COINS Grand Challenge Spotlight: Sustainable Emergency Shelters
We spoke to Kaushal Shetty to find out more about the inspiration behind ‘Nostos Homes', a sustainable emergency shelter for people displaced due to natural disasters or violence.
Kaushal and his team-mate Madhav Datt were awarded the runner up prize in the 2019 COINS Grand Challenge, while Kaushal was an undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
What personal experiences led you to develop ‘Nostos Homes’.
When I was 7 years old, I used to live near the banks of the river Suvarna in India. I grew up close to a marginalized community of farmers who had been excluded from society for many generations.
They were forced to live in survival mode on the floodplains as subsistence rice farmers. Every year in June, as it starts raining in India, the river rises by over six meters, destroying their crops and flooding their homes.
This cycle of survival mode living, in addition to the economic and social marginalization, continued year on year.
Looking at all this I realized that losing your homes and being forcibly displaced is devastating. The actual implications and impact go far beyond the roof over your head. Losing access to where you live also affects your livelihood, people end up losing their jobs, and there is no access to clean water or a proper sanitation setup.
So essentially, losing your home has this ripple effect that impacts health, education, and employment. I wished to change all of that with ‘Nostos homes’, which is the first-of-its-kind sustainable emergency shelter for people displaced in the violence or a natural disaster.
What are Nostos Homes and how can they be used?
We chose the name ‘Nostos’ for the shelters because it means homecoming in ancient Greek. The units, which can be set up in about an hour, are made from recycled PVC panels and have built-in sanitation and solar panels. Each shelter can be set up in about an hour and house up to seven people sleeping on the floor. Grouped together they can create a mini-community for people who have been displaced through natural or man-made disasters. They could be used in packed refugee camps to provide safe, self-contained housing for people fleeing war and violence.
Have these been used in reality, if so where?
We are currently working on the deployment of the units in Northern Karnataka, India (image below shows Kaushal at the deployment site).
How has the COINS Grand Challenge helped you?
The primary aim of the COINS Grand Challenge is to find breakthrough ideas, by encouraging people to innovate in the built environment and the society to promote the force for good. Overall as an experience, it has been a great platform for us to meet innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders of the construction industry thus promoting community learning from creative ideas.
Why should people enter the 2021 COINS Grand Challenge?
The COINS Grand Challenge can be an incredible opportunity for people, and particularly young people, to work on innovative solutions that tackle large problems around architecture, design, or construction to get advice, connections, and resources to take their ideas to the next level.
Enter the 2021 COINS Grand Challenge
The 2021 COINS Grand Challenge is now open for entries - do you have an idea that you would like to make a reality? Find out more https://www.coins-grandchallenge.com
The COINS Grand Challenge aims to inspire construction innovation and is open to anyone whose idea could improve the construction industry or the built environment.
Read about the 2020 winning ideas here
- cloud software
- coins foundation
- coins grand challenge
- coins uk
- construction erp
- construction innovation
- sustainable construction
- sustainable living