Czech company helping supply emergency container housing for Berlin

19-05-2015

Inhabitable containers or cabins bear a passing resemblance to a giant Lego set – which can be built up or used for various needs, from company offices to construction site headquarters. One Czech firm, writes Novinky.cz, is supplying more than 2,000 units to Berlin to be used as emergency housing for refugees.

Illustrative photo: Vojtěch BergerIllustrative photo: Vojtěch Berger The company, Česko-slezská výrobní, which employs more than 300 people in Zlaté Hory in the Jeseník area and has been on the market more than 20 years, began production of the special cabins in 2015, according to the Novinky website, after winning a contract through its majority shareholder, Austrian firm Containex. Česko-slezská výrobní’s director Josef Žácek described the deal, saying the order for the Czech firm alone amounted to 2,500 cabins to be shipped to Germany. The top manager said that until now the firm had produced some 30 units daily, but that production would need to be increased to 35. He said that the staff would be increased by some 30 people. The deal is reportedly worth 250 million crowns., according to Novinky.cz.

The cabins being produced for Berlin are larger than standard units and include bathrooms or sanitation containers which are normally built separately. According to Mr Žácek, the cabin homes will be built up to three stories high; one such facility, already standing in Berlin, features largely white containers with simple glass windows and a basic color highlights of yellow, blue or red.

The blocks are considered emergency housing to deal with a housing shortage as the number of migrants seeking asylum intensifies. Berlin reportedly has two container villages currently standing with the number set to reach six by August.

Not all are happy with developments: some feel the bright colors of container villages clash with nearby conventional neighborhoods. Critics also charge that the blocks, made from corrugated steel, don’t send the right message, visibly setting refugees apart in their adopted country. It is lost on no one, however, that rapid solutions are needed: at the end of the month the EU is to decide on a path forward to taking in more migrants, not less, from troubled countries in North Africa or the Middle East.

19-05-2015