A Z-Box as a bike container; how do you like it?

An elderly center in Breda last year was looking for a temporary and safe parking spot for bicycles. We devised a solution for them by cleverly using the capabilities of our multi-purpose storage container. We recently asked Antal Smits, project manager for real estate at Woonzorg Nederland, about the experiences of users.

What was going on?

‘Due to a renovation, the existing bicycle shed in Breda had to be demolished. It would later return during the construction of a second residential tower. Because we didn’t want to be without a bike shed for a year and a half, we decided to set up a temporary facility.

How did you end up at USC?

‘One of my colleagues had engaged USC elsewhere in the country for a temporary salvage operation. So that one already knew you guys and tipped me off about that again.

How do you like the bike containers?

‘The look is fine and the interior space is good to use. A few residents report that using the cylinder lock is sometimes difficult and the operation of the door a bit heavy. For some seniors with limited strength, this is an issue.
Because the containers are across from the restaurant and central reception area, for that single resident who needs help, there is always someone available to pitch in.

Has there been any contact about this?

‘Not yet because it is not an impediment to cycling, nor do I know if the symptoms will continue. An evaluation on the project is also not yet planned. For regular cooperatives, by the way, these kinds of obstacles will be less of an issue than when, as in our case, they involve elderly residents.

How was the process?

‘During the process, they were really thoughtful. And the communication was also fine. What was noticeable was that the containers initially appeared to be crooked. In fact, the field they were to stand on had a bulge. That problem could not be solved immediately, so the bike shed could not be put to use immediately. In the end, it was all well resolved by USC.

USC provided the containers with power for lighting and charging stations. The four charging points per container are satisfactory and well used as are the eight spots for bikes per container.’

How do you like the location of the containers?

‘You overlook the two containers directly from the restaurant. We had expected that there would still be complaints about the view along the lines of: ‘those two big, white boxes obstruct our view.’ That was not so bad. Nobody thought they were ugly. So there was also no insistence from the nursing home on additional facilities such as planting or photo wallpaper. For a temporary facility, it’s all quite acceptable. We are otherwise very satisfied.

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