Suricatta Systems: Gimme Shelter

When the Lorca (Murcia) earthquake of May 2011 brought disaster closer to home, Valencian property company Urbana IDR decided to do something about it and participate in the project to create Suri, a temporary shelter for people made homeless by natural disasters in places such as Haiti, and presented under the name Suricatta Systems.

The first step was to work with ‘Bomberos en Acción’, from Murcia, a group of fire fighters who went to Haiti in their free time to try and help the people there.

SURI is a transitional shelter for emergency shelter measuring 3.5 square metres. It is a project developed by the R&D department at Urbana de Exteriores in collaboration with a team of experts. It is versatile, flexible, waterproof, easy to assemble and can therefore be easily removed, allowing reuse and using local materials throughout its 10 year life span. The units also come accompanied by solar energy features to provide electricity for light and water heating. Furthermore they are equipped to collect and purify rainwater and are resistant to natural disasters and extreme weather conditions.


Its design has been carried out in collaboration with the Barbarela Studio architects and the research laboratory of the University of Alicante, Alicante Fab Lab led by Professor Salvador Ivorra. This laboratory is part of the international network of laboratories Fab Lab created and led by world-renowned research centre at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Also participating are AIMPLAS, the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT), who provide solutions in all sector related to plastics, Tyvek Dupont, a recognized global leader in selective barrier technology, Medentech, who are committed to improving access to safe drinking water, Kolmer

Who have provided high-tech products for the construction and refurbishment sectors for more than 60 years and are responsible for the anti-mosquito solutions included in SURI.

So practicial and necessary are the solutions offered by Suri that the United Nations has taken notice and is studying their use in the field, and Urbana IDR has presented the project to them in New York.

Urbana IDR is a truly international Valencian company with offices in London’s Wigmore Street.

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