saves on the costs associated with this part. Two LED bulbs should be used to provide
enough light. The sockets for the bulbs cost $0.75 each17, and allow for simple changing if a bulb breaks. This
is therefore a more sustainable solution than strip lighting.
The whole electrical system would them come together on site as the wiring and placement would be
extremely simple, as shown in Figure 24 .

Figure 24 Electrical wiring illustration

13

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/SMD-chip-bulk-led-lights-a60_1632768489.html

14

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/LED-rgb-strip-with-3014-SMD_1492571127.html

15

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2013-LED-New-design-landscape-lighting_918661216.html?s=p

16

http://www.adaptelec.com/dc-to-ac-inverters-12v-to-110v-c-9.html

17

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/GU5-3-to-GU10-socket_60023072251.html?s=p

Page | 24

4.4 Ventilation
As the chosen operating location is in South-East Turkey, where temperatures can reach highs of 46 degrees,
it was noted that sufficient ventilation would be required to keep the shelter cool in the heat of the day. It is
also important to note that this ventilation system needs to be able to be closed in order to prevent the
shelter from getting too cold at night.
Following the initial design of the shelter it was seen that a gap was located between the upper structure and
roof. It was therefore decided to utilise this gap for ventilation. It was decided that a grille, with the capability
to be opened and closed, should be installed. This will allow air to pass into the structure, providing good
ventilation during the day, but preventing the passage of air and therefore loss of heat when closed. It was
also found that these grilles would not be required for the entire length of the structure due to the large area
for ventilation this would provide. An alternative flexible flap was designed which would be placed on the
upper bar, contacting the roof to create a seal.
An additional aspect of the ventilation was minimising air leakage through the walls. This has been achieved
by installing a rubber sealing strip within the poles meaning that as the panels are installed they act to stop air
leakage.

Page | 25

4.5 Insulation
It is important to ensure the shelter is well insulated to provide comfortable living conditions for the
occupants, ensuring the interior temperature is at a comfortable level. It was noted that there are a wide
variety of appropriate insulation solutions for this design.
4.5.1

Areas of concern

Figure 25 [32] shows where heat is lost in an ordinary house. The walls and the roof are the biggest sources of
heat loss, contributing to 60% of the total. These areas are therefore to be looked into with some detail. The
remaining 40% is split fairly evenly between the windows, doors and floor. Using the same type of insulation
to insulate the walls and the roof would be the most appropriate solution as the panels for the walls and roof
are the same. Different insulation is usually used in floors as these will normally have to withstand some force.
The insulation used in the floor for the shelter will have to be able to withstand loading. A suitable insulating
material should therefore be selected for this job. To combat heat loss through windows, houses usually use
double glazing to utilise the insulating properties of trapped air. It would be unfeasible and not cost effective
to do this in the Dicax shelter, although other options are available such as twin wall transparent plastics.

Figure 25: Areas of heat loss in an ordinary home

4.5.1.1

Health and Safety and Environmental issues

Glass wool can use a binder called phenol formaldehyde which is thought to be a carcinogen [33]. Although
this one is being phased out of use, there are other chemicals used in the manufacturing process of glass wool
and rock mineral wool that are harmful to breathe in. Rock mineral wool contains crystalline silica which could
cause lung disease or cancer if inhaled over a long time [34]. If either of these insulation types are decided to
be used, it is important that they are not left exposed to the occupants.
A potential environmental issue with rigid foam panels is that they emit toxic smoke when burned [35]. They
can be recycled however, although are often not.
4.5.2
4.5.2.1

Types of insulation
Glass mineral wool

Glass mineral wool, or glass wool, is the most widely used insulation material. It is made by using a binder (an
adhesive material) to stick glass fibres together, after the glass has been heated to around 1500C. During this
Page | 26

process, small pockets of air become trapped between the glass fibres, which give the material its insulating
properties. The density of glass wool can be varied through compression and binder content. For this reason it
can be implemented in a number of ways, including as a loose fill material, as a sheet or panel to insulate flat
surfaces, and even as a spray-on insulation. It is both an effective thermal and acoustic insulator, and is also
environmentally friendly as the glass used to manufacture the product often comes from recycled glass
source [33].
4.5.2.2

Rock mineral wool

Rock mineral wool is made using the same technique as glass wool. Molten rock at 1600C is spun at high
speeds to create a mass of fine intertwined fibres which trap pockets of air. It has a solid structure and is
normally manufactured as lightweight slabs that are installed in cavity walls. Rock mineral wool offers much
higher heat resistance than glass wool, withstanding temperatures of up to 850C. This makes it effective for
use as a fireproofing material [34].
4.5.2.3

Rigid Foam

Rigid foam has a high compressive strength so is used mainly as floor or loft insulation, where it may
experience some load. It is more expensive than mineral wool and also proves more difficult to install in oddshaped spaces due to its fixed geometry. It does however provide good thermal and acoustic insulation. Three
types of rigid foam that are commonly used are polyisocyanurate, extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded
polystyrene (EPS). Polyisocyanurate is the most expensive but provides better thermal insulation than the
other two, while extruded polystyrene is probably the more versatile. Expanded polystyrene is the least
expensive type of rigid foam but does not provide the same level of insulation and is more easily damaged
than the other two. Rigid foam insulation is often faced with foil, which acts as a moisture barrier and also
helps to reflect infrared radiation, improving the insulating properties [19].
4.5.2.4

Thin Multifoil Insulation

Thin multifoil insulation is a relatively new product, now comprising 6% of the UK insulation market [36]. It is
made up of very thin multi-layered reflective films separated by wadding or foam and sewn together. This
makes it around three to five times thinner than traditional insulation. The reflective foils of thin multifoil
insulation ensure that it is extremely effective at reflecting infrared radiation, meaning a comfortable
temperature is achieved in warmer summer months as well as winter months. Thin multifoil insulation could
not feasibly by implemented in the shelter however, as it requires a 25mm air gap either side of it when
installed. As the walls of the shelter are required to be thin, using this type of insulation would start to
encroach on the living space for the occupants.
4.5.3

R-value and U-value

A standard measuring unit for insulating materials is their R-value. A high R-value means a greater resistance
to heat, and therefore a better insulating material. Glass wool has an R-value of around 0.5-0.7 per inch [37],
rock mineral wool around 0.7-0.9 per inch, and rigid foam ranges from 0.9-1.3 per inch, with polyisocyanurate
offering the highest R-value.
U is the overall heat transfer coefficient, measured in W/m2K. It is a measure of the total heat loss in a
building element such as a wall, floor or roof. It is calculated by finding the reciprocal of the summation of the
R-values of all of the materials in the building element.
Page | 27

1
+ +1 +2 +3 ++

(1)

where Rsi is the fixed internal resistance (typically 0.13m2K/W) [38] and Rso is the fixed external resistance
(typically 0.04m2K/W). The R-value is calculated using equation 2 below,
1

(2)

where k is the thermal conductivity of the material in W/mK, and d is the thickness of the material.
4.5.4

Final Choice

The insulation chosen for implementation into the wall and ceiling panels of the Relief Shelter design was rock
mineral wool slabs. As the wall panels in the relief shelter design are thin, an insulating board with good
insulating properties is needed to ensure the living conditions in the shelter are comfortable. Rock mineral
wool slabs provide good insulating properties as well as offering good fireproofing capabilities. It is also
significantly cheaper than using the rigid foam panels. It can be manufactured in slabs, meaning that it will be
easy to assemble on site. A thin plywood panel is to be secured over the insulation slab so as not to leave any
of the insulation exposed to the occupants. Figure 26 below shows a cross section of the wall of the shelter
with the insulation in place.
= Inside plywood panel (2mm)
= Rock mineral wool panel (35mm)
= Outside polyethylene panel (2.5mm)
= Air gap (25mm)

Figure 26: Cross section of the shelter wall

The polyethylene wall panels are hollow with the air gap in the middle creating another effective insulating
layer. The overall heat transfer coefficient U, for this wall element can be calculated using equations (1) and
(2) above, and values from Table 6 below.

