DOST pushes F-houses as emergency shelters

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New emergency shelters can be made available during emergencies with the launching by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of a prototype of ‘F-houses’, said Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI ) project leader Florence Soriano on Thursday.

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An F-house is a foldable shelter that can be assembled as quickly as a tent and can protect a family of five during disasters, Soriano explained. It can also serve as storage for emergency supplies like food and medicine.

“Unlike a tent, however, the F- house has a floor that can be mounted on specially designed prefabricated footings”, he said.

He said the dismantled F-house can easily be transported at the back of a trailer or in a low-bed truck. When dismounted from the truck, the said evacuation shelter can be wheeled to a particular location through prefabricated footings”, Soriano added.

“The F – house can easily be put up by four medium-built unskilled workers using simple carpenter’s tools and gadgets”, he said. Tension cables anchored to the ground will ensure stability during weathering, extreme temperatures, winds, and other natural forces, Soriano added.

The cost of fabricating one prototype costs P75,000 or roughly P6,500 per square meter. The price will go down with mass production.

“Production of materials for F-houses is adequately supervised and engineered”, Soriano said.

The FPRDI is making improvements on the F-house to accommodate more refugees and to allow the provision of power supply. Candice Monique O. Brillon

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