Uber Shelter : An Emergency Shelter in Disastrous Events

Uber Shelter is an amazing concept for a portable housing unit that would help people in meeting their immediate shelter requirements created by disastrous events. This great concept is designed by Rafael Smith. This shelter can be very quickly transported and reassembled with just few necessary tools and offer victims with individual living space. The best thing about Uber shelter is that it is made from recyclable and reusable materials. Around two to three personal rooms can be created in this shelter. I believe these types of concepts are very useful for unpredictable disasters.

uber shelter

uber shelter

Text from designer :
My goal is to create more than an emergency shelter. This project is a shelter solution that meets the needs of emergency response but also provides victims with a more personal place to live; a base unit that can serve as a very basic shelter but also have the capabilities to upgrade and implement modern infrastructure. This shelter is also stackable. Many alternative housing solutions deal with small scale but can’t cope with large scale displaced populations. There are 5 points that have been the focus during the design of this shelter. The shelter must be:
1) Easily transportable, collapsible and able to be shipped flat.
2) Built of recyclable materials and have the ability to be reused.
3) Easy to erect and assembled with few or no tools.
4) Amenable to infrastructure?can be used as a basic structure, but have the capabilities to upgrade and implement modern conveniences.
5) Stackable

uber shelter

Über is shipped flat to allow for transport via air sea and land. All components that create the modular living unit are stored inside the shelter in its collapsed position during transport. It is then taken apart and assembled on location. When it is no longer needed, it can be dismantled, packed flat again, and moved to the next disaster area. The aim has been to design a shelter that is compatible with the current system used in refugee camps and emergencies by organizations such as the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

uber shelter

Every camp is different since every situation is different. In some cases proper design of a camp is not possible because refugees have already settled on a site. Uber has been designed to adapt to different situations, terrains, and climates. Camp needs are addressed in phases. Phase one is to meet the basic needs of the people, providing them with the bare essentials.

uber shelter

When there is more time, funding, and personnel, phase two provides camp residents with more pleasant solutions and conveniences. For example, phase two would include building an outhouse, rather than having a defecation field or trench. This shelter is delivered in the same fashion. When the initial crisis occurs, Über is shipped as a base unit to meet the initial need for shelter. When the camp is ready for phase two, a separate upgrade package is shipped and added into the shelters units to provide conveniences (electricity for light, compact stove and refrigerator).

uber shelter

uber shelter

Designer : Rafael Smith

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Becky says: September 18, 2008

I am a 16 year old AS Level student studying at a school in Essex and i must say i am quite astonished by this design.

On behalf of my classmates and i, we would like to say that if someone were to go ahead and manufacture such a design, we would all hastily buy one!

TheFuture says: September 18, 2008

hi Becky, send your classmates our regard. Yes it is a great shelter, pretty luxurious for an emergency shelter :)

ali Altameemi says: October 12, 2008

Realy nice

I am from Duabi, I want to buy one

help me plz.

sean says: October 30, 2008

hey really cool design but im not sure how necessary two levels were…if you manufacture let me know

    Sarah says: November 19, 2013

    The idea of multiple levels helps to maximise the space. If, instead, there were two separate, single level, structures next to each other it would take up twice as much floor space to accommodate the same number of people. A second level makes use of the space in the air above a shelter.

bethanybreakdown.&tr says: November 4, 2008

i was just looking at this on treehugger.com

and i showed it to my friend,

and we both agreed,

that if you were to manufacture this item,

we would both gladly buy one,

we think its amazingly awesome.

please email me if this product goes on market.

thank you,


ZenemiG says: January 26, 2009

Imagine camping with this instead of a tent… its simply amazing. Dont think it would be cheap though but… you never know.

kris Butler says: April 4, 2009

Interested in purchasing this. Are they available yet. kristo60 [at] hotmail dot com

Nasser says: June 9, 2009

Great invention of such emergency shelters. I really like that. Since I am from Disaster Management and Securities this thing has contributed to my knowledge.

Pernilla says: July 10, 2009

Hi Im Pernilla from Sweden, im looking for shelters! Im really impress of this shelter.

Is it possible to get in contact with the designer???

Please contact me!

Regards Pernilla

Deep Dodiya, Mumbai, says: October 5, 2009

hey Rafael… thats a commendably great design. No criticism but wud just ask u to explore the same using stuff which is energy saving and ecofriendly

would like to be in touch with a great designer

do gimme a buzz on my email id.


Regards Deep Dodiya

Curtis Boyd says: April 30, 2010

I'm very much interested in this. Is it available?

Can I get any contact information?

Thank you

narender says: October 18, 2010

it is a good design but is it under the reach of poor flood victim people pls inform me about the material used and cost

alex says: August 31, 2011

what is this made from and how much would this cost?

Kris Umhauer says: February 1, 2012

I would be interested in discussing some innavative ideas for this structure. could you email a contact or more info, Weights, sizes, etc.


sona says: August 3, 2012

i want to buy a few of them (uber shelter). i believe they will fit well in my development of my home village

sona says: August 3, 2012

i really want them. if they go on the market please let me know at unasona@gmail.com

Danielle says: October 17, 2013

I want some of these so badly. I am buying some land & these would be great not only for guests, but for assisting other people in need (my husband, my father-in-law, & I are always helping people, bringing them home etc;). This way, they would have a space of their own, a bit of privacy, & a feeling of having a home of their own even if it's only for a little while. It would help them see how wonderful having your own place feels & motivate them to strive to better themselves (that's really for the ones who are capable of bettering themselves). Plus, it'd also be great fun for the grand-kids & their friends as well as all of my great nieces & nephews. It's like a kids' camp at our house every summer as it is, this would just make it that much more fun for them. Awesome awesome idea/invention. Utter genius!!!

becca122121 says: September 14, 2015

I will buy one if they go up on the market let me know if this ever happens!

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