Water Shelter – Sustainable Shelter Solutions by Robert Nightingale

The Water Shelter project responds to the needs of rural populations in developing countries who live in areas of recurring floods, with a geographical focus on the Zambezi basin in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The design provides the user with the necessary tools and information to migrate temporarily and efficiently. Encouraging self sufficiency at each stage of the disaster. The bespoke design addresses four vital needs: shelter, drinking water, product transport and information, whilst reflecting social traditions.

The design incorporates local and remote product distribution systems, a water collection system (which harvests and filters rainwater from the shelter canopy) and the Water Roller (which is used to transport the shelter, possessions and water) Whilst also adding creating value for the user on a day to day basis.

The design provides shelter in a 3 stage strategy: Transit, Transition, and Rebuild. The Shelter in Phase one provides emergency shelter on route to safer locations, on arrival the transition shelter utilises local materials (grass and sticks) to increase in size. The Water Shelter package also promotes healthy behaviour and a template for planning sustainable temporary communities. Finally the design offers a structural template for permanent housing upon return or relocation. This project was carried out with on-site contacts from the UNHCR and NGOs in Mozambique and Zambia.

Designer: Robert Nightingale