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1.  RSK shelters use 33% less bamboo than any equivalent span shelter.

This is due to the high efficiency of span of their reciprocal frame roof and by not using any bamboo lattices. 

2.  Shelter costs are greatly reduced.

A complete RSK emergency shelter ( one tarpaulin) costs less than USD $25. A standard RSK (two tarpaulins) costs less than  USD $40.

3. Transportation costs are  greatly reduced.

Up to one third less bamboo needs to be transported by truck to the site of a disaster.


Emergency RSK shelter kit

4. Labour costs are reduced.

Aid agencies can erect RSK shelters in less than half the time it takes to erect traditional temporary shelters.

5.  Environment impact cost is positive.

There is considerably less demand on existing limited resources of bamboo and timber.


6 . No special tools are required to make the kits.

 Only a saw or a machete is needed for cutting the bamboo poles for the emergency RSK kit. In addition, a chisel is helpful but not essential for making the standard RSK shelter kit.

 7.  The RSK kits are easy to store and recycle.

The emergency RSK kit uses only three lengths of bamboo. All unused components of a kit can be recycled for other practical purposes.


Carrying the complete roof frame to final site. Myanmar village 2016

8. Mass production of kits is now possible at the disaster site.

All the components of a kit are locally available. Complete roof frames can be stacked on the ground until carried away by families for their shelter.


9 .  Shelter building is simple and uses minimal skills.

RSK roof frames are lashed together ON THE GROUND before being lifted onto support posts. This is important as it avoids the difficulties that families face when having to build the roof of their traditional shelter overhead .

10 . Shelter building is very rapid.

Families can erect and be inside their emergency RSK shelter in less than 1 hour. They can build the standard RSK shelter in 2 to 3 hours

 11.  Solid walls are easier to build when needed.

As the reciprocal frame roof load is only at the corner posts it is simple for families to infill walls with available materials such as earth bags, mud bricks or stones.


Completing roof frame on the ground. Bangladesh 2017

12 . The emergency RSK can be built on sloping ground. 

This is not possible for other types of relief shelter.


13.  All the RSK kits are highly versatile.

Recipients can adapt this shelter for their own personal needs. Roof height, door openings, ventilation flaps, awnings and partitions are all easy to change as required.

14.  Maintenance and repair is easier.

Frame members are interchangeable and damaged bamboo poles can easily be replaced without having to disassemble the roof frame.

15 .  Upgrading shelters uses the same roof frame.

The emergency RSK shelter can be easily upgraded, using the same roof frame, to the standard or double RSK when further bamboo becomes available.


Building double RSK for larger family. Bangladesh 2017

 16.  Modular shelters.

The standard RSK is a truly modular unit that enables unlimited further units to be added to increase covered space as required. Examples include temporary classrooms, reception rooms, wash areas and auxiliary medical units.


 17.  Health benefits.

The facility to adjust and improve ventilation of the standard RSK shelter will reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases and save lives. Secondary health benefits including improved surface hygiene and reduced mould growth are now being evaluated.

 18.  Storm shelter safety option.

In very severe storms the roof of all  RSK shelters can be lowered within minutes  to the low wind profile or " storm shelter“. This unique feature provides an opportunity to save the shelter when other temporary shelters are being devastated by very high winds.

 19.  Fire  safety improved.

Highly combustible split bamboo and cane lattice roofs  are replaced with less highly combustible complete bamboo poles. 


 20. Designed to meet Sphere guidelines

RSKs not only achieve the basic dimensions of covered living space required but also aim to be a stronger, safer, healthier and more dignified shelters.

Inside door good.jpg

Adapting ventilation openings of standard RSK. Nepal 2023

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