Page | 28

Table 6: Material Properties [37] [39]

Material
Polyethylene

Thermal
(W/mK)
0.400

conductivity,

Plywood
Air
Glass Wool
Rock Mineral Wool
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)
Polyisocyanurate

0.130
0.024
0.035 0.040
0.035 0.045
0.038
0.034
0.023

k R-value
0.006 (for 2.5mm thick
panel)
0.015 (for 2mm thick panel)
1.042 (for 25mm thick gap)
0.875 (for 35mm thick panel)
0.778 (for 35mm thick panel)
0.921 (for 35mm thick panel)
1.029 (for 35mm thick panel)
1.522 (for 35mm thick panel)

Using the above values, the overall heat transfer coefficient U can be calculated as shown below;
1
0.015+0.778+0.006+1.042+0.006+0.04+0.13

0.50 /2

(3)

Achieving a low U value is desirable as this means that less heat is transferred through the wall and so it is
therefore better insulated. Countries around the area that the shelter is designed to be sent to, suggest a U
value of under 0.70W/m2K should be achieved to ensure comfortable living [40]. The value of 0.50W/m2K that
has been calculated is lower than this recommended value so this shows that the wall and roof panels are
sufficiently insulated.
The insulation chosen for the floor is expanded polystyrene panels. These panels provide good insulation and
can also be faced with foil ensuring good water resistant properties. The panels also have a high compressive
strength so are good for use as floor insulation. These panels will sit on top of a thin waterproofing layer, with
floor tiles (discussed in section 4.6) placed on top of them. The waterproofing layer is to be heavy duty
polythene sheeting. This along with the waterproofing properties of expanded polystyrene will provide
enough waterproofing for comfortable living conditions.
The windows in the shelter are made from twin wall polycarbonate sheeting. Trapped air is a good insulator,
and the air trapped between the sheets of polycarbonate provides enough insulation so that no further
materials are needed here.
4.5.5

Heating

The concept of having a heating system in the shelter was discussed but decided against for a number of
reasons. Firstly, this system would require too much energy for a solar panel based energy supply to maintain,
with the cost of provision being far higher than the benefit given. Also, as the shelter is well insulated, the
need for a heating system becomes obsolete, especially in the climate that the shelter is to be implemented
in. Heating solutions could be installed by occupants providing they do not have an open flame, as although
many chosen materials are heatproof, some are not fireproof.

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4.6 Flooring
4.6.1

Flooring Specification

The flooring solution of the semi-permanent relief shelter must be:

Waterproof to protect the interior from run-off floodwater and water permeating through the ground

Durable as the design requirement is for semi-permanence, ensuring minimal maintenance

Cost-effective as the shelter was design for Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs). The capital costs must
be kept as low as possible, whilst still meeting the specification

Comfortable, and may include additional personal layer provided by the occupants

Compactness for efficient transportation.

4.6.2

Raised Floor (Stilts)

A possible solution is to raise the shelter off the floor on support legs or stilts, as seen in Figure 27. This
technique is common in areas with a high risk of flooding and to keep out vermin. Raising the shelter would
eradicate the risk of flooding and be durable, as wooden planks would be used as the floor across the
foundation piles. However, the foundations would need to be much deeper for a stilted shelter. Driven timber
foundations would be the most suitable but they would require extra machinery to dig the foundations, and
the extra material for the piles and the supports [41].

Figure 27: Example of a Stilted House [93]

To conclude, this technique was disregarded as a potential solution. The large amount of timber needed for
the stilts and the floorboards immediately makes a raised floor solution unsuitable due to the cost of
obtaining, processing and transporting this.
4.6.3

Tanking

The earth underneath the structure acts as a route for water to enter through the floor, and in order to
prevent this from happening; the floor must be fully waterproofed. A system is also needed to prevent water
from entering the structure from surface run-off. There are a couple of ways in which to do this, either by
sealing the floor, a technique known as tanking, or through the use of membrane systems. Tanking would be
the most appropriate for the emergency shelter due to the relative simplicity compared with membrane
systems. [42]
Page | 30

Tanking is traditionally used to waterproof underground cellars and basements, but can also be applied to the
emergency relief shelter. A waterproof barrier layer is applied to stop the penetration of water. A personal
flooring layer such as a carpet or rug could then be added for comfort.
It was concluded that Tanking the floor of the shelter would be the optimal solution.
4.6.4

Final Flooring Solution

Using the specification shown in 4.6.1, and considering the options discussed in 4.6.2 and 4.6.3, a solution was
designed to provide a comfortable floor for the shelter, which was waterproof, durable, compact and
lightweight. The final flooring solution is shown in Figure 28 below.

Figure 28: Total floor system

A tile design enables easy customisation of the size of the shelter. The tiles were designed to be a metre
square in area with a height of 5mm. This matches the width of each wall panel so the number of floor tiles
needed per shelter would be easy to determine.
The tiles have been designed to slot together to create a waterproof seal and enable the floor plan to change
in size if needed. The joining solution is shown in more detail in Figure 29 below.

Figure 29: Jointing Solution

Page | 31

The simplicity of the joining system means that the shelter occupants will not need any training or assistance
to piece the floor together to the desired size. This is both cost effective and time efficient, as additional relief
workers can be focused on more important tasks where expertise is needed, saving limited resources.
The flooring tiles will be arranged in an array, with the size depending on the size of the shelter. An example

Figure 30: Floor Tiling Solution

of the assembly of the tiles is shown in below in Figure 30.


This tiling solution could also be used to provide suitable flooring for community buildings in a relief camp setup, as the solution is flexible to the size of the shelter required, meeting essential criteria expected by the
user as outlined in 4.6.1, and is economical in the use of resources; human, material and financial.
The choice of material used is outlined later in section 5.4.

4.7 Foundations
The foundations for the shelter must be easy to install manually, strong enough to support a permanent
structure but also easy to remove at the end of each deployment without having a significant impact on the
local environment. Several solutions were considered and compared, with the final solution chosen being a
helical screw pile.
4.7.1

Concrete Footings

This method of foundation involves digging holes into the ground, inserting poles and pouring concrete
around the base to hold them in place. The shelter would then be constructed on top of these supports.
This method provides a very strong foundation. However, the foundations require a level of equipment to
build which cant be guaranteed to be available in relief locations. Concrete footings also require excavation,
making installation times lengthy; a big disadvantage in a relief situation. While this style of foundation is very
good for permanent structures, they have to be dug out at the end of use if the structure is not going to
remain in place, and once removed the foundations are not reusable.

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4.7.2

Spikes

Spikes are a form of foundation that is driven into the ground using a large sledgehammer. They require
minimal equipment to install and can be installed extremely quickly. Spikes are not as strong as other forms of
foundation and are therefore not appropriate for permanent structures or for areas with high winds. They
also cannot be used in icy conditions. While this is unlikely to be a major issue in the chosen operating
location, it does limit the adaptability of the shelter for other regions.

4.7.3

Screw Piles

Screw piles involve a metal shaft with a number of helical plates attached which is screwed into the ground.
The structure is then built on top of these shafts. The foundations can be manually installed by a small team
of people using a capstan. The foundations are quick to install and also easy to uninstall after usage with
minimal impact on the surrounding terrain, before being reused in a new location. The only limitation on
installation of screw piles is if the operating location has frozen earth. These foundations are also cheaper
than traditional concrete foundations. An example of a screw pile can be seen in Figure 31.

Figure 31: A screwpile

4.7.4

Final Solution

The final solution chosen was the screw piles.


