October 25 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods, 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.
A £2m plan to transform Palmers department store in Dereham and a neighbouring eyesore into an upmarket supermarket and clothing shop has been confirmed.