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Alliance Packaging is more than just a manufacturer of Folded Homes® shelters. The development of the FH Yurt was a joint effort between Folded Homes® and Alliance Packaging motivated by our common desire to develop an effective humanitarian shelter solution.


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The Folded Homes® team brings considerable experience to bear in our delivery and deployment of shelter solutions.

Folded Homes® founder and CEO, Markus Robinson has been actively working on the design and deployment of humanitarian shelters around the world since 2002. For the first 3 ½ years Markus was the president and CEO of Icosa Village Inc. which pioneered folded-shelter technology. Through the start of 2006 Markus was directly involved in the installation of more than 140 Icosa Village Pod shelters in six countries. Lessons learned from the summer 2004 construction of a five month 40-Pod village at Forum Barcelona Exhibition in Spain and the winter deployment of 50 Pod shelters to Pakistani quake victims high up in the Himalayas in December 2005 with MSF (Médecins sans Frontiers / Doctors without Borders) were pivotal to Markus’ understanding of the challenges that must be addressed in large volume shelter deployments. Markus’ shelter-technology mantra following the Pakistan deployment was ‘simplify, simplify, simplify!’ and a return to the drawing board. 

After Icosa Village was closed down against Markus' wishes in the spring of 2006, Markus improved folding structure technology and developed a new shelter in collaboration with the engineers of Alliance Packaging. [See ALLIANCE PACKAGING: FOLDED HOMES PARTNER]

Alliance Packaging General Manager Scott Younger and the AP design team lead by Larry Rutstrom bring years of container design and manufacturing experience to bear on the problem as well as a strong desire to make a contribution to solving the humanitarian housing crisis. This collaboration produced the Folded Homes® Yurt shelters.  [See TEKYURTS – WHAT ARE THEY?, and ORIGAMI ARCHITECTURE – WHAT’S THAT?]

Folded Homes® yurts underwent almost two years of development and alpha testing prior to their release to market in Q1 2008. All Folded Homes® trainers and deployment team leads have previously participated in Folded Homes® shelter deployments during this development or in deployments in the field. [See TRAINING AND DEPLOYMENT TEAM LEADS]


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Folded Homes® was incorporated Q1 2008 to provide environmentally appropriate and cost-effective solutions to human shelter needs. The company is particularly focused on addressing humanitarian shelter needs at the same time as it offers shelters for personal use.

We believe that a truly effective humanitarian shelter solution is one that quickly delivers large numbers of easy-to-assemble, language-neutral, low-cost, four-season shelters even to locations where transportation infrastructure may have broken down.

While our FH Yurt shelters are our first shelter solution, over time we intend to provide a range of shelter solutions. [See TEKYURTS – WHAT ARE THEY?]

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The Folded Homes® product logo is inspired by the more than 7,000 Hawaiian petroglyphs at the Pu’u Loa site in Volcano National Park on the Big Island.  The left side of the logo invokes the centuries-old Mongolian Yurt design.  The right side of the logo invokes its high-tech 21st century reincarnation as FH Yurt origami architecture.[See MONGOLIAN YURT – THE FH YURT PROGENITOR, ORIGAMI ARCHITECTURE – WHAT’S THAT?, and TEKYURTS – WHAT ARE THEY?]

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The progenitor of the Folded Homes® Yurt is the yurt (more properly called a Ger) developed in the Mongolian steppe. These very simple and efficient structures consist of a covering (traditionally, felt cloth) stretched over a wood-frame lattice.

Mongolian Ger date back at least as far as the 13th century when Genghis Khan unified the Mongolian tribes and created an empire that spanned most of the known world. [See TEKYURTS – WHAT ARE THEY?]

GFDL images

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Origami is the art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a given result using geometric folds and crease patterns.  At the start you have a flat two-dimensional sheet.  At the finish you have a three-dimensional object.

Wired Magazine’s Alexander Rose coined the expression ‘origami architecture’ in March 2002 when he first set eyes upon the folded shelters of the company previously led by Folded Homes® CEO Markus Robinson.  [See www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.03/eword.html?pg=6 ]

Folded Homes® technology has dramatically improved although the basic idea is the same as the earlier technology: take flat sheets that have been stamped into a set of two-dimensional parts, fold them along their crease lines to make three-dimensional parts of the structure, and assemble those parts together to create a sturdy, rigid-walled shelter. [See FOLDED HOMES MISSION]

The approach to origami architecture developed by Folded Homes® improves upon the original technology Rose reported on in three important ways.  Folded Homes® technology is human fault tolerant [See FAULT-TOLERANT DESIGN (FH YURTS)], it uses a more robust connection technology [See ASSEMBLY TECHNOLOGY (FH YURTS)], and it integrally solves the problem of water-tightness without reliance on additional tapes or films. [See KEEPING DRY - ROOF DESIGN (FH YURTS)]

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