An emergency shelter made from cardboard

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June 22, 2023

An ingenious idea to create an affordable, sustainable housing solution for emergency and disaster relief situations has been created – made almost entirely from cardboard.

The brainchild of engineer Abdallah Al Raggad, the Maawa X, is a temporary shelter that is set to be deployed to refugee camps in Jordan, in partnership with the charity the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization and the financial technology specialists MadfooatCom.

Amazing engineering with cardboard

This cardboard dwelling amazingly packs away so small that it can fit inside a suitcase. The entire structure weighs just 13.7kg. From its folded pack size, it can be set up without the need for any specialist tools or additional equipment. Once completed, the dwelling offers 3.5 cubic meters of living space.

Its creator, the startup company Maawa, says the Maawa X can be completely assembled as quickly as 47 seconds! What’s more the pop-up home is weatherproof and can sleep up to two people.

A novel and sustainable solution for disaster relief

The engineer behind the creation of the Maawa X, Abdallah Al Raggad, says that the design answers the questions of portability, sustainability, production and cost that are faced in emergency and disaster relief situations.

The use of cardboard for the structure is a much more sustainable choice than the current alternatives. It ensures that the dwellings are reusable, up-cyclable and/or 100% recyclable. A cardboard house offers a much more biodegradable alternative to tents – which is an important contribution in the global fight to reduce plastic waste and plastic pollution.

Simple design, innovative future

The Maawa X also offers the opportunity to integrate simple devices with the housing solution. The design includes the integration of solar panels. These panels add additional protection against the weather, whilst also providing an energy supply that can be used to power devices used by the occupants.

More than 100 million people on earth lack adequate housing, say the startup’s founders. Could the Maawa X be part of the solution?

What now?

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