modular emergency floor helps refugees get off the ground modular emergency floor helps refugees get off the ground
jun 17, 2015

modular emergency floor helps refugees get off the ground

modular emergency floor helps refugees get off the ground
all images courtesy of emergency floor 




last year, 38 million people became refugees due to conflict and natural disaster. the vast majority was left with no choice but to relocate to temporary camps and inadequate tent-like structures that barely protected them and their families from the elements. often without flooring, camp conditions leave refugees susceptible to parasitic infections, flash flooding, waterborne diseases, and hypothermia due to ground freeze. nearly all of these afflictions are preventable.

emergency floor modular flooring system refugee aid
modular flooring system




organizations like the united nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) are unable to provide proper flooring due to the enormous associated costs, thus leaving thousands sleeping in the dirt on a nightly basis. over the last three years, scott austin key and sam brisendine have been working non-stop to solve the issue. the result, ’emergency floor’ is used in tandem with one of the most universal products on the planet: the standard shipping pallet.


video courtesy of emergency floor 




every day pallets arrive to camps in droves carrying everything from lifesaving medical supplies, to food, to blankets and warm clothing. now, using the modular ’emergency floor’ system, the pallets can continue their mission by physically supporting each and every refuge. USAID has flagged the company for funding through their development innovation ventures program, but has requested that $50,000USD be raised by their own efforts. ‘emergency floor’ has since launched a crowdfunding campaign — found here — to make flooring truly accessible, and help the world’s most vulnerable people get off the ground


emergency floor modular flooring system refugee aid
’emergency floor’ installed

wasted pallets  

emergency floor modular flooring system refugee aid
’emergency floor’ utilizes pallets to form a barrier from the harsh ground conditions

conditions in refugee camps are often extremely harsh, flooring is just as crucial to their health as shelter

’emergency floor’ founders scott austin key and sam brisendine

emergency floor modular flooring system refugee aid designboom
pilot run of ’emergency floor’ with IKEA foundation’s better shelter in sweden



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom

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