April 21 2014 Latest news:
, Business writer
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A start up company wants its emergency shelters to spark a global revolution in the way communities recover from natural disasters.
Lowestoft-based Extremis Technology has pioneered two – quick-to-assemble – temporary homes, which can protect a displaced family during a humanitarian crisis.
The Hush1 and Hush2 shelters can be built without foundations and can withstand earthquake tremors and hurricane-force winds.
The innovations have already attracted interest from the United States, with a logistics firm set to become a value-added re-seller.
But the company’s main aim is to secure a distribution deal with an aid agency, so it can bring the shelters into large-scale manufacturing by 2015 or 2016.
Julia Glenn, chief executive of Extremis Technology, said the shelters would not replace the tents provided in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, but would be a community’s next step on the road to recovery.
She said: “The UN and other agencies are looking for products that can give a family the opportunity to return to normal. Our shelters last 15 years and in that time communities can be re-established.”
Andrew Gowan, chief operating officer, said it plans to manufacture the shelter locally, which could create 12 to 20 new jobs through its partners.
He said: “From loading the shelter off the lorry, to the family moving in, we have turn around of two-hours max.”
“But you have to react to a disaster, which means planning can be difficult. Currently, we are working with the University of East Anglia to create a risk map for the world.”
Invented by Dave Watson, a prototype of the Hush2 was built by building contractor R.G Carter in Drayton last month.
The firm, which has filed a global patent for the Hush2 shelter, plans to exhibit at a UN conference in February.
It comes after the firm was recently visited by the chancellor George Osborne at its offices inside the Orbis Energy Centre.
Norfolk businesses have been given the royal seal of approval for their remarkable achievement in overseas trade.