Innovating Shelter for Those in Need

Author Archives Tina Newman


Posted by Tina Newman on October 19, 2016  /   Posted in News


” I just wanted to give a shout out to John Rossi and his team from Visible-Good ( for helping us on Friday to move the shed that they designed.Ben from the FOOD PROJECT is proudly HUGGING his Shelter.

Ben from the FOOD PROJECT is proudly HUGGING his Shelter.from our smaller field on the north side of Larch Row to the bigger field on the south side.

       They generously took time out of their day to teach me and Susan how to disassemble and reassemble their genius RDM structure that Felix Twaalfhoven donated and Visible-Good delivered last Spring.      I’m super-thankful for the generosity of Felix and John to provide us with a great (mouse-proof!!!) storage/office space at our Wenham Land!

                   Thanks everyone!


Ben Zoba
Beverly/Wenham Grower
The Food Project – North Shore
(315) 729-6755
“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a farmer sowed in a field. Now a mustard seed is the least of seeds, but when it is full grown, it becomes the greatest of all herbs and is like a tree so that the birds of heaven are able to come and rest in the branches thereof.”
-Joshua Ben Joseph

Nov 2015 – Soldier Systems News: Unifire acquires SourceOne Distributors

Posted by Tina Newman on December 08, 2015  /   Posted in News

November 10, 2015:  Unifire Acquisition Press Release

Visible Good is happy to confirm that Unifire Inc, the companies leading distributor has acquired the Tactical Division of SourceOne Distributors.  This acquisition will substantially increase the distribution reach for both Visible Good and Unifire.  The acquisition will provide access to over $10 Billion in US contracts such as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Special Operational Equipment Tailored Logistics Support Program (Formerly Prime Vendor), GSA schedules, and a Blanket Purchase Agreement with the Department of Homeland Security.

October 2015 – Mt Washington Observation Site to be considered for Shelter Testing

Posted by Tina Newman on October 22, 2015  /   Posted in Blog, News

Visible Good and members of the US Army team spent a full day on top of Mount Washington,  where the site was closely reviewed and analyzed as a potential Field Test site for the Army developed Arctic Shelter System designed and manufactured by contract holder Visible Good