Updated Apr 11, 2018

Final prototyping session 2

The EpiTent, The Next Generation Tent

"The next generation Re-imagined tent for Emergency human-led service delivery in hot climates." It is the Humane Emergency Use Canopies and Accessories (HEUCA). The tent offers passive cooling of over 7 degrees Celsius, a 95% improvement in airflow over existing structures and a 90% reduction in social exclusion

www.epitent.co.ug
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Grace Nakibaala

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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

EpiTent was successfully branded and also managed to drastically lower the product price to something more affordable. As we better understand the users'needs and as the orders come in, we will be able to reduce this further.
We were also able to donate two tents to the people of Adjumani district on behalf of ResilientAfrica Networkour partners, and the American people via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). You can see part of the Adjumani story in pictures here https://photos.app.goo.gl/CqJpfnbhduPQyt7s1and most of the EpiTent story here https://photos.app.goo.gl/QBqnHO4g6TwLdFC93. We also have an explainer video here https://drive.google.com/open?id=11uD5g2tCNpXZTTLq6eXLLWuEVKm79d1u
While all this was going on, we were also able to get our product patented and are currently, "patent pending". This is crucial because it now allows us to publicly share our ideas without risk.
We have been featured on both BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05pctf6
Our contact at Ayiri Health Center Three, which is a health centre serving one of the larger refugee settlements in Adjumani, says that not only did our tent weather the dry season successfully, but it is a favourite with all users due to it having lower temperatures during the daytime, least humidity and also the most comfortable and customisable solution. This not only validates our research but should also serve as evidence of our claims.
This year we are working on providing a more modular product (resizable to suit demand), a temporary housing solution as well as exploring other use cases such as temporary offices, dormitories and service centres.

Registered in Uganda.

Focus Areas:

Energy, Health, Housing and Infrastructure and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Energy, Health, Housing and Infrastructure, Infectious & Vector Diseases, Refugees, Engineering, Human Centered Design and ResilienceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Uganda

UgandaSEE LESS

200
Lives Impacted to Date
1
Country Implemented In
2
Customers
3
Employee
$400,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

The bulk of emergency humanitarian operations globally occur in hot regions. Frontline emergency workers in tropical and equatorial climates work under very stressful conditions characterized by extreme heat and humidity predisposing them to heat stress and the related complications. In health emergencies, the extreme conditions also affect quality of patients care. Due to extreme heat and discomfort, health workers cannot spend more than an hour dressed in the full-body PPE. This lessens patient contact time yet much of the required treatment is supportive. In deadly epidemics, frequent donning and doffing put health personnel at risk of infection. They are more liable to unforced procedural errors as they move back and forth into contaminated zones to allow ‘cool off’ intervals. Patients and care takers (where applicable) also endure similar conditions. The extremely hot environment in their isolation wards exacerbates their risk of electrolyte imbalances due to excessive perspiration. Patients face extreme boredom and stigma from the social exclusion caused by the closed-off environment in isolation units. Humanitarian workers in non-health related service delivery also suffer some of these challenges.

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Solution

A team of students and faculty from the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) www.ranlab.org (a USAID funded project implemented by the School of Public Health)at Makerere University www.mak.ac.ug, the College of Engineering, Design and Art (CEDAT) and various private sector development partners have designed the next generation tent for service delivery in humanitarian emergencies in hot humid climates. The project was funded by USAID’s Fight Ebola Grand Challenge. The new design keeps the favourable features of the current tent designs, namely their simplicity, cheapness and structural safety, while revolutionallising the mechanism for heat and air exchange in the tents. More info can also be found: http://www.heuca.ranlab.org/heuca


Target Beneficiaries

The breakthrough:Through purely non-assisted adaptive systems:

· The new design reduces the average ambient air within the tent cavity by 50C during the sunny part of day-time.

· The new design reduces the average ambient temperature by between 5-70C during the critical hottest 8 hours of the day. This will substantially reduce heat related discomfort.

· More importantly, it reduces the maximum temperature reachable in the tent cavity by 9-120C (From a TMAX attained by the existing standard tent of 50C). This greatly reduces the chances of heat stress.

· The tent too substantially reduces social exclusion by allowing occupants free perception of the outside environment, yet maintaining privacy. This will reduce the stigma attached to patients in isolation units e.g. Ebola treatment centers. It will also reduce boredom.

· An assortment ofaccessories have been carefully selected to transform the tent into a potable office/health center. Their selection was based on an observation of emergency service delivery workspaces to determine a minimum package of embeddable accessories.

Innovation Description

The EpiTent is a reimagined tent whose concept stems from the problems of extreme temperature and humidity in current tent structures. The EpiTent has been designed to reduce temperatures and humidity within the tent. It can be rapidly deployed and set up. It has features that make it suitable for various purposes
How does your innovation work?
The EpiTent generally takes advantage of the convection flow of air current within the tent. Air exchange occurs at the vent system at the roof. We provided a layer of insulation as well to counter heat due to radiation. Adaptive systems rely purely on unassisted measures to achieve cooling. There are 6 main sources of ambient heating in enclosed structures: Air temperature (determined by the outside temperature), radiation (from the sun, and the walls of the tent), airspeed, humidity, subjects’ clothing, and subjects’ metabolic rate). From the structural point of view, the first 3 are modifiable. The EpiTent design blends two technologies to achieve the temperature reduction: A smartly designed lean ventilation system A smartly designed heat absorption systemTo achieve these, the structure is re-engineered, but in a smart and neat way to keep the costs low.

Competitive Advantage

Adaptive systems rely purely on unassisted measures to achieve cooling. There are 6 main sources of ambient heating in enclosed structures: Air temperature (determined by the outside temperature), radiation (from the sun, and the walls of the tent), airspeed, humidity, subjects’ clothing, and subjects’ metabolic rate). From the structural point of view, the first 3 are modifiable. The HEUCA design blends 2 technologies to achieve the temperature reduction:

· A smartly designed lean ventilation system

· A smartly designed heat absorption system

To achieve these, the structure is re-engineered, but in a smart and neat way to keep the costs low.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We seek to build Partnerships with organizations that deal in epidemics, disease control, emergency service delivery, and temporary office structures Portable Hospital Systems as direct sales to Private and Public Health facilities that require immediate temporary expansion of their facilities We have developed a marketing and communication strategy that articulates the publicity of the product through Social Media, the Website, broadcast and print media among others
The Team has successfully completed 6 months of product piloting in Uganda characterized by iterations and we are now completing revisions to the final product ready for mass production at the end of the year 2016.
Funding Goal500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted300

Milestones

Date Unknown
Date Unknown
Lives Impacted
200
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Uganda