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NRC’s Shelter Pilot Project in the Province of Kerman

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In the last quarter of 2012, NRC commissioned the design and construction of 4 shelter prototypes to two local architects.

Iran registered 3,015 earthquakes of varying magnitude in 2012, 356 in Kerman Province alone (4 of a magnitude higher than 5 points Richter).

An estimated 250 and over 500 of the total current housing structures in the refugee camps of Bardsir and Rafsanjan respectively, in the Province of Kerman, use a mix of mud and scraps for the walls, wooden beams erratically distributed and fabric for the ceilings, and carton boards and plastic sheeting for the rooftops. These dwellings are referred to as aloonaks by the local community. The aloonaks are an upgraded version of the original nylon tents provided by the government in the early 80’s, during the first wave of refugees into the area.

After three decades, these structures pose now a serious hazard to its occupants, especially to the elderly and the children, in a region with a high annual rate of earthquakes. They are also poorly ventilated and dark which increases the risk of communicable diseases and requires a constant use of artificial light.

The pilots were built in the camp of Bardsir by Afghan refugee workers and the architects’ teams with a predominant use of traditional Iranian construction techniques and materials, following a construction pragmatism approach.

Although freedom in design and choice of materials was given to the architects, compliance with the following guidelines was however requested by NRC:

  • Total built area of 25 to 30 sqm per home distributed between two rooms;
  • Earthquake and climate proof;
  • Cost efficiency.

The rationale behind the shelter pilot project is two-pronged: inform NRC of most viable and cost efficient options for the provision of new homes in both settlements in Kerman, and provide temporary housing alternatives that could be used in the event of mass displacement by other agencies operating in Iran and governmental bodies such as the National Disaster Management Organization and the Ministry of Road and Urban Development.