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British company Active Commuting came up with units for workplaces that replace two car parking spaces

A shower and bike storage unit which can accommodate up to 34 cyclists and 46 runners while occupying just two parking spaces has been designed by British company Active Commuting.

The units are modular blocks made from shipping containers that come in three sizes, and can include bike parking, showers, lockers, changing rooms and even toilets, and can be stacked up to two stories high.

The company is currently looking for a commercial sponsor for its first site in a hospital of 3,000 staff, of whom just 20-30 cycle to work. Transport for London cites a lack of shower, as well as hair, towel and clothes drying and storage facilities as major barriers to people commuting to work by bike. 

Co-founder Andrew Rechten told road.cc: "We set up Active Commuting to design and build secure bike parking, showers and locker facilities for people who want to run or cycle to work. This was due to our frustration that having good facilities was becoming a lottery of where and for whom you worked for. It had to be affordable, could be run as a club, or purchased by a company/organisation and offered as a benefit."

"Due to high commercial property rents and the associated dilapidation costs - I commute 15miles into London - we designed it to be portable, adaptable and scalable."

The company's smallest design can uses the equivalent of just over two car parking spaces and can cater for 34 cyclists and 46 runners. Units take up to 12 weeks to build and, the company claims, are warm in winter and cool in summer.

Rechten is working on getting his first unit installed in a hospital car park, and is looking for a sponsor. If successful he plans on measuring the effects of the facilities on the hospital's 3,000-plus employees, of whom just 20-30 cycle to work regularly. He says the hospital is well connected with cycle routes and believes the lack of changing facilities is the last remaining barrier to people cycling. 

Transport for London recommends two shower facilities, plus one extra for every additional 50 employees. It says often storage and drying facilities can be a bigger barrier than showers. It cites overseas development charity, CAFOD, increasing the number of its employees cycling to work by 9 per cent following introduction of bike parking, locker and shower facilities.

Research has shown active employees take half as many sick days as those who don't do regular exercise, as well as being more productive than their sedentary colleagues.

Active Commuting isn't the first company to come up with modular shower units - Clearspace's Shower Hub has been going a while.

17 comments

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VeloPeo [353 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't you just hate it when someone actually goes and produces an idea you've had in the back of your mind for some time and done nothing with  1

Good luck to them

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bikebot [2119 posts] 2 years ago
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And you just know that someone will still object to the loss of two car parking spaces.

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muppetkeeper [21 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:

And you just know that someone will still object to the loss of two car parking spaces.

Pre-prepare that "actually 32 extra parking spaces have been added"

 16

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leyupab [14 posts] 2 years ago
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Isn't "just over 2 parking spaces" actually 3 parking spaces? Either way it's a great idea, but seems more sensible to widen it to fit 3 spaces.

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leyupab [14 posts] 2 years ago
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Isn't "just over 2 parking spaces" actually 3 parking spaces? Either way it's a great idea, but seems more sensible to widen it to fit 3 spaces.

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wellsprop [317 posts] 2 years ago
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Simple, neat solution, I really hope this takes off!

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ct [198 posts] 2 years ago
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This is going straight to my facilities manager on Monday....

No he isn't 'mine', I don't own him...but I do have some photos.......

This really is an excellent idea.

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atgni [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Temporary building so they won't need planning consent.

Power and water can be above ground (at least short term), but the drainage from the shower will need an underground pipe nearby or it'll need tankering away every so often.

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brooksby [2507 posts] 2 years ago
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Three twenty foot containers is a mite bigger then three standard parking spaces, I think

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FluffyKittenofT... [1745 posts] 2 years ago
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This actually seems like a workable and useful idea - which is rather surprising, in a world full of kickstarter crackpots peddling inventions that make Harry and Paul's "Kitten stomper" look viable.

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Morat [263 posts] 2 years ago
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I suspect the catch will be the price....

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RPK [104 posts] 2 years ago
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Hopefully they actually come to fruition. I contacted a local "supplier" of these modular bike cages. Nice website with lots of designs to choose from but when I asked how much they were, the response was... "oh, these are just designs at this stage".

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farrell [1946 posts] 2 years ago
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leyupab wrote:

Isn't "just over 2 parking spaces" actually 3 parking spaces?

Or just one badly parked BMW space?

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atgni [429 posts] 2 years ago
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RPK wrote:

Hopefully they actually come to fruition. I contacted a local "supplier" of these modular bike cages. Nice website with lots of designs to choose from but when I asked how much they were, the response was... "oh, these are just designs at this stage".

Try these guys. Their hire rates for containers are reasonable. https://www.mrbox.co.uk/container-conversions/

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Robj81 [2 posts] 2 years ago
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Unfortunately you will need planning permission if it will be in place for longer than 28 days. Also building regs should be met if it is 30sq meters or larger (I'm guessing this is not applicable?). This would then lead to part L and access requirements needing to be looked at.

A great idea that should have the planning rules changed so you can put these wherever you want.

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atgni [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Robj81 wrote:

Unfortunately you will need planning permission...Also building regs...

No to both I think. The LA planning department will normally say yes whatever the reality, or charge the same for pre-application advice as they just want to charge the fee.

Oddly removing the parking spaces might require planning permission despite you really adding more parking if people do cycle to work.

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/warehouseindu...

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spiro000 [1 post] 2 years ago
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I know on our site that parking is at a major premium but not enough people would cycle in to free these spaces up.

Our site has changing/shower facilities as well as standard bike bays (or what ever the proper term is) I only ride in to work maybe twice a week as it's practical for me.