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Aid organisation

including NGOs, government and private sector stakeholders

The RSK is not designed to replace tents, but to provide the first complete bamboo frame shelter, using standard relief tarpaulins, in a simple kit form. Costing less than $40 per unit kit it can have a significant impact on any emergency shelter response; especially for large scale conflicts and natural disasters.

It is only able to achieve these targets by using a strong and highly efficient reciprocal frame roof that results in the RSK shelter using 33% less bamboo than any equivalent shelter. Saving bamboo resources on this scale not only benefits the environment but also results in a significant reduction in  bamboo transportation costs.

Further efficiency savings are made by beneficiaries being able to use the same roof frame that they used for their emergency shelter to upgrade their shelter to one of the elevated RSKs. These temporary elevated RSKs provide comfortable, cooler and well ventilated living space and could potentially save on the need to completely rebuild transitional shelters after the initial emergency phase.

The versatility of the RSK is well documented. Its ability to support insulation makes it suitable for both hot and cold climates. It can be erected on sloping hillsides and the double “urban” RSK can be erected on concrete; both of these sites are not possible for most tents. It is also the first shelter to provide an option to lower its wind profile within minutes to assist survival in very severe storms.

Perhaps the greatest impact the shelter can have is its ability to empower displaced families to build their “personalised shelters” for the first time. It takes only 15 minutes to demonstrate the 8 pole roof RSK roof frame on the ground. Families then combine this frame with their own traditional methods of construction to finish the shelter. This is a very willing workforce that we have found  keen to become proactive and help responders in an emergency. Making use of this untapped potential can free up responders to focus on other urgent needs in an emergency.

Finally, we have demonstrated how successful RSK  shelter preparedness programs can be in communities facing recurring annual hazards such as flash floods. For less than $10 the 9 bamboo pole emergency RSK frame is very cost effective, especially in more remote regions where this frame can be thatched with palm leaves to provide urgent cover while awaiting tarpaulins.

Disaster responder

including shelter technical

The RSK is the first bamboo shelter kit to use a strong and highly efficient reciprocal frame roof.

In an emergency this type of roof has many practical advantages over the bamboo lattice roof of traditional shelters.

For the first time a family can assemble their shelter roof frame on the ground and then simply lift it onto support posts. The inherent strength of this roof can support insulation to make the shelter cooler and also be used to improve ventilation and provide distinct health benefits.

There are RSK shelters that can be erected on hillsides or urban concrete surfaces where it would not be possible to use tents. 

The shelter is very versatile and beneficiaries can use the same roof frame they used for their emergency shelter to upgrade to a temporary RSK shelter during the transition phase.

RSK shelters aim to meet Sphere guidelines as well as providing additional security for occupants including the unique low wind profile option to assist survival in severe storms.

The structural efficiency of the RSK means that it uses 33% less bamboo than any equivalent bamboo frame shelter. Transportation costs are considerably  reduced and the lightweight RSK shelter can easiliy be carried by a displaced family.

Demonstrating the RSK method to a community takes only a few minutes. Once empowered with this "know how" families can build their own strong  and secure emergency shelters with a speed and efficiency that has not previously been possible.

Together with the assistance of aid agencies the RSK method has the potential to transform the speed and efficiency that tarpauilin and bamboo frame relief shelters c







including potential beneficiaries and those with an interest in relief shelter

The RSK shelter kit was originally designed to enable some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities to pepare and respond to an emergency. Today,after field trials, its strength and simplicity mean that any displaced familiy can assemble and use it for secure shelter in an emergency. 

By using a reciprocal frame roof the RSK uses 33% less bamboo than any equivalent shelter. This not only saves valuable bamboo resources and transportation costs but it also makes this lightweight shelter kit affordable for everyone.

The emergency RSK shelter kit requires only 9 bamboo poles and it does not use any weak canes or split bamboo. Families facing recurring annual floods can now, for the first time, assemble and store their own lightweight and easily carried  shelter kit in advance.

Unlike traditional makeshift shelters ,where a split bamboo or cane lattice is built overhead, the displaced family can assemble their shelter roof frame on the ground and then simply  lift it onto support posts. In addition all members of the family can assist as only minimal skills are required.

But the emergency RSK is just the beginning of the shelter journey for displaced families.  They can now use the same roof frame that they used for their emergency shelter to upgrade to the more comfortable and  dignified range of elevated RSK shelters. Additional reciprocal roof frames can be easily constructed to increase both the inner living space and outer covered cooking / utility space. These shelters provide a healthier better ventilated and cooler insulated living space.




 Due to the strength and efficiency






Bolivia floods 2009


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