RHU 1.2


RHU 1.2

Better Shelter

From a prototype showcased to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2012 to now over 60,000 units deployed to more than 66 countries, the Refugee Housing Unit (RHU) is an innovative shelter solution resulting from a collaborative research & development project between Better Shelter and UNHCR, supported by IKEA Foundation.

Ready (In Stock)


4 residents / 1 bedroom

$312 / resident

Medium Term (1-10 years)

1 days offsite1 days onsite

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The Refugee Housing Unit (RHU) is an innovative shelter solution resulting from a collaborative research & development project undertaken by Better Shelter and UNHCR, with the support of the IKEA Foundation. This partnership was formed with the aim of developing an improved shelter solution that provides greater dignity and supports the protection of refugees and other people of concern.

  • Quoted Total Cost: $1,250 (+ shipping)
  • Quote’s Total Interior Square Footage: 185 sqft
  • Quote Sleeps # People/Beds: 4 beds
  • Quote Includes # Units: 1 unit
  • In Stock / Ready to Ship Today: Yes


Used for shelter before?Yes
Used for shelter in the U.S.?No
If so, list examplesSudan, 2015, 400 units deployed
Prior use commentsSudan, 2015, 400 units deployed
Building experience commentsExperienced
Intended use casesFamilies, workers, emergency medical facilities
R-value (insulation)0-10
Risk CategoryN/A – Temporary Use
Roof Load (PSF)9
Indoor Clearance Height (ft)8
Professional Engineer Stamp?n/a
Conforms to ICC’s Temporary Structure and Uses Coden/a
Other Structural/Safety CommentsAllows users to evacuate in a minimum time of two minutes in case of fire Withstands 18 m/s or 65 km/h
Sustainability/Green Building Certifications?SOLAR ENERGY: The RHU provides 6 hours of electricity supply for lighting, while providing plugs for the charging of electronic devices
Materials Used/Made of:Recycled plastic
Mobile?Semi-Mobile (detachable, minor disassembly)
Disassembly/Assembly Comments:Easy, 4 man team
Ideal Mounting SurfacesSoil (Dirt/Grass), Asphalt / Parking Lot, Other
Anchoring ProcessBolt in


ItemCost ($)Notes
Laborsimple assembly with volunteers
Delivery$not included
Budget Total$1,250
Total Per Bed$313
Total Per Unit$1,250
Add-on Items
Check all items that are not included in your quote (i.e. would need to be quoted by outside party)Toilet / Washrooms, Delivery Charge
List outside vendors needed to execute (including any architects and engineers)Delivery, bathrooms
Possible Delivery Method(s)Airdrop, Flat pack module
% of Housing Built On-site>75%
Installation Special Tooling / Skill LevelLow skill volunteer crew


Design (days)0
Production (days)0
Site Prep (days)1
On-Site Assembly (days)1
Total (days)2
Amount in Inventory (#)1,000
Production Capacity1k/year
Production LocationGdansk, Poland