The total weight of the shelter was first calculated using SolidWorks. This came to be 19.28kN. Next,
environmental factors must be considered.
A figure of 0.6kN/m2 is suggested as a minimum safety value to be used for snow loading [43]. While snow is
unlikely to be a huge issue in South-East Turkey, it is a possibility during winter months and it is important for
the shelter to be adaptable for use in other locations. Using this figure gives a total snow loading value of
20.16kN.
The wind loading was also calculated using the equation [44],
=

(4)

where F is the total force in Newtons, A is the area exposed to the wind (in this case the surface area of the
biggest side was used) in metres squared, p is the pressure in Pascals, Cd is the drag coefficient, Kz is the
exposure coefficient and Gh is the gust response factor.
The exposure coefficient can be calculated using [44],
2
7
33

= ( )

(5)
Page | 33

where z is the height from the ground to the midpoint of the exposed face in metres. This was calculated to
be 0.452 for the shelter. The gust response factor can be calculated using [44],
= 65 +

60
1

( 33) 7

(6)

where h is the total height of the structure in metres. This was calculated to be 145.8 for the shelter. A value
of 1.4 was taken for the coefficient of drag. This is a conservative figure for a small building. Wind pressure
was then calculated using the formula [44],
= 0.00256 2

(7)

where v is the wind speed in miles per hour. The maximum average wind speed in the region of South-East
Turkey is 4.63ms-2. Using a factor of safety of 2, this becomes 9.26ms-2 or 20.7mph. Using the above equation,
this gives a pressure of 1.097. Finally, returning to formula (4), this gives a wind loading of 2.9kN.
Combining the weight, the snow loading and the wind loading of the structure gives a total loading on the
foundations of 42.34kN.
The formula for ultimate load of a helical screw pile is [45],
= ( + )

(8)

where Pu is ultimate load in Newtons, AH is the total area of the projected helical plates in metres squared, c is
soil cohesion in kilo Newtons per metre squared, Nc is the baring capacity factor for cohesions, q is the soil
overburden pressure to mid-plate depth in Pascals and Nq is the bearing capacity factor for granular soil.
The soil overburden pressure is related to the depth of the foundation and can be calculated using the
formula,
=

(9)

where is the density of the soil in kilograms per metre cubed and z is the depth of the soil in metres.
Soil maps of South-East Turkey suggest that the soil is largely dry, reddish brown and brown soils. The
majority of the soil, 44.14%, is classed as loamy soil with the next biggest soil type being clay loamy at 42.79%
[46]. The calculations here assume a soil type of loamy.
Based on this classification of soil, it was assumed that the cohesion value is approximately 62.5kPa [47], the
angle of friction is approximately 25 degrees [48], giving values of Nc as 25.1 and Nq as 12.7 [49]. The density
of loamy soil is 1.33g/cm3 [50].
As soil tests of the exact area are not possible, general values must be used. For this reason a large factor of
safety was included, in this case 3. The total load, including the factor of safety is 127.02kN giving a load per
screw pile of 31.76kN using a screw pile in each corner of the shelter. Using equation (8), this gives a total
necessary projected area of the helical plates of 0.020m2.
The table below shows some data for the different shaft types for screw piles [45]:

Page | 34

Table 7: Data for different Shaft types for screw piles


Shaft Size
38mm
45mm
73mm
89mm
114mm

Shaft Configuration
(mm)
Solid Square Bar
Solid Square Bar
6.65 Wall Tubular
7.62 Wall Tubular
8.56 Wall Tubular

Weight per Meter (kg)

Axial Compression (kg)

Tension Strength (kg)

11.38
15.49
11.40
15.22
22.96

18,144
27,216
45,359
52,163
72,575

27,216
45,359
45,359
54,431
63,503

From this table, the best choice for this application is a 38mm diameter solid bar shaft. Using a plate diameter
of 18cm with just one plate at a depth of 0.5m gives a projected area of 0.021m 2 [45]. This will support a load
per pile of 32.98kN which is more than necessary for the shelter. For the most efficient support, the plate
should be at a pitch of 76mm meaning each revolution should descend by 76mm down the shaft [45].
The final design for the foundation can be seen in Figure 31. This is screwed in to the ground using a capstan
so that the top of the helical plate is at a depth of 0.5m. The spike on the end of the shaft helps to drive the
screw pile into the ground.

4.8 Security
Security is an important factor to consider in design. Due to the nature of the project, it is near impossible to
design a shelter that meets the security specifications of a house. The main thing to secure is the front door,
as this would prove the most likely access point to any person seeking to gain entry. There are a few options
available.
4.8.1

Keyed Locks

The most expensive option considered but also provides the most flexibility with the choice to lock the door
from both inside and outside, allowing people to secure their home in the daytime if everyone is out of the
house. Suggested is a keyed doorknob; installation is fairly simple, and will take only around 10-20 minutes
even if the knob is supplied separately to the door and the process requires no technical knowledge or tools
except a simple screwdriver (screw holes should be drilled beforehand). An issue that stands out is the
potential of losing the keys provided, which could create complications. A standard price point for a keyed
doorknob is 10, although if bought in bulk that price could reduce to around 4-6.
4.8.2

Chains and Bolts

These are a cheaper option when compared to any lock with a key, costing around 3-5 when bought alone.
The main disadvantage of bolts and chains is the inability to lock the door from the outside, which greatly
limits security in day to day life because someone must remain indoors for the locks to be used. Bolts are
easier than keyed locks to install, provided that screw holes are drilled before shipping.
4.8.3

Viewfinder

Viewers are a cheap addition to a door which can improve the security of the occupants. They are easy to
install and cost only 1-3.
4.8.4

Keeping the door closed

It is important to note that if a keyed lock is not used it will be necessary to use other methods to secure the
door shut when the lock is not in use. Recommended is a simple magnetic catch which will keep the door shut
Page | 35

when it is closed. These cost between 2-6 each, and can be simply secured to the door and frame with
screws.
The shelter was designed to be semi-permanent from the outset. The life-span of the structure is expected to
vary depending on the situation. The shelter will enable the occupants to live in comfort with a high quality of
life during this time.

5 Materials
Due to the complex design of the shelter, there are many separate materials which will be required for the
creation of the structure. Below is an outline of each of these and the methodologies behind the selection
process.

5.1 Poles
5.1.1

5.1.2

Specifications for the Pole


Poles must be able to take the weight of the roof as well as any precipitation
Poles must be able to withstand wind loading
Electrical wires will run along the poles of the shelter
HDPE panels should be able to slot into, attach and unattach from the poles
Discussion of potential materials

To meet the requirements discussed in section 5.1.1, numerous materials were considered for the
construction of the pole. These were bamboo, plastic (PP or PE), steel, and aluminium.
5.1.2.1

Bamboo

Bamboo is known as a low grade building material. It is generally used for scaffolding and temporary
structures (see Figure 32), and has as large a strength to weight ratio as mild steel. When stiffness is required,
bamboo is slightly less desirable as, due to variations in bamboo species, there is potential for a rather large
difference in strength and density. Recently, scientific discoveries have led to bamboo being used as a
compressed material - squashed into panels for building. [51]
Bamboo is also cheap, renewable and environmentally friendly. It grows abundantly and is easily attainable.

