Better Shelter is a temporary shelter that can be disassembled and reused, designed with and for refugees. The Better Shelter ships flat-packed, with all parts and tools included. It is a weatherproof and lockable temporary shelter, which offers 17.5 m2 of space for a displaced family of 4 to 5 occupants. The delivered package includes mosquito nets and solar powered interior lighting.
Building kits are prefabricated in their home office in Sweden. Upon arrival on site, Better Shelter staff often offer training to local experts in erecting the structures. A correct, timely and safe installation requires a minimum of four people.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The Better Shelter Team delivers product building kits to International Relief organizations (for example, 10,000 units to the UNHCR in 2015), and in some cases, send their experts to assist in erecting the structures.
Distributions to Date Status
60,000 shelters had been delivered to 70 countries, where they serve as temporary homes, clinics, class rooms and more
Intended number of occupants (#)
Speed of assembly
Assembled by 4 people in 5-6 hours without the need for electricity
Footprint area (m²)
Internal volume (m³)
31.5 m³ by eave height (minimum internal height)
Panel: polyolefin sheet
Floor: tarpaulin sheet
Openings: UV stabilized polymer, galvanized steel
Mosquito net: polyester/polyethylene
Flammable Flash Point Temperature (°C)
35 °C (High-density polyethylene)
Maximum snow load (kg/m²)
Maximum wind speed (km/h)
Design specs and detailed installation instructions are included with delivery. 3 parts: Frame, Polyolefin foam panels, PV System 71 pipes 35 panels Approximate assembly time: 4 - 8 hours Man power: 4 people Building order: 1) Foundation 2) Metal Frame 3) Roof with ventilation and solar panel 4) Walls with windows and door
Instruction manuals are included with the product
Designed for a lifespan of three years, portions of the structure can be updated over time with more permanent components, such as earthen walls. Warranties are made available only under certain circumstances.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Floor area: 17.5 m2 Minimum ceiling height: 1,840 mm Sphere compliant: Yes Windows: 4 pieces (640 cm2 each) Ventilation: 2 pieces (620 cm2 each) Door: 1 piece (740 × 1690 mm) Expected lifespan: 3 years with basic maintenance Fire safety Tested and classified according to international building standards EN ISO 11925-2:2010 and EN 13823:2010 Resistance to UV load: 2,700h UVA – 100% functionality Wind speed [EN 1991 EC1]: 18 m/s Snow loads [EN 1991 EC1]: 10 kg/m2 Modular: Yes PV system: 4h light/day and USB power Package weight / volume: 160 kg/1.15 m3 Package A: 1990 × 1090 × 240 mm (85 kg) Package B: 1990 × 1090 × 290 mm (75 kg) Pallet dimensions 2010 × 1080 × 140 mm Container 40 feet HC 48 shelters Container 40 feet 36 shelters
Vetted Performance Status
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Robert, P., Hviid, M., 2019, Analys av fästelement for temporära flyktingbostäder-Better Shelter, Dissertation
Compliance with regulations
Honored at the Swedish Design Awards