When there is a requirement for a rapidly deployable accommodation solution that provides comfort, scalability and integrated services for emergency services workers, the award-winning Humanihut Field Infrastructure System is new to the market.
Humanihut has attended the last two AFACs, and we are very happy with the exposure we have been able to generate with the Conference Attendees, Delegates, and Visitors. This year at AFAC19 we brought over a small team to demonstrate the ease of establishing the huts and bathrooms. We would like to thank the South Australian State Emergency Service (SASES) for their cooperation and support to be able to undertake the demonstrations.
Initially designed to provide emergency accommodation for displaced persons, the Humanihut Field Infrastructure System (HFIS) can be used as a short- to long-term, temporary accommodation solution with many applications. The HFIS is designed for rapid deployment and quick establishment at the specified site, and provides a fully integrated solution for accommodation, bathrooms, and utilities. The HFIS is not only cost-effective over the medium term but logistically efficient in transportation to the site and its assembly. The HFIS provides a high level of comfort and cleanliness, with each hut having a solid floor and the option for effective climate control. The system is fully containerised and easily stored for immediate transport by road, air or rail to an incident site. Designed to satisfy the requirement for rapid onset response, the HFIS can be established on a green-field site, hard standing, or football field.
The HFIS has an estimated field life of 20 years, and is delivered as a system containing two parts: huts that can include bedding, office furniture, climate control, lighting, power and fresh water; and bathrooms that can include showers, toilets and basins. The HFIS is designed to be used in harsh environmental conditions and different climatic zones. The SASES has purchased the Basecamp configuration, which totals 6 x 20ft-high cube shipping containers, 32 huts, and 6 bathrooms (showers only).
To establish the Basecamp, containers are positioned on the ground, then the huts are extracted, unfolded and placed into position, with the containers then converting into the bathrooms with showers and running water. The huts are fitted out with beds, lighting, power-board, shelving, and curtains. The HFIS can be connected to mains services if town infrastructure is available, or it can be autonomous with mobile solutions for water, power and waste-water management.
It takes only a couple of days to train a small team to establish the Basecamp, and with no construction required and no need for power tools or special tools, the entire system is “click and connect”. A tradesperson is not normally required to be on site, unless connection for sewerage or mains power is required.
In the Basecamp depicted in the picture, there are eight huts folded flat in each of the four 20ft-high cube containers located at each end of the row. The huts are extracted out of the containers, unfolded and moved into position using a telehandler. The four containers at the end of each row and the two middle containers are then re-configured into shower blocks.
The middle two containers carry the fittings required to fit out the huts and six bathrooms, and can also carry some optional accessories such as beds, air conditioners, and office requirements. The huts and bathrooms are then connected to infrastructure. It takes under 8 minutes to unfold and move the hut into position, about 5 minutes to fit out the huts, and about 30 minutes to configure the container (which transported the huts and accessories) into the bathroom. These timings are based on a well-trained team, but may be affected by environmental conditions. Life-support services may be connected concurrently, and the time to connect depends upon which infrastructure is being utilised.
The hut dimensions once unfolded are (L) 5.7m x (W) 2.2m x (H) 2.2m. The huts have an insulation rating of R2. The roof and wall panels are made from a flame-retardant ISO Panel with an EPS foam core and anti-bacterial coating. They are constructed using the following materials:
- Panels – UV stabilized Colourbond steel skins with high-density EPS foam core.
- 50mm thick roof.
- 33mm thick walls.
- Self-aligning hinges.
- Panel frame – Powder-coated, extruded aluminium.
- Floor frame – Fully welded, core ten, painted steel sub-frame.
- Flooring – 18mm marine-grade plywood.
With the capability to be effortlessly scaled up to provide accommodation for surge capacity in staff, and scaled down as staff vacate the incident, the HFIS has significant operational advantages. Most importantly, the HFIS provides a level of sleeping comfort close to the incident that may have a positive impact on fatigue management of the workers. The HFIS is as efficient to pack up and re-deploy to its main storage location as it is to deploy and establish.
There are also significant environmental considerations. With all services above ground, the environmental footprint and impact of the Humanihut system once re-deployed is minimal. Constructed with energy-efficient building materials to reduce cooling and heating costs, the system can also be connected to solar power to further reduce environmental impact.
Humanihut Pty Ltd is an Australian start-up company, and the entire HFIS has been designed and developed in Australia. Managing Director of Humanihut, Neale Sutton, is also the co-founder of the company, and designer of the system. The Chairman of Humanihut is retired Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, who has previously held the appointment of Governor of South Australia. The most important part of the system, the wall and roof panels, are manufactured in Australia, with many of the service appliances such as the air conditioners and hot water systems also sourced locally.
In recognition of the innovative design and engineering of the system, Humanihut has received the following awards:
- 2016. Featured on the International Disrupt100 list (www.Disrupt100.com). (This is a bi-annual international recognition of the top new 100 international businesses with the most potential to influence, change or create a change to Global markets).
- 2018. Winner of the Engineering Category in the Australian Good Design Awards (www.good-design.org).
- 2019. Overall Winner of the Design Strategy Award at the South Australian Business Council, Design For Export Awards (http://designforexportawards.com/).
The HFIS is the most rapidly deployable, rigid field infrastructure system, with configurable and integrated services, currently available in the world today. There is no actual construction required at the point of establishment, just assembly. The Humanihut Field Infrastructure System is scalable from eight huts to as many as required, accommodating up to 2,400 people or more.
This technological advancement in rapid-response rigid field shelter systems permits the Humanihut Field Infrastructure System to offer a capability that provides significant value, efficiency, and flexibility to the customer. With the container carrying the eight huts to site having multiple applications; eight accommodation huts and one bathroom, the entire system allows efficiency based on innovative design. “1 Container – 9 uses”.
For more information, go to www.humanihut.com