1. The 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. The result is that a complete RSK emergency shelter ( one tarpaulin) costs less than USD $25 and a standard RSK (two tarpaulins) costs less than USD $40.
2. Transportation costs are greatly reduced.
Up to one third less bamboo needs to be transported by truck to the site of a disaster.
3. Labour costs are reduced.
Aid agencies can erect RSK shelters in less than half the time it takes to erect traditional temporary shelters.
Emergency RSK shelter
Standard RSK shelter
Emergency RSK shelter kit
Standard RSK shelter kit
4. Costs reduced by using local materials
All the materials, or their equivalents, in RSK shelters kits can be sourced locally in countries with bamboo resources.
5. Recycling and reduced wastage costs.
Unlike split bamboo used in conventional shelters the large bamboo poles and posts used for RSKs can be recycled for other practical purposes.
6. Environment damage costs are reduced.
There is considerably less demand on existing limited resources of bamboo and timber.
MAKING THE KITS
7 . 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.
8. The RSK kits are easy to handle, store and transport
The bamboo poles and lashings can be wrapped in the tarpaulins and lashed together with the ropes or transported separately.
Carrying the complete roof frame to final site. Myanmar village 2016
9. Only the 4 pole reciprocal overlap of the roof frame needs to be demonstrated to families.
All the other building steps for these shelters use traditional methods of shelter construction that communities in countries with bamboo will be familiar with.
10 . Shelter building is simple and requires 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 .
11 . Shelters can be built very rapidly.
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
Completing roof frame on the ground. Bangladesh 2017
12 . The 4 corner supports for the RSK roof greatly facilitates building options
Construction of ventilation openings, addition of modular units and solid side walls are all much easier to build.
13. Shelters can be mass assembled at the disaster site
The complete roof frames are assembled in a central location and stacked in a piles for collection by families. This pre- assembled 8 pole roof frame can be carried by one person.
14. All the RSK kits are highly versatile.
Recipients can easily adapt this shelter for their own personal needs. Roof height, ventilation flaps, awnings and partitions are all easy to change as required.
15 . Shelter upgrading 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 truly modular and additional units can be added for larger families. Much larger areas of covered space for wash areas, temporary classrooms, reception rooms and auxiliary medical units can also be easily assembled.
17. Maintenance and repair is easier.
Frame members are interchangeable and damaged bamboo poles can easily be replaced without having to disassemble the roof frame.
HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVANTAGES
18. Health benefits.
The facility to adjust and improve ventilation of the standard RSK shelter will reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases and potentially save lives. Secondary health benefits include reducing mould growth by facilitating cleaning of inner shelter surfaces ( particularly ceiling)
19. 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.
20. Fire safety improved.
The more combustible split bamboo and cane lattice roofs of conventional shelters are replaced in this shelter with less combustible complete bamboo poles.
21. The RSK shelters are designed to meet Sphere standards.
From initial planning right through to delivering and evaluating our RSK shelter humanitarian operations.
Adapting ventilation openings of standard RSK. Nepal 2023