For those like me who want to help the Ukrainians—there’s a huge need for some decent housing and for some who have had their homes or apartments destroyed because the war. Even before the war the typical affordability gap for median income Ukrainian’s was on par with a tiny home for about 25K US minus the land to place it on. So, we are talking pretty much subsistence living for most Ukrainians comparatively and it’s generally been that way since my visit there back in 1993. Most Ukrainians have learned to get by on very little and with the war…well things have been exacerbated at a fast pace in every aspect of their lives and especially as far as their living conditions are concerned.
Power Issues: Something we hardly have to worry about in North America are power issues but in the Ukraine there are rolling power outages for hours, sometimes days. This has been especially the case since the war broke out, particularly during the winter months. So, GB looked into what other entities are doing in building shipping container units with the addition of a built-in way of utilizing a solar component. As of the writing of this blog I am not aware of any entity who is offering a solar option, so GB has come up with our own solar alternative. We call it the MSC, see figure A below.
Self-Reliance: The MSC, stands for Modified Shipping Container, and comes in 20’ and 40’ lengths also including an HC (High Cube) version as well. Smaller MSC’s can sleep up to 6 people and the larger units can house up to 10 people. The idea behind the MSC is to bring together under one roof a total package of self-contained functions, such as micro power generation, indoor veggie garden as well as micro business add-on modules. The idea is to build-in robust systems into the structure that will allow for Ukrainian families to enhance their self-reliant options even in difficult times.
Cubic Structure: Every element of the MSC has a purpose beyond a two-dimensional square footage footprint. When the MSC is shipped it pretty much looks just like a typical shipping container from the outside (See Figure A) but upon arrival at its end destination it is expanded or unfolded as you would do similarly with fly outs on RVs, except that the MSC would stay in its “unfolded” state continuously as a permanent living quarters, (See Figure B). Maximizing cubic space within the MSC is GB’s forte in space utilization, kind of like packing your backpack to ensure that every square inch is fully utilized when going into the back country for extended periods of time.
Organized Ergonomics: When an MSC is shipped it includes food, clothing, bedding, and other essential household items ensuring that all cupboards and drawers are fully stocked and ready for the receiving Ukrainian family. Space is calculated based on basic ANSI human factor space requirements for the median populace. There are built in toy elements for children both young and old such as swings and slides. For infants there is a built-in bassinet space and fold out changing table. For the elderly there are multiple handrails and pully systems for lifting and transporting. Ironing boards, chin-up bars, and fold out beds are all designed to maximize space and help meet family needs.
Cottage Detail: MSC’s come in multiple colors with addon exterior features such as under window planter boxes, 2nd floor balconies, and an on-roof treadmill. For kids there’s a fireman’s pole, a basketball hoop and an outdoor built-in bar-b-que equipped with a chimney and an enclosure for use in both the summer and winter months, (See Figure C). There are various exterior cottage motifs to choose from as well such as Castle, Hobbit Hut, Tree Fort, Fairytale, Steampunk and many other motifs. The idea is to make the MSC more than just a “Modified Shipping Container” from the outside but rather an inviting place where friends and family will want to gather. In the end it becomes a lovable home for the occupants. Maybe even a place where Ukrainian Families can gather to find peace, hope, and solace during this wartime period.