Disaster Relief & Transitional Shelters

Transitional shelter using JointKit

Transitional shelter provision is an incremental process. The Shelter Centre Report of May 2012* describes a multi-phased approach in which the emergency response is followed by temporary shelter and then the permanent reconstruction.


For emergency situations, JointKit provides a flat pack joint system which can be easily shipped to a disaster area.

A sturdy timber frame using standard construction grade beams (either shipped in with the JointKits or locally sourced) can be easily constructed in half a day using hand tools only.  No building or carpentry skills are needed, so the structures can be built by those affected by the disaster as well as any relief agencies available.  This gives ownership of the recovery to those affected, which is an important consideration in recovery from this form of trauma.   

The necessary coach bolts and a spanner to construct the frame are supplied.  The only other tools required are a hammer, spanner, saw and spirit level, which it is envisaged would be supplied in conjunction with a package of 10 kits. A variety of shelter sizes are available and the structure can be temporarily clad in plastic sheeting or equivalent to provide immediate shelter. This sheeting would form part of the first response kits.

This temporary shelter built using JointKit meets the Shelter Centre specification in moving to permanent reconstruction in the following ways:

Five Characteristics of transitional shelters

                                                        Benefits of using JointKit

1. Upgradable into part of a permeant house

Once alternative materials can be sourced locally the structure can be upgraded and clad in more durable materials and flooring. At this stage window and doors can be fitted.

2. Reusable for another purpose

As life improves the JointKit system can be expanded to cope with enlarged families. The bolting system allows the joints to be easily dismantled and reuse with extension kits to provide extra rooms in a variety of sizes and shapes.

3. Relocatable from a temporary site to a permanent location

Shelters built in this way can be taken down and moved to either safer or more profitable locations. A relocatable shelter can be built on land where tenure is insecure or temporary. If land tenure issues are resolved on another site, the transitional shelter, or valuable parts of it, may be relocated to the permanent location.

4. Resale ability to generate income to aid with recovery

Transitional shelter is inhabited while parallel reconstruction activities are taking place. Once reconstruction is complete, the transitional shelter may be dismantled and it’s materials used as a resource to sell.

5. Re- cyclability for reconstruction

The joints can be recycled and used to build other structures. The building therefore retains a value and that value can empower the occupants and help themselves and their country grow and improve the lives of all citizens.

*Transitional Shelter

Published by:

Shelter Centre

Email: info@sheltercentre.org

Website: www.sheltercentre.org

Part draft May 2009

Final draft November 2011

First edition: May 2012


Please contact peter@Jointkit.net for more information

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