Rapidly Deployable Permanent Replacement Housing

I have designed a building system using a modular that is easily implemented in disaster and conflict zones around the world.

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Thomas E Miller

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • USA

Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)


When was your organisation founded?


Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Pilot (have done first proof of concept)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $100k - $250k

Organisation Type

  • Non-profit / NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

I started this concept in response to the Haitian earthquake on January 12, 2010. It is unacceptable that despite billions of dollars in private donations and millions in government aid that life in disaster zones and conflict areas has improved very little years after an event. Initially, this concept was intended to address a critical shortage of disaster housing and conflict area replacement housing. The concept has expanded to feature utilizing local unskilled labor to rebuild their community to a higher, more sustainable and resilient standard. This came as the realization that in addition to most of the housing stock being destroyed, most of the infrastructure, factories and small businesses were also destroyed and unlikely to return.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

The building concept has evolved into a didactic kit of parts that train workers on the job and give them the skills to and capital to rebuild their society to a higher, more sustainable and resilient standard. The construction sequence and materials had to be re-engineered and reevaluated considering the scarcity and high cost of construction materials. The result was a kit of parts that easily fit into a standard shipping container.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I have designed a building system using a modular that is easily implemented in disaster and conflict zones around the world. The system is composed of reinforced mass-produced tiles that are backfilled with a slurry made from demolished building materials and Portland cement. The tiles unfold to reveal a fiber-reinforced concrete armature that folds out, like origami. The armature has interlocking holes for an expanded braid structural fiber reinforcement, which is to say the structural fibers are left to extend into the concrete that gives it unprecedented holding power that is many times stronger than steel reinforcement under ideal conditions that are not seen in practice. Additionally, the structural fiber reinforcement can be placed in the field by hand and cut with hand shears and spliced with commonly available tools and inexpensive epoxy connectors. The system components due to its lightweight are easily airlifted or shipped via cargo carrier from centrally located plants and then transferred to trucks right to the disaster site. A building kit of parts approach was used to enable an entire structure to be placed into a standard shipping container.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

We started the design process with a rigid grid that can accommodate a variety of floor plans. Security was taken into consideration with a strong sense of enclosure, to aid the healing process of this traumatic event. The living spaces look inward and opens up to a courtyard with a generous allowance for a small garden. The living spaces benefit from long overhangs and a floor plan that is designed to accommodate cross-ventilation by jalousie (I developed a new, innovative system for this as well) windows and operable glazed transoms above the doors. The house is zoned to allow for multi-generational and extended family units and the living spaces extend outdoor.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

By learning valuable skills and organizational methods individuals will learn valuable next-generation building techniques and methods that will place them in high demand.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

By learning next-generation building techniques with sustainable and resilient building methods, individuals will learn valuable skills. Skills are developed systematically and methodically ensuring perfection and mastery.

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

Skills are developed systematically and methodically ensuring perfection and mastery. These skills include project management as well as time management and organizational skills.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

By spreading aid dollars around affected areas rebuilding is accelerated and the money is put to a better, higher purpose.

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is no workable, scalable solution to compete with, there is no competition.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I have taken developed this concept as far as I can with self-funding. The remaining tasks are very specific, engineering-focused. Very recently, I have been shortlisted on a few innovation programs as well as shortlisted on a Milan Design Week program. I am hopeful I will start enlisting outside funding to bring this important project to fruition.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Short term funding is very promising. Once the remaining engineering tasks are completed production can start on building kits and a test development can commence. The project will become self-funded after a number of units are constructed.

10. Team

I plan to use many end-users as members of my team. I plan to utilize a very flat organizational structure and utilize a virtual corporate structure that responds to need.

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

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How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


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