Innovative Self-sustaining Living Module | Benham | Architecture, Engineering, & Designbuild Firm

Innovative Self-sustaining Living Module

Project Description

  • Client: 
    U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, & Engineering Center (NSRDEC)
  • Location: 

Tactical combat teams are often on the move in extreme environments. Benham created its self-sustaining living module (SLiM) concept, which is a rigid-walled, modular shelter system that includes solar energy collection and microgrid power management for military personnel at base camps. SLiM can:

 Maximize quality of life for troops
 Maximize energy, water, and waste efficiency
 Minimize logistics footprint

Smaller-sized base camps are usually composed of a mix of standard and non-standard equipment. The result is inefficient power and water consumption, waste management, and construction while increasing operations and maintenance costs over time. These inefficiencies divert soldiers’ efforts from the critical mission to supporting the functions of establishing, operating, and maintaining base camps. Personnel are often forced to improvise when establishing camps and combat outposts in austere environments – typically with little or no organic resources, no construction material handling equipment, and often under enemy threat, at the detriment to their mission.

We will provide design, development, and fabrication services in support of the SLiM concept, which includes shelter and basic living amenities for small contingency bases. The concept design drawings are for a scale model of SLiM. Under the 12-month Phase II option of the contract, Benham will fabricate and assemble the units and provide a functional prototype of SLiM, including two cubes to demonstrate integrated energy and water management subsystems. Additional SLiM features include:

 Shelter for around 20 personnel
 Automatic set-up and breakdown
 Interoperability with standard base camp utility structures
 Water harvesting, storage, purification and reuse
 Integrated lighting and power distribution
 Sufficient ventilation and condensation mitigation
 Decontamination- and cleansing-capable
 Real-time diagnostic monitoring of critical life-support equipment

About Benham

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