Updated on February 26, 2024


Created on August 27, 2015

Better Shelter

Upcoming Update

The Better Shelter is a modular emergency and transitional shelter for up to five persons.

Developed By Unknown
Content Partners


Product Description

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.

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Manufacturing/Building Method

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

Select 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 (#)

5 occupants

Speed of assembly

Assembled by 4 people in 5-6 hours without the need for electricity

Footprint area (m²)

17.5 m²

Internal volume (m³)

31.5 m³ by eave height (minimum internal height)

Material composition

Panel: polyolefin sheet

Floor: tarpaulin sheet

Openings: UV stabilized polymer, galvanized steel

Mosquito net: polyester/polyethylene

Lifespan (years)

3 years

Flammable Flash Point Temperature (°C)

35 °C (High-density polyethylene)

Maximum snow load (kg/m²)

10.5 kg/m²

Maximum wind speed (km/h)

101 km/h

Suitable climates


Design Specifications

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  

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Instruction manuals are included with the product

Replacement Components



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

Compliance with regulations

Tested and classified according to international building standards EN ISO 11925-2:2010 and EN 13823:2010. Developed according to the Sphere minimum standards.

Other Information

Honored at the Swedish Design Awards

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


January 14, 2024

Solar Shelter Kit

Read Solution

Implemented by



March 1, 2024

Abari Transitional Shelter

Read Solution


September 26, 2023

Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness

Read Solution
All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member