JBU Hosts 4th Annual Disaster Shelter Design Competition

John Brown University and Samaritan’s Purse International Relief will host the 4th Annual Disaster Shelter Design Competition April 23-25 on JBU’s Siloam Springs campus. Samaritan’s Purse will evaluate the shelter designs for possible implementation in its relief efforts worldwide.

“A competition like this is an incredible resource for everyone involved,” said Mark Terrill, assistant professor of construction management and competition coordinator. “This competition gives Samaritan’s Purse access to some of the region’s most innovative engineers, architects and construction management students and asks students to provide practical solutions to real-world problems. This is where classroom learning and real-world application collide, and it’s really fun to watch.”

This year’s competition scenario is based on the 2005 earthquake in Balakot, Pakistan that killed close to 75,000 people and displaced nearly 3.3 million people. The shelter itself must be “transitional” or modifiable, lightweight, easily-stored and transported, viable for mass production and cost less than $1,500 to reproduce.

Teams from Dordt College (Souix Center, Iowa), Temple College (Temple, Texas), Pittsburg State University (Pittsburg, Kan.) and John Brown University submitted preliminary shelter plans in November and will present their refined prototypes for durability tests this week that include earthquake sustainability, heat retention, habitability and wind/rain load.

The public is encouraged to attend the various shelter tests and seminars on campus.
The competition schedule is as follows:

Disaster Response and Service Opportunity Seminar — Simmons Great Hall
Leaders from several relief organizations will present information and opportunities concerning disaster relief.
Session 1: Thursday, April 23, 7 – 10 p.m.
Session 2: Friday, April 24, 4 – 7 p.m.

Earthquake and Heat Retention Testing — Balzer Technology Center High Bay
The shelter will be placed on a shake table and to determine earthquake resistance and undergo a heat retention test to evaluate the shelter’s ability to hold heat.
Thursday, April 23, 1 – 6 p.m.
Friday, April 24, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Timed Shelter Assembly – Balzer Technology Center Lawn
Teams will be evaluated on the ease and time it takes to set up their shelter. All teams will set up their shelters simultaneously.
Friday, April 24, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Habitability Testing — Balzer Technology Center Lawn
Judges will sleep in the shelters overnight to assess the shelter’s ability to keep occupants comfortable overnight.
Friday, April 24, 9 p.m. – Saturday, April 25, 7 a.m.

Water and Wind Load Assessment — Balzer Technology Center Lawn
Shelters will be judged on their ability to withstand hurricane-force wind and rain. Seattle-based Cascade Designs Incorporated is providing the wind machine as well as technical assistance and financial support for this test.
Saturday, April 25, 7:30 – 10 a.m.

Awards and Closing Ceremony – Simmons Great Hall
Judges will complete final evaluations and will announce winners over lunch. Representatives from Samaritan’s Purse and JBU will make closing remarks.
Saturday, April 25, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization, headed by Franklin Graham, that provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Samaritan’s Purse has worked in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.