By Joëlle Jahn (MDes ’17), Shreejay Tuladhar (MDes ’17); advised by Holly Samuelson, Martin Bechthold
In a world rapidly moving towards urbanization, an immense strain is being put on resource consumption of food, water, energy and land. So far over 65.3 million people have been become displaced worldwide in the struggle over resources (UNHCR, 2016). This figure is predicted to rise exponentially in the future, exacerbated by environmental degradation, anthropogenic climate change, disasters and conflicts especially in the developing countries. Despite variance in climate, most temporary shelter responses by humanitarian organizations and local governments follow a similar rectangular typology with single layer assemblies. While these shelters are meant to protect and sustain life, they often produce extreme interior thermal conditions that fall into temperature ranges categorized as life threatening to vulnerable populations by the World Health Organization standard.
How can one form fit all? This proposal aims to evaluate fourteen existing shelter types for thermal performance and potential health risks. Using thermal simulations and physical tests, passive techniques coupled with different insulation strategies are analyzed to improve interior thermal conditions. The primary goal of this proposal is to produce a series of guidelines for shelter assemblies with 1) offsite and 2) onsite sourcing that will ensure thermal conditions sustain human health. Additional guidelines will guide designers, builders, and humanitarian workers towards adding onto shelter assemblies in a three-phased approach to achieve thermal conditions that sustain human well-being.