Insulated Tents Could Protect the Homeless From the Elements


Being homeless often means exposure to all the elements, from the glaring sun of a heat wave to the freezing winds of a winter storm. A Singapore-based nonprofit called billionBricks wants to protect people without homes from the risks of extreme weather with a heavily insulated tent that can be assembled easily in cities, as featured on Mashable recently.

The winterHyde tent was first developed after riots in the Indian city of Muzaffarnagar forced 43,000 people out of their homes in 2013. It’s designed with a reflective inner layer to stay comfortable in temperatures down to 32°F, with a highly visible, waterproof outer layer and a sand-weighted frame that stays put without anchoring. In the summer, the tent can be reversed so that the reflective layer keeps out the heat rather than trapping it inside, and there are ventilation flaps to let a breeze through.

The tents are currently built to house families of up to five, but a recent pilot in New Delhi has the company considering even bigger shelters. Some of the 12 families who used the tents had up to seven people sleeping inside. The pilot users also suggested that the tents come with built-in lighting, an idea that might be included in the next iteration of the design.

While the winterHyde tents were originally conceived as emergency shelters, there are plenty of people who are interested in using them as long-term housing. In Mumbai, a 2011 census found that at least 57,400 people lived in structures without roofs. Since the tents are only designed to be comfortable in above-freezing temperatures, it wouldn’t be the perfect solution for sheltering people who live in, say, Chicago or Moscow, but could potentially be an option for areas in Southeast Asia—where billionBricks wants to donate 1000 tents to needy families this year—or for relatively mild climates like California.

The tents can be purchased for a family in need for $199, and the company also accepts orders for individuals and organizations through a contact form on their site.

[h/t Mashable]

All images courtesy billionBricks

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