Byblos, Lebanon - 2014
The Emergency plastic Crates Shelter prototype 1 (ECS-p1) designed by third year architecture students at the lebanese american university has been assembled as a 1:1 scale prototype on site at the Lebanese American University’s Byblos campus.
As part of Richard Douzjian's academic activities, he had requested for the temporary structures to be developed from common, everyday objects that are easily accessible to people all over the world, as many refugees are forced to incorporate such materials into creating their own living environments.
The ECS-p1 project uses just two components as construction materials: plastic crates — indispensable to the agriculture sector — and regular zip ties. Following a "consumerist vernacular architecture" approach, the adapted containers are reusable if undamaged, otherwise they are completely recyclable along with the ties that hold it together.
Other than the 3 vertical support columns per wall and at the window sills, every single plastic crate functions as a storage unit. This dual purpose extends to the window shutters, which can be integrated as either seats or table legs when not blocking the openings.
The primary objective of the ECS-p1 was to study the spatial and structural properties of the plastic crates as construction materials. In hot and dry climates it is an excellent substitute to the conventional tent: it procures natural lighting, ventilation and cooling, all the while being structurally more resistant and offering seamless storage spaces.
The development of appropriate thermal insulation, heating, waterproofing and water collection systems are the objectives of the second prototype, the ECS-p2, currently under study.
Built area: 14.4m2
Liveable area: 9m2
Assembly time: 5 to 7 hours (workforce of 10 people)
Number of used crates: 416