This shelter is easy to assemble ... and could be a lifesaver in the event of a disaster

Wiki Hale was designed with inexpensive standardized parts and is easy and compact to store...
Wiki Hale was designed with inexpensive standardized parts and is easy and compact to store until needed.(Hawaii Emergency Management Agency)
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 3:54 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 6, 2022 at 4:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - UH-Manoa students recently partnered with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency to design a temporary shelter prototype designed to fit Hawaii needs in case of a natural disaster.

Called “Wiki Hale,” the shelter is made of inexpensive standardized parts and is easy and compact to store until needed.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture students created the prototype to eventually assemble in linked clusters and form communities with shared kitchen spaces to potentially house residents long-term during recovery from a major disaster.

When a natural disaster strikes in Hawaii, its remote location and fragile supply chain can create challenges for manufacturers to ship supplies and provide temporary shelter for local residents. The unit is made with Hawaii’s tropical climate in mind.

“We centered all the design decisions around living in a tropical environment, living somewhere that has a high amount of sun, humidity, and rain,” said Amber Ternus, the project lead for the state.

Although Hawaii has been fortunate over the past few decades regarding natural disasters, HI-EMA Executive Officer David Lopez said it only takes one major event to create a huge need for shelter. “The partnership with UH gave us an opportunity to explore a uniquely Hawaii solution to the specific challenges we face here,” he said.

Even though the prototype is the only one of its kind, the team behind Wiki Hale made the plans open source so that anyone could collect the materials and build their own. The UH team also plans to continue to refine the existing unit and design to create more options and comfortability.

UH Manoa Assistant Professor Bundit Kanisthakhon said he hopes the prototype will act as a seed for other designs that are uniquely suited for the tropics and incorporate the outdoor environment in architectural decisions.

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