Figure 32: A structure containing Bamboo Element

Page | 36

5.1.3

Plastics

The ideal polymers to use for the poles are considered to be polypropylene and polyethylene. In general,
plastics are strong, light and durable and have excellent resistance to weather effects, and as such, have been
used to manufacture many parts of building to date due to them being easily sourced. Plastics are also low
conductors of heat and can, therefore, also be considered as an insulation material. However, plastics have
numerous issues, including their reactions to heat as they can degrade in direct sunlight or deform under high
heats.
5.1.3.1

Potential metals for pole construction

Two metals were considered for construction of the pole, the first being the aluminium alloy 6063T6 and the
second being steel S235. Both have a high strength to weight ratio and are malleable and ductile. Steel can be
sourced for around 300 per tonne18, and aluminium 6063T6 costs around 3000 per tonne.19
5.1.4

Production of Aluminium and Steel

Aluminium is either produced from aluminium ore (bauxite) or through recycling previous aluminium
products. After being refined into alumina (Bayer process) it is then reduced to metallic aluminium. Although
this is an energy intensive process, the reduction of aluminium often takes place in factories built near green
energy production sites, such as hydroelectric power dams [52].
Once aluminium is used it can be recycled multiple times without any loss of properties. If the aim is to keep
the shelter as green as possible, it might be necessary to either buy aluminium that is produced from plants
supplied by renewable energy, or aluminium that has been recycled [52].
Steel is produced by first melting down iron, then removing impurities such as nitrogen, sulphur and excess
carbon. Finally, it is necessary to alloy elements such as manganese and vanadium to produce different grades
of steel. The process is significantly less energy intensive when compared to the aluminium extraction
process. [53]
5.1.5

Weather Resistant properties of aluminium

In general, aluminium is fairly resistant to corrosion due to its ability to form a small oxide layer on its surface
upon contact with air, preventing further oxidation. This layer is impermeable, and if damaged repairs itself
instantly. This layer is stable between pH values of 4-9 [54].
There are a few different types of aluminium corrosion, the main forms being galvanic corrosion, pitting and
crevice corrosion. Galvanic corrosion occurs when there is a metallic contact and electrolytic bridge, so for the
design in question can be ignored [54].
5.1.5.1

Pitting

Pitting is the most common type of aluminium corrosion, which occurs in the presence of an electrolyte (for
example, water). It appears as very small pits on the surface of the metal. These remain shallow when the
pole is exposed to air and increase in depth when submerged in soil or water. However, pitting is primarily an
aesthetic problem that rarely affects strength [54].

18

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/price-steel-s235.html

19

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/aluminium-6063-t6.html

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Treating aluminium is beneficial as this can prevent pitting and other types of corrosion. Either cleaning (with
water or maybe a mild alkaline detergent) or surface treatment such as anodising or painting might be
necessary. Design-wise it is necessary to prevent pockets and angles in which the water can collect, as can be
seen in Figure 33[28].

Figure 33: Methods or negating pitting in metal structures [54]

5.1.5.2

Crevice corrosion

Crevice corrosion occurs in narrow liquid filled crevices. The easiest way to prevent this form of corrosion
from occurring is to remove any narrow crevices from the design. In the design of the shelter, if rubber sealing
is attached to the aluminium poles it should be attached using either a sealing compound or a double-sided
tape (the former being advised as a more permanent solution). It must be noted that sometimes during
transport and storage water can collect in crevices between adjacent aluminium surfaces that leads to this
form of corrosion. [28]
5.1.5.3

Pros and Cons of corrosion protection methods

Bitumen coating (see Figure 34) is a relatively cheap and easy process. It provides a decent resistance to
corrosion caused by soil and environmental effects. Unless the coating is applied in a full layer, corrosion can
still occur.

Figure 34: Bitumen coated Aluminium Bars [54]

Page | 38

Anodising produces a hard, durable, abrasion-resistant and long-lasting layer of oxide, as well as strong
corrosion resistance. The process is environmentally friendly, involving simple chemicals, and the finished
product can be easily recycled at end of life. After the process is complete the poles would also have
insulating properties, which can be considered useful if wires are to be run inside the poles. Anodising is fairly
inexpensive, though not as cheap a solution as the bitumen coating. Corrosion resistance characteristics are
shown in Table 8 [54].

Table 8: Corrosion Protection Characteristics of Aluminium

5.1.6

Protecting steel against corrosion

Similarly to aluminium, most steels are vulnerable to corrosion due to environmental effects. Stainless steel,
although being much more resistant to corrosion than other steels, can corrode in some conditions. Without
the presence of either water or oxygen however, corrosion cannot take place. It is advised to select a highly
alloyed steel and ensure that the surfaces are smooth and clean.
Protecting steel is normally a two-step process, starting with surface preparation then continuing with an
application of a surface coating. The most important and common type of surface preparation is a process
called abrasive blast cleaning which involves shooting small pellets of pre-selected sizes and materials at the
steel at different intensities. The surface preparation process helps to remove the steel of rust and clean it,
but also creates a surface with suitable roughness to provide the protective coating with a mechanical key,
especially if grit is used as the abrasive.
The standard grades of cleanliness for abrasive blast cleaning in accordance with BS EN ISO 8501-1 are [55]:
Page | 39

Sa 1 Light blast cleaning

Sa 2 Thorough blast cleaning

Sa 2 Very thorough blast cleaning

Sa 3 Blast cleaning to visually clean steel

The most common surface coating method to follow blast cleaning, when considering structural steels, is hot
dip galvanising, a process which involves covering the surface of the steel with a corrosion-resistant metal like
zinc, which effectively forms a protective barrier against the environment. Corrosion resistance of the zinc is a
linear function of its thickness (double the thickness lasts double the time).
Another option is to use anticorrosive paint instead of a metal coating, which provides adequate protection
for most applications. Moisture can get under the paint, however, and rust will eventually occur even if paint
is applied perfectly. [55]
5.1.7

Mechanical properties of Steel S235and Aluminium 6063T6

Aluminium as a pure metal does not possess the required properties for the structure suggested, therefore it
is necessary to alloy it to improve some features such as hardness and stiffness.
An aluminium alloy of 6063 T6, commonly referred to as the architectural alloy, is suggested. 6063 has all the
desired properties that are needed for the construction of the poles. It has a decent surface finish, and is
easily anodised, and even welded if necessary. Below is a table of its properties:
Mechanical Properties

Properties at 298K

Al
6063T6
[56]

Steel
S235
[57]

Density (x1000kg/m^3)
Poisson's Ratio
Elastic Modulus (GPa)
UTS (MPa)
Yield Strength (MPa)

2.7
0.33
68.9
241
214

7.7-8.03
0.27-0.3
190-210
1158
1034

Table 9: Mechanical Properties of Al 6063T6 and Steel S235

Steel, similarly to aluminium, is both malleable and ductile allowing processes such as rolling, extrusion,
forging and casting. It has a density of 8000kg/m3 and is almost completely recyclable. Steel s235 costs
between 300-450 per tonne20.
5.1.8

End of life

Aluminium can be recycled and reused extremely simply. Around 92% and 98% of building aluminium was
collected and recycled in Europe according to the European Aluminium Association [58]. The process involves
melting the scrap aluminium down to be recast, a process in which only 5% of the energy requirement in the
original extraction requirement is needed.

20

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/aluminium-6063-t6.html
Page | 40

Steel is also readily recycled and reused - only 1% of steel is sent to landfill at end of life with 6% being reused
and the rest being recycled.
5.1.9

Final material selections

After considering all options, the choice was made to use steel as the material for the poles with a coating of
plastic (polyethylene). This choice is due partly to the unreliability and lack of strength of bamboo and plastic
alone, and due to the weight of using solely steel. The aluminium alloy was considered to be the best option
at first but it was heard from production companies that the poles were less viable to manufacture than
originally thought due to their weight and shape.

5.2 Panels, Wall and Roofing


5.2.1

Panel Specifications

As the main body of semi-permanent shelters, panels should be durable and have a long lifespan

Panel materials should be able to withstand heavy rain and strong winds in a severe environment

Panels can be manufactured and repaired easily according to structure design requirements.

Panels should be compact, lightweight and have a good cost to performance ratio.

5.2.2

Materials Discussion

Several materials were taken into account due to the requirements discussed in section 5.2.1. Compared to
metal, plastic is light enough to be appropriate for construction and transportation in this application. The low
cost of plastic helps to limit the total cost to under 2300 per shelter. The plastics considered for the panel
material were polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).
5.2.3

Properties of Polypropylene

Polypropylene [59]has many properties which make it suitable for use as a building material. PP is a non-toxic,
odourless and tasteless long chain polymer, with a density of 900kgm-3. It is easily formed making it
appropriate for fabrication techniques such as welding, casting, extrusion and moulding, whilst maintaining
excellent abrasion resistance and high rigidity. This property is beneficial to the long service time of the Dicax
shelter, and its impermeable nature allows it to be used as an external panel. As it is resistant to bending
fatigue, PP is a suitable material choice for supports and joints. Care needs to be taken however when using
PP near heat sources as it can melt, although is highly resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.
With the addition of other additives to the polymer blend, the properties of PP can be improved, for example
PPs longevity can be improved when zinc oxide is added. Figure 35 shows the structure of PP.

Figure 35: Structure of Polypropylene

Page | 41

There are, however, certain disadvantages with using polypropylene as a building material; mainly being that
as the material cools down it loses strength. It also has lower than average impact resistance characteristics,
and in a pure form has poor UV resistance. These issues can, however, be negated by blending with other
plastics, rubbers and thermoplastic elastomers, improving the properties through other physical and chemical
interactions.
5.2.4

Properties of PE

In terms of properties, PE [60] has many similarities to PP, such as the good anti-aging resistance and
excellent strength; it is very suitable for composing the panels of a semi-permanent shelter.
PE has a greater chemical resistance which is resistant to strong acids and strong bases, whilst the density of
is of a slightly greater magnitude than that of PP. Disadvantageously, some mechanical properties, tensile
strength for example, are worse than required for shelter panel material. However, this can be solved by
blending the polymer with others in the blend modification introduced above. The structure of PE can be seen
in Figure 36.

Figure 36: Structure of Polyethylene

5.2.5
5.2.5.1

Industrial processes and manufacturing of PP and PE


Manufacturing

Nowadays, PP is quickly becoming a popular material choice and it has displaced many conventional
materials, namely glass, wood and metal in industrial manufacturing [61]. On top of this there are multiple
ways of producing PP, which are constantly being improved.
There are three commonly used methods to produce PP, namely hydrocarbon slurry or suspension, bulk (or
bulk slurry), and gas phase. Hydrocarbon slurry involves accelerating the transfer of propylene catalyst by
using a liquid inert hydrocarbon diluent in the reactor. Recently, however, this method has fallen into disuse.
The PP can also be extracted by using liquid propylene instead of liquid inert hydrocarbon diluent in the
second method. When considering the gas phase method, PP can be produced by using gaseous propylene in
contact with a solid catalyst. [59]
Depending on melting point, PE is divided into three classes: low, medium and high density which are
separated into these categories: High-density polyethylene (HDPE), ULDPE (Ultra-low density polyethylene),
LLDPE (Linear low-density polyethylene), MDPE (Medium-density polyethylene) HMWPE polyethylene (high
molecular weight) and UHMWPE (Ultra-high molecular weight) [62]. PE is mainly produced by the slurry
process and the procedures are shown in Figure 37.

Page | 42

Figure 37: Industrial Process of Polypropylene creation

The catalyst and propane thinner enter into a prepolymerisation reactor whilst raw materials (ethylene,
hydrogen, comonomer and copolymerization catalyst) enter into gas phase reactor after purification.
Prepolymerization slurry then enters into the loop reactor under supercritical condition. After flashing the
polymers, they are sent into the gas-phase fluidised bed reactor and the PE can be produced. It is particularly
important to know that these different reactors are independent [62].
Further processing of molten PP and PE can be achieved via extrusion and moulding. The shaping techniques
of injection moulding and blow moulding are commonly applied in industrial manufacturing. In addition to
this, there are some physical finishing techniques. Adhesion of printing ink and paints onto PP can be enabled
effectively by surface treatments [59]. For further processing, it was finally decided to choose the injection
moulding technique which is introduced in the manufacture section (6.2.1).
5.2.5.2

Quality Control

Products need to be tested via several different methods to detect both their properties and the relevant
parameters of the material after manufacture.
The electrical properties of PP and PE can be tested through simple electrical methods. For example, the
current readings of PP and PE are almost zero when they are electrified by DC voltage (shown in Figure 38)
which suggests that the PP and PE molecules hold on to their electrons so that they cannot flow freely,
granting them insulative properties. The electrical properties of plastics include: volume resistivity, surface
resistivity, dielectric constant, dielectric strength, dissipation factor and arc resistivity [63].
.

Figure 38: Test of Volume Resistivity

Page | 43

For the purpose of the shelter, the mechanical and thermal properties of the panel materials should be paid
more attention to in the tests. Regarding mechanical properties, in general, the material sample is loaded in
different ways such as shear, compression and torsion, which then can be measured by different kinds of
force meters. The mechanical properties can be described as stress, stiffness, strain, compressive strength,
flexural strength, fatigue strength, torsional strength, tensile strength etc. These parameters are always used
to discuss how a material behaves in specific conditions [63].

Figure 39: Test of Tensile Strength

Thermal properties can play a significant role in changing other properties of PP or PE. Size is especially
affected, and when the temperature changes dramatically, structural and assembling problems for shelters
may be caused. There are two main factors, namely coefficient of expansion and deflection temperature
under load, to be considered in tests.

Figure 40: Test of Shear Stress

Page | 44

To make sure of the customized size of panels, every panel needs its width, length, thickness, diagonal, etc. to
be inspected. After processing, the panels size can be guaranteed and controlled within tolerance. The
specific testing methods are shown in the following Figure 41 [64]:

Figure 41: Size Measurement of Panel

5.2.5.3

Production

The plastic industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in Turkey, which is the foremost targeted
location of the Dicax shelters, with a 13.5% growth rate annually. Turkey is also the third biggest European
country for plastic processing [65]. Therefore, the shelter can be easily processed and repaired locally.
Additionally, a company called Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, based in Saudi Arabia which is close to
Turkey, is the 4th largest plastic manufacturer in the world, making it a particularly convenient source for
plastic products.
5.2.6

PP products

The first product considered is Polystone Polypropylene PP-H from Dotmar, which is an Australian engineering
plastic company. This product has excellent mechanical strength, which means it is hard and stiff enough to
withstand strong winds, and has good moisture resistance which is conducive to protecting from heavy rain
and snow. It has many standard applications [66], including pipe flanges, chemical storage tanks and fume
cupboards.

Page | 45

Table 10 shows some of the physical properties of PP.


Table 10: Physical Properties of Polypropylene

Unfortunately, the ultraviolet (UV) resistance of Polystone Polypropylene PP-H is only moderate, and is
therefore not suitable for the semi-permanent shelter, because it is not reliable in the long term.
Another PP sheet product considered is from Boardway Building Material Corporation in China. The size and
thickness can be customized according to specific structure requirements of shelters and the surface texture
can be chosen from a variety of patterns.
This product is extremely resistant to chemicals and has excellent mechanical properties as well, as shown in
Table 11 [64].
Table 11: Technical Datasheet for PP

Page | 46

Moreover, it is easy to process and can meet the FDA grade and industry grade, meaning that it is harmless to
refugees health [64]. More importantly, this PP product has good UV resistance because it has an added UV
stabilizer which can inhibit photo initiation processes [65]. Priced at between two and three dollars per kilo, it
is not overly expensive. The product is, however, disadvantaged by its lack of cold weather performance. As
can be seen above, the operating temperatures for are 0-100oC, which does not meet the URS of -20oC.

Figure 42: Left - PP Sheeting; Right - Welding PP Sheet

5.2.7

Production of PE

A UV resistant HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) panel from Xinxing Chemical Corporation Ltd. which is one of
the largest plastic products manufacturers in China has greater impact resistance than PP products [67].
Simultaneously, this product has other excellent mechanical properties. For example, the HDPE panel has
outstanding abrasion resistance compared with other polymers and is three times more wear resistant than
steel21. More importantly, special characteristics can be customized by adding modifiers based on different
requirements under specific conditions, such as anti-static, anti-UV, fire-resistance and so on. Also, any size
and colour can be fabricated according to requirements using advanced processing techniques. Some of the
features which mark HDPE as an appropriate product are as follows [68]:

21

Excellent impact resistance and wear resistance, with excellent resistance to aging
Self-lubricating; Very low coefficient of friction
Excellent chemical, corrosion and UV resistance
Noise- absorption and vibration-absorption
Temperature range: -269 to +120; Very high resistance to cold
means
the
material
doesn't become fragile even under -20 (the lowest temperature in targeting area)
High tensile strength: Tensile strengths in lengthways and transverse are 8.08 MPa and 7.71 MPa
respectively
Excellent insulative properties
Light weight (density is about 0.94kgm-3) which is 1/8 as much as steel
Does not rot, split or crack; 100% recyclable

http://www.all-stateind.com/plastics/selection.pdf

Page | 47

Competitively priced at $3-6 per kilogram.


Therefore, the HDPE panel is considered instead of other PE products.

Figure 43: Product of HDPE Panel from Xinxing Company

5.2.8

Discussion of PP product and PE product

In theory, PP and PE have many analogous properties since their structures are similar. However, the impact
resistance of PE is better than PP [67], which suggests that PE is the more suitable. Additionally, compared
with HDPE, PP is more easily degraded through oxidation under UV and heat conditions [67], granting HDPE
greater longevity. The impact resistance of PP panel will be reduced to only half when the temperature drops
to 0 from 20 [67]. In contrast, the HDPE panel can maintain key properties at -20 [67], fulfilling the
initial specification (section 1.1), thus the HDPE panel is more suitable to for the targeted operating location.
Furthermore, the waterproof and fire resistant properties of the HDPE panel are better than other PP
products. HDPE is also significantly cheaper than PP so the utilisation of this as a product will enable cost
reductions.
To sum up, HDPE is the chosen material for the Dicax shelter.

5.3 Roof
5.3.1

Roof Panel Materials Specifications

The roof panels require many similar properties to those of the walls, however there are also clear panels
which act as windows. The material choice for each of these will be discussed here.
5.3.2

Panel Materials Discussion

In order to protect from heavy rain and strong winds, the panel must be tough, waterproof and resistant to
strong impact. After considering various materials, the HDPE discussed in section 5.2 for the wall panel
material is also chosen for the roof because of the similar function of wall and roof.
To further diminish the moisture on the surface of the roof and increase the waterproofing of the HDPE panel,
a waterproofing membrane made of 100% polypropylene is considered.
Regarding the transparent window panel, the FRP has excellent impact strength which is suitable for the
shelter. However, a type of Polycarbonate which has better transmission of light, cost performance and
impact strength when compared with the FRP, was chosen.

Page | 48

5.3.3

Roof Panels

The UV-resistant HDPE panel from Xinxing Chemical Corporation., Ltd is again used in the roof panels of the
shelter.
5.3.4

Roof waterproofing sheet membranes

Zhejiang Guancheng Technology Co. can supply a roof waterproofing sheet membrane product which can be
attached on the outside surface of roof panel to increase waterproof ability and UV-resistance.
This product has excellent water resistance with good tensile strength. It is also lightweight and flexible,
meaning it is very convenient to transport. Additionally, this membrane can also help increase the UVresistance by 1%-3%. This product is priced at 3/kg22

Figure 44: Roof Waterproofing Sheet Membrane

5.3.5

Product of Window Panels

The main use of twin wall polycarbonate sheet produced by MP Plastic Building Products is lean to roofs, thus
this kind of product is suitable for the window panels. It was decided that the sheets would be installed in the
gap under the lean to roof acting as window panels, which will allow enough light to enter the shelter [69].
Ventilation tape is included with this kind of window panel so that we do not need to control the ventilation
manually like an ordinary window. UV-resistance is also necessary for the shelter. Costing $15 per kg it is also
competitively priced. Product details can be seen in Figure 45.

Figure 45: Product Introduction and Polycarbonate Sheeting [69]

22

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5.4 Flooring Materials


The flooring solution must be waterproof, durable, but also comfortable for the shelter occupants. A polymer
would be suitable for the final tile design, as they contain many of the necessary properties. The most
important property of the chosen material would be its waterproofing ability, as the main function of the floor
is to keep the shelter waterproof by Tanking as described in section 4.6.3. Figure 46 shows the water
absorption rates of a number of potential polymers23.

Figure 46: Water Absorption Characteristics

As shown in Figure 46, variations of PP, PE and PVC perform the best when tested for water absorption. This
means that these polymers will absorb the least amount of water over the life of the shelter, minimising the
risk that water will permeate through the floor. If the tiles absorb water, then their shape could deform,
breaking the waterproof seals between the tiles and enabling water to leak through the spaces.

23

http://www.curbellplastics.com/technical-resources/pdf/water-absorption-plastics.pdf

Page | 50

Further to the results of the water absorption test, the cost of a range of potential plastics were researched to
find the most suitable material for the underside of the tiles. The results of the research are given in Table 12
below.
Table 12: Comparison of flooring materials

Material
Acrylic

Nylon

[70]

[71]

Polyethylene
[72]

(HDPE)

Polypropylene [73]

Cost

Comments

650 /ton

+ High impact resistance

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/hotsale-virgin-Polymethyl-methacrylatePMMA_60173067608.html

+ Shatter resistant

833/ton

+ Resistance to abrasion

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Bestprice-Virgin-recycled-PA6PA66_60122904120.html

- Easy to machine

390/ton

+ Good chemical resistance

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/PIPEUSED-BLACK-high-densitypolyethylene_60075867124.html

+ Does not readily absorb moisture

520/ton

+ Tough and Flexible

http://www.alibaba.com/productdetail/Recycled-Black-PP-Pellets-forCar_60049415128.html?s=p

- Degrades considerably in direct


sunlight

- Can be brittle

Absorbs
surroundings

moisture

from

+ Good impact resistance

+ Good fatigue resistance


Polystyrene [74]

Polyvinyl Chloride [75]

ABS [76]

553/ton

+ Widely used

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Highquality-recycle-polystyrenepellet_1420837263.html

- Poor barrier to water

375/ton

+ Lightweight

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/highquality-recycled-PVCgranules_50008193304.html

+ Barrier Properties

618/ton

+ High Impact Resistance

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/VirginABS-resin-Recycled-ABSgranules_60160128891.html

+ Good strength and stiffness

- Very Brittle

+ Can be flexible or rigid

+ Attractive Glossy Finish

Page | 51

It was concluded that PVC would be the most suitable material to use for the tiles due to the lower cost when
compared to PE and PP, adequate water resistance, durability and lightweight properties.
The dimensions of the tiles are 1.02m2 x 0.005m, including the overlapping edge so the tiles can fix together.
With the cut off sections for the assembly, the volume of the tile works out as 0.005m 3. Flexible PVC has a
density of 1100kg/m3, so each PVC tile would have a mass of 5.5kg. With recycled PVC granules available for
375/ton, the material cost per tile would be 2.06.
It was determined that the tiles would be manufactured by injection moulding. Details of this process can be
found in section 6.1.2. A steel die would be worth the investment due to the longevity and assured sales of
the structure. From the initial 5 year plan where 1900 are estimated to be sold, with a floor space of at least
21m2 per shelter, the number of floor tiles needed would be at least 39900. With an estimated cost of a die to
be 65000 given in 6.1.2, the manufacturing cost of each floor tile would be 1.63 for the first 5 years. As long
as the die doesnt fail or become obsolete, the manufacturing cost per tile would keep decreasing as the
production cost for injection moulding is low after the initial investment.
To summarise, the total cost per metre square tile would be 3.69 for the first 5 years, with the aim for this
cost to decrease in future.

5.5 Fire retardant


The choice of insulation material discussed in section 4.5.2.2, shows that the structure should have suitable
fire retardant properties.

6 Manufacturing
6.1 Poles and Connectors
6.1.1

Steel Core

The steel core is sold in rods of the required cross section. These will however, need to be cut down to the
correct lengths.
6.1.2

Plastic Casing and Connectors

The main geometry of the pole will be injection moulded around the steel core.
In injection moulding, material is heated until molten in the barrel and then injected into a steel or aluminium
mould. HDPE is a thermoplastic, meaning the mould can be used under cooler temperatures resulting in lower
overall production costs [77]. Metal parts can be inserted easily into a mould cavity to become an integral
part of the product, this will be used to house the steel core in the pole.
The poles will need to have a reasonably high tolerance in order for the panels and fixings to be slotted into
place. Injection moulding allows for good dimensional control [77] making it an ideal process to achieve these
high tolerances. The cycle time tends to be low, 5-60 seconds [77], making injection moulding a fast process,
ideal for producing high volumes of the shelter quickly.
The drawback of injection moulding is the cost of the moulds themselves. A typical steel mould can cost up to
$100,000 but will last for many cycles. An aluminium mould is a lot cheaper at around $10,000 but may only
last for up to 10,000 cycles [77]. For the high production application of relief shelters, it would be wise to
Page | 52

invest in a sturdier steel mould however during the prototype stage it would be more cost effective to
purchase aluminium dies.
Likewise, many of the connectors will be manufactured using injection moulding. Despite the extra die cost
that this will add, it will create savings during high volume production.
6.1.3

Universal Connector

The universal connector requires a very high tolerance in order for the structure to assemble correctly. For
this reason it will be milled out of a block of HDPE. Despite the added cost of this process it will ensure that
the shelter is produced to a high quality and there will be no issues at installation.

6.2 Wall and Roof Panels


6.2.1

Panels

It was decided that injection moulding was the best processing method to use for the panels. After sourcing
HDPE materials, they are heated to be molten under high temperature and pressure. Next, they are injected
into the panel moulds under pressure. After cooling, the panel is removed from the die. Compared with other
processing methods like blow moulding and extrusion, injection moulding is more suited to industrial
manufacturing because of its high efficiency and low cost. Additionally, the panels produced by injection
moulding require no further finishing.
6.2.2

Windows

The material for the windows comes in pre-cut sheets of 1200mmx7000mm. The various panels for the
windows can be cut straight from this sheet with all the parts for one shelter fitting onto one sheet.

6.3 Systems
6.3.1

Water Collection

The parts for the water collection system will be bought in from suppliers. The standard guttering is created
from PVC and can be joined together using a lock and fit mechanism. The initial screen will be placed at the
joint where the guttering meets the down pipe so the water can flow down into the water butt. The charcoal
filter will be assembled in the water pipe leaving the water butt, and can be easily replaced and removed by
the shelter owners if needed.
6.3.2

Electronics

All of the electronic components will be connected during manufacture and will simply need attaching to the
structure on site. If adjustments to the wiring need to be made, this can be done with wire cutters and
electrical insulating tape. No electrical system experience will be required for installation to the shelter.

Page | 53

7 Sustainability
The shelter was designed with the intention to be sustainable and environmentally friendly from the outset.
Using a solar panel to provide power for the shelter is a sustainable technology as it utilises a renewable
source of power. The solar panel uses a reconditioned car battery to store the power it produces. This is
another sustainable feature of the shelter as it recycles and reuses batteries that would previously have been
discarded.
The shelter also utilises a sustainable water supply. Rainwater is collected from the guttering and this can be
filtered and used for drinking and washing. This means that fresh water does not have to be delivered to each
shelter and so saves on transportation costs as well as reducing the carbon footprint that would be associated
with this.

7.1 Reusability
The shelter is also designed to be reusable. Using screw piles instead of concrete foundations to attach the
shelter to the ground ensures that the shelter can be easily removed. This also means that when the shelter is
removed, there is no lasting impact on the landscape. The use of poles and panels means the shelter can be
taken apart just as easily as it was assembled. The wall panels, plastic poles, insulation panels and floor tiles
can all be saved and reused in future shelters.

7.2 Recyclability
The shelter can be manufactured from mostly recycled materials. At the end of life of the shelter, the
different parts used should also be recycled for future use in industry.
The recyclability of the materials used in the shelter was carefully considered when choosing which materials
to use. The polyethylene plastics used for the wall panels, poles and floor tiles are commonly recycled for
future use. The polycarbonate sheeting used in the window panels is also recyclable, and as it is made from a
natural resource (oil) it provides an excellent yield for plastic recycling factories.
The insulation slabs that are used in the wall and roof panels can be returned to the manufacturer at the end
of life and recycled and reused.24
The steel used in the poles can also be melted down and recycled at the end of life.

8 Costs
8.1 Manufacturing Costs
The shelter will cost a total of 2,302.40 to produce. Figure 47 shows the percentage breakdown of this cost.
The majority of the cost is associated with the wall panels and poles. This is due to the large volume of
material included in these parts.

24

http://www.rockwool.co.uk/why+rockwool-c7-/sustainability/recycling+rockwool

Page | 54

Cost Breakdown
Water Systems
3%
Electronics
4%
Insulation
4%
Floors
4%

Other
8%

Poles (core)
12%

Poles (Outer)
12%
Sealing Beading
9%

Square Window
Panel
5%

Wall Panel
39%

Figure 47: Percentage breakdown of cost by part

These prices are based on an initial small scale batch production and are expected to decrease when parts
and materials are bought wholesale. A full breakdown for the cost of the shelter is shown in Appendix 11.6
along with a full supplier list in Appendix 11.7.
Appendix 11.4 details the breakdown of all the business running costs for the first year, including the initial
start-up for the manufacturing dies, salaries for three full time members of staff, rent for small office premises
in county Durham, bank charges and storage for shelters not yet sold. The total start-up costs for
manufacturing will come to 10,776 for three small injection moulds, two large injection moulds and one
milling jig. The breakdown of this can be seen in Section 11.8. Storage costs come to 13 per unit, while other
day to day running costs come to a total of 17,032 in each first quarter and 16,700 in each subsequent
quarter.
Initial funding will be secured via a bank loan of 350,000 and private investors amounting to 150,000. The
Global Innovation Fund provides grants of between 30,000 and 10m to projects that will have a large scale
social impact in developing countries [78]. The Dicax shelter would be a suitable project to receive such
funding and it is hoped that the project will secure a grant of 150,000, though this could be larger.

Page | 55

8.2 Transportation
There are two main transportation options available to move the shelters to the relief site; by air or by sea.
Considerations were also made for additional transport by road. Rail would be unsuitable due to the potential
remoteness of the sites. Air and Sea freight will be considered for a conclusion to be drawn for the most costeffective solution.
8.2.1

Air

The target site for the relief shelter to be deployed is South-East Turkey, with the closest international airport
located in Gaziantep [79]. Considering the parts are to be manufactured in the UK, the place of departure has
been determined to be Gatwick Airport. The cargo would be flown using a hired freight plane, the types of
which are compared in Table 13 below.
Table 13: Comparison of Aircraft Capacities [80]

Aircraft

Volume* capacity in m3

Weight* capacity in kg

Required* runway in m

Antanov AN-12

97

20,000

1,800

Antanov AN-124

900

120,000

3,000

Boeing B.707/320C

165

36,000

2,100

Boeing B.747

460

100,000

3,000

DC-3

21

3,000

1,200

DC-6

80

11,000

1,500

DC.8/63F

302

44,000

2, 300

DC.10/30F

412

66,000

2,500

Fokker F.27

65

5,000

1,200

Hercules L.100-30

120

15,000

1,400

Ilyushin IL-76

180

40

1,700

Pilatus Porter

950

120

Skyvan

22

2,100

500

Transall

140

17,000

1,000

Twin Otter

12.4

1,800

220

Page | 56

It would be the most convenient to use an Antanov AN-124 or a Boeing B.747 as they feature the largest
volumes and weight capacities.
The air freight company Air Partner quoted in an email enquiry that the cost of hiring an Antanov AN-124
from Gatwick to Gaziantep for humanitarian aid would be 20,000 per hour including fuel and airport fees.
The journey time would be 4 hours round up to the nearest hour [81], giving the air transportation cost to be
80,000. As each plane would be able to carry 60 shelters, with the payload being the constraint, the air
transportation cost per shelter was determined to be 1333.
8.2.2

Sea

The other option is to transport the shelters by sea. The parts would be loaded into shipping containers at the
factory then transported by lorry to the port. They would then travel by ship to the destination port, to be
loaded again on to a waiting lorry to transport it to the site.
The container options are 20ft. or 40ft. in length. Their characteristics are given in Figure 48.

Figure 48: Characteristics of 20 and 40 foot containers [92]

It was determined from the CAD drawings of the final shelter that the volume of parts before assembly would
be 3.8m3, with a mass of 1.96 tonnes. Using the values of payload and capacity shown in Figure 48, the 20ft.
container would be able to transport eight shelters, with volume being the limiting constraint, whereas the
40ft shelter will be able to transport ten shelters with the limiting factor being the payload.
The shipping cost of a 20ft. container from Felixstowe, UK, to Mersin, Turkey, was given to be 600, whereas
the shipping cost of a 40ft container on the same route was given to be 900 [81]. This works out at 75 or
90 per shelter in 20ft and 40ft containers respectively. It would take 11 days for the cargo to complete its
journey [82].
8.2.3

Conclusion

Air transport has been shown to be faster than shipping; 4 hours as opposed to 11 days, which would make it
ideal for initial response to the camp for the first influx of refugees. However, for prolonged transport of parts
to the site, sea freight would be much more sustainable due to the much lower cost; 75 per shelter
compared with 1333. Despite the long transportation times associated with shipping, it was decided that
using air freight containers would be unfeasible due to cost limitations. Traditional temporary shelters can be
used initially until the Dicax shelter can be implemented.
An ideal solution would be to manufacture the parts in the regions where the shelters could be required.
Problems with this approach are the unpredictability of disasters, the availability of a skilled workforce in
these regions and the reliability of local suppliers of materials. For these reasons, it was concluded to
manufacture the components in the UK to then send to the required locations.

Page | 57

8.2.4

Transport in South-East Turkey

Transportation conditions in the region also make it a good target for the initial run of a product like this, as
the region contains numerous major transport hubs. Erzurum is the centre of transportation for the eastern
half of Turkey, and as such contains a large number of freight routes, both land and air based. Iskenderun is
also close by, offering the second largest harbour in eastern Turkey for sea freight. An additional harbour
currently being constructed in Bodrum, will add to the capacity for relief aid transportation in the region in
future years.

9 Conclusion
Research into current relief shelter solutions has shown that there is a market for the Dicax relief shelter.
Unlike competitors, the Dicax shelter offers a truly semi-permanent solution at a competitive price, providing
amenities and features not found in alternatives. The modular design ensures the Dicax shelter is adaptable
for a variety of situations. This flexible design allows for the creation of a community, something highlighted
as important by the target market. At the heart of this modular design are the poles and joints. These are
made using a combination of polymers and metals and act as the skeleton of the structure. The strength of
this frame allows the standard kit to be used in different configurations whilst not compromising the integrity
of the overall structure.
The Dicax shelter has been designed to be sustainable whilst also considering reusability and recyclability at
end of life. This has been achieved by using easily recycled materials and a renewable energy source. The
shelters design allows for it to be disassembled while leaving minimal impact on the surrounding
environment or damaging the shelter. This means the shelters can be reused.
Dicax is an ethical, sustainable company with a product aimed at solving a huge global issue. Although not the
cheapest structure currently on the market, the benefits it offers to relief agencies and government
organisations, along with the potential for either permanant settlement or multiple uses make it a sound
investment for any organisation.

Page | 58

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Page | 66

11 Appendices
11.1 Project Plan GANTT Chart

Page | 67

11.2 Maturity Grid


In order to focus on the more pressing issues first, a maturity grid was used to rank concerns in order of
magnitude. Each concern was given a class and an evolution factor;
Class:
S = Non conformity with safety standard or requirements, If this were to occur management would not
accept the project.
A = Results in an un-saleable (not accepted by the customer) or un-producible product. A high negative
effect on performance or cost of product, project cost, timing, CAPEX. Project is not viable.
B = Results in a product which is saleable (not accepted by critical customer) or producible with
difficulties. A medium negative effect on performance or cost of product, project cost, timing, CAPEX.
Project will still be viable.
C = Results in a product which is saleable (remark from a customer) or producible with small difficulties. A
low negative effect on performance or cost of product, project cost, timing, CAPEX.
Evolution Factor:
4 = Cause of problem is not known
3 = Cause is known, a solution is not known
2 = A solution is known, evaluation is not (yet) positive
1 = Evaluation is positive, solution is not yet industrially introduced
After listing the concerns associated with the shelter, the following table was produced, ranking each
concern with a class and an evolution factor:

Page | 68

Roof

Panels

10

Floor

11

Clarify Concerns
Lack of which could
Solid
lead to unstable
Foundations
shelter
Lack
of
good
connection of sealing
to pole could lead to
corrosion
in
Rubber Sealing aluminium
Corrosion due Corrosion
of
to wet Cement aluminium poles
Galvanistic
Corrosion due to
Corrosion
adjacent metals
Bad drainage from
grooves in poles
Water
could
lead
to
Drainage
corrosion
The insulation must
be good enough to
ensure
a
good
Wall/roof
standard of living for
insulation
the occupants
Must
not
be
Floor
susceptible
to
insulation
rot/water damage
As some insulation
types are harmful to
breathe in, ensure
insulation is not
Health
exposed
to
the
concerns
occupants
Must ensure water
does not collect on
Drainage
the roof
Structurally
sound
Must
not
be
susceptible
to
Waterproof
rot/water damage

Shelter

12

Fire Retardant

2
3

Poles

Insulation

List Concerns

Maturity
Grid

Planned Actions

A1

Choose a reliable method for


attaching the shelter to the ground

B1
B3

Lots of concerns to do with


aluminium corrosion - look into a
different material for the poles?

B3

B3
Research insulation standards for
countries around the area to which
the shelter is to be sent
A1

A1

Look into waterproofing


insulation - foil facing?

the

Research less harmful insulation


materials
A1

B1
A1

A1
B1

Sloped roof and guttering to collect


rain water
Research strengths of different
plastics to use for the panels
Use a ground sheet of some sort to
ensure no water can come through
the floor
Use fire retardant materials for wall
panels and insulation

Page | 69

11.3 Engineering Drawings

Page | 70

Page | 71

Page | 72

Page | 73

Page | 74

Page | 75

Page | 76

11.4 Business Projections Year One

Page | 77

11.5 Yearly Summaries

11.6 Cost Breakdown


Page | 78

Page | 79

11.7 Supplier List

Page | 80

11.8 Start Up Manufacturing Costs

Page | 81