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FIMBank plc, in association with a group of University of Malta third year students from the Faculty for the Built Environment reading for the degree of BSc (Built Environment Studies), as part of their studies to become professional architects, has undertaken the task of adapting and assembling a humanitarian shelter with the intention of distributing all research, plans, designs and supporting documentation through a website created for this purpose.

The ultimate objective of this exercise is the development of a product that will be manufactured and shipped to different parts of the world with the help of international rescue and relief missions. FIMBank President Margrith Lutschg-Emmenegger stated that: “every human being has the right to survival and protection, hence the nickname chosen for the prototype, ‘Speranza’, which means ‘hope’ in Maltese ‘, which emphasises our desire for a positive outcome for displaced people everywhere”.

For this project, students were divided into small groups who carried out extensive research on container architecture. This included case studies, components, structural considerations, disaster-prone areas, climatic zones, ease of transportation, cost of construction, and other factors influencing the outcome of the project. This research provided the basis of a presentation made to the client, FIMBank.

The second part of the workshop included specific design, 3D modelling, planning, detailing, procurement and construction of all the parts that constitute the humanitarian shelter. Throughout the project, the students worked with the contractors, steel workers, carpenters, and other tradesmen to build bespoke components. They were fully engaged in the preparation of shop-drawings, schedules and bills of quantities, the programme of works, as well as the supervision of the construction and completion of the prototype.

Sponsored by FIMBank plc

Supported by the Faculty of the Built Environment – University of Malta, HMK International, Kenneth Darmanin Ltd, Halmann Vella Ltd, Beta Centre, Framegrip

Tutors – Chris Briffa with Sandro Valentino

Student Team – Justin Mizzi, Julian Vassallo, Katrina Gauci, Samuel Bonello, Andrea Zerafa, Jonathan Avellino, Ryan Saliba, Bobby Pace, Paula Grech, Sacha Cutajar, Rene Fava, Martha Borg, Neal Vella, Stacy Rapa, and Matthew Muscat.

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