Lean housing solutions for large post-Soviet blocks and wooden houses

Lean housing solutions for large post-Soviet blocks and wooden houses

< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We aim at developing a practical lean social housing system based on the principles of lean manufacturing, which has been applied beyond the automaker industry and proved initial success, such as in education or health care. Thus, we would like to propose a feasible applicable model, focused on more effectively employing solar and wind energy and rain catching system in a widespread public scale, improving waste reduction system, and motivating continuous improvement by community benchmarking unit. Our approach is especially targeted the post-Soviet residential areas, which lack preliminary modern housing infrastructure, waste recycling and energy utilizing. However, it does not only confine to those areas but can be extended in other developing urbanized region.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The project can gradually transform the whole abandoned communities, the "urban outcast", who are still outsiders of the economic transformation and benefits, and are in the middle of past-future transmission. In depth, the stagnant conditions do not merely lie on the physical remnants and heritage of the past regimes, but more importantly, the inert mindsets, which holds them backwards. Therefore, the reformation should be instilled gradually, and psychologically. Additionally, the public benchmarking units in the newly converted areas will play soft roles in continuous improvement for local cultures, education, efficient green energy exploitation and waste management, especially in resolving the pervasive garbage mass in public places.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In our proposal development, we have come up with many disciplines of building and relocating housing system leading to affordability and sustainability. Our "housing goes lean" project places local people at the center of implementing and maintaining the (non-)technological operation to minimize the cost but still remain sustainable. In details, we have proposed main features of our lean housing model: - Affordable & collaborative solar and wind energy system: The use of sunlight in countries with large solar resource should be a major concern of the constructors. Normally, when people think about alternative energy, they think of large solar panels or wind fans for individual households. However, to make this more affordable, our idea is integrating these solar panels in the public street-light places to reduce the common energy use of the residence. Moreover, each household can make use of affordable solar window panels to better obtain solar energy. - Rain catching system: Reusing rain water to irrigate urban housing is one of the ways to reduce expenses in the treated water for human consumption. This can be achieved by separation and deposit of the rain via underground systems. - Waste reconstruction and reduction: The reuse of construction materials is to minimize the production costs and reinforce the environmental awareness of the social investors, especially in dealing with large backward Soviet blocks and wooden houses. The waste reuse and reduction can be furthered achieved by social education and awareness, and developed waste recycling and management system
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The project could come out first in raising people's awareness of reform, adjustment, and adaptation to the newly lean converted housing areas. The next phase is implementing the conceptual project into successful integration, which can be seen by cost saving, sustainable awareness, effective long-term energy exploitation, better living conditions and waste-emptied landscapes.
About You
Minik & João Lean Solutions
About You
First Name

Lêminh Minik

Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Minik & João Lean Solutions

Organization Phone

+34622418091; +351927071265

Organization Address
Organization Country

, FA

Country where this project is creating social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

I have lived in a socialist country for most of my life and also been to some post-Soviet states in Europe for both academic and personal field trips. During my stays, I have visited many remnant Soviet residential areas, and got inside some large Soviet blocks, prevailing with surprisingly badly-conditioned infrastructure, broken walls and narrow living space. As I have been unaware of the communist physical heritage before, those conditions have triggered my deep curiosity and motivated me to learn more about urban planning and design, sustainable public housing, and community development. Afterwards, I gain more emotional attach to those experience and cherish some ideas of sustainable development through my social and business approach, though I lack know-how of technological integration. This year when I meet my flatmate, Joao Cavalaria, who majors in environmental engineering, we feel that we can combine our opposite disciplines, social and technical, to make a supplementary and beneficial partnership, not only for this competition but for future cooperative development as well. Therefore, I have more confidence to share my ideas, integrating my social experience with his technical know-how to propose our lean housing solution for this contest.

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

Fewer than 100

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

There are several issues we may face when and after implementing the project. Educating and gaining consensus from local communities about the sustainable benefits of the project and prospective training and daily operations are parts of the initial implementation. This should be fulfilled at full level before moving to next steps of the project. Next, lobbying investors and fundraising can pose difficulties for such projects, thus we need to maintain certain business level, low tax and long-term loan policy to acquire considerable investment from public and private sectors as well as individual donors. Despite the probable initial large investment and relocation costs, the long-term economical, energy use efficiency and green urban housing will be ensured.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

The long-term commitment from all related sides and contributors is essential to let the project grow. The sampling project can be implemented in one particular better-conditioned post-Soviet zone to monitor and evaluate the results and save costs, and later targeted the lower-class highly vulnerable areas, which need larger scale investment and social concern. The governmental long-term loan-payback policy will also need to emerge and continuously improve and expand to fulfill all social, entrepreneurial and economic purposes.

For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

As we aim at making this project as more social nature than business, we need to get attention from regional and national authorities, private and public sectors, potential donors, philanthropists, NGOs, household contributors, who pay serious attention to this social project to involve in propaganda, designs, implementation, maintenance and continuous improvement. We also believe the governmental intervention and investment, with efficient long-term loan system, social fundraising, and low-tax policy will play key roles in developing and implementing the project.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

In short term, we plan to gain consensus of the project concepts and future implementation from various partners and contributors. As sampling, the proposal is to remove or transform the obsolete post-Soviet residential areas in a small-scale level, evaluate, and enhance the project sample as well as continuously improve the master plan and financial/non-financial resources. The future duplication of the project will strictly follow the universal procedures and continuous improvement of the original master plan. In the long-term, we believe that maintaining the project in a certain entrepreneurial level will stimulate growth and pay-back loan and thus achieve better widespread transformation.

Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Technology, Sanitation, Water, Infrastructure, Energy conservation, Renewable energy, Green housing, Environment, Urban development, Citizen/community participation.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

We address different barriers in the progressive housing market in different ways of widespread affordable green energy exploitation, waste materials reconstruction, and auto-function.
In details, the progressive innovation can be seen from efficient rain catching underground system and solar window panels, given that these technological products have been developed and initially applied so far. The way the housing blocks as well as the rooms with electrical appliances, such as refrigerators or water boilers are geographically and energy-motivated placed supports the lean auto-function and energy cost saving.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?


Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)
Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed