More than three years since the devastating earthquake wrought destruction on the population of Haiti, with more than 300,000 dead, as many injured, and estimated one million people left homeless.(2)
The scale of the disaster and the plight of the people had a catalytic affect on eco-friendly furniture designer Frank Schooley, of Matlacha, Florida.
“That day, it really struck me and I thought, ‘What are those people going to do?’” says Schooley.
Schooley’s success as a designer-manufacturer provided the inspiration, experience and expertise for him to come up with an answer to his question.
The Shelter in A Day Solution
“It occurred to me that the same materials and assembly method I was using for Terrapeg™ furniture could be used to produce a form of transitional housing that was more solid and secure than the usual tents supplied in emergencies,” Schooley continues.
What Schooley came up with was the Shelter In A Day™ concept which his design and production skills made a reality – and SAi’s EnRoute versatile CAD/CAM software for machining helped to make happen.
“Tents are a good immediate response, but reconstruction takes months and years and if I could provide a secure transitional shelter at a low cost, then people would have a better living standard and be able to spend their time rebuilding and moving their lives forward, rather than guarding what possessions they had left,” he says.
Using the fiberboard he was familiar with and the Tool Free Joints developed for Terrapeg™ furniture, Schooley designed a 12 x 12-foot shelter that could be produced quickly, shipped easily and assembled within an afternoon to provide housing that was strong, long lasting, flexible and secure. The basic shelters can be extended with one or more 4 x 12-foot sections to create larger homes, classrooms, churches or clinics.
“The fiberboard, made from the earth’s most basic sustainable material, recycled wood fiber, is termite, rust and rot resistant and therefore suitable for most climates,” Schooley says. “With lockable doors and windows, these shelters are better than tents which offer scant protection from the elements and little security. With Shelter in A Day™ accommodation, people can spend their time rebuilding their lives, not protecting what they have left.”
A Solution Built on Experience
Before conceiving Shelter in A Day™, Schooley had years of varied experience as a designer and craftsman who built yacht interiors, furniture, and even musical instruments. His interest in interior design led him to cabinet-making, and in 2004, he set up Tropical Kitchens, one of the first small companies to use computer aided CNC manufacturing. A central part of his operation is SAi’s versatile EnRoute CAD/CAM software. Schooley had seen EnRoute at a trade show and the first thing that attracted him was the interface. It seemed intuitive and easy to use. Every aspect of machining can be precisely controlled and different parts can be cut in individual ways allowing quick, high quality production.”