Besides emergency shelter, this structure could also be a playhouse, dog house, temporary work building, astronomy observatory, deer blind, EMI shield enclosure, ice fishing house, orbital habitat, green house, bullet proof enclosure, animal shelter, fire shelter, Burning Man habitat, and so on. All portable, cheap, and quickly erect-able. Just change the size and shape to meet your needs and select the appropriate materials. Variations of this concept can also make solar concentrators, dish antennas, and domes (maybe the world's first one peice, fold up dome!)
The example shown here is a very basic seven sided yurt type structure, made with Home Depot Wardrobe boxes, Gorilla tape, and spring clips. The wardrobe boxes are convenient because most of the creases needed for folding are already there.
Patent Pending. More variations to come, showing additional features and options. Thanks for your interest.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
Gorilla Tape (15 feet) - Any kind of reinforces tape will probably work, such as duct tape.
Spline Roller tool (1) - Normally used for pressing in the spline on window screens, it is also good for creasing the card board at places that need to fold.
Spring Clips (7) - a convenient device for holding the structure together.
Other tools you may find useful - tape measure or yard stick, markers, scissors, knife, Elmer's Exterior Wood Glue
Step 2: Cut open the boxes
Cut the taped joints of all the boxes to make four flat sheets of cardboard. (all measurements are in inches)
Step 3: Cut and crease the roof section
Step 4: Assemble the cardboard sheets
Step 5: Final assembly
Step 7: Other stuff
1. Water Proofing - Cardboard falls apart fast when wet. Paint it with some kind of roofing paint or put a plastic laminate on the outside. Or use a material that is water proof (see materials below).
2. Doors and Windows - Use framing windows for RV's or just cut flaps in the sides. The obvious place for the door is in the overlapped wall section where the strength is greater.
3. Floor - Make the bottom floor flaps longer to get complete coverage. Or use something removable like a plastic sheet or Coroplast.
4. That Hole in the Top - The roof may be extended all the way to a point. The hole comes in handy for ventilation and lighting. Either way, the roof needs a cap at the top to keep the rain out. Use translucent material for natural lighting. Include a vent for ventilation.
5. Materials - Corrugated cardboard folds easily, but needs water proofing for outdoor use. Coroplast is an amazing material: water proof, inexpensive, light, and durable. You may need to cut away one layer of material to make creases that folds neatly. I use a Dremel with a cutting tool. Making wider cuts makes folding easier. Plywood or foam board may be used, with many advantages, but more tape is need to hinge everything together.
6. Number of Sides - 3 or more. 4 sides for the traditional square. The more sides, the rounder and more yurt-like the structure.
7. The bottom of the pleats in the roof must slope outward to drain water to the outside of the structure. If you change the design, do some calculations to make sure the pleat slope is correct, or build a model from paper to check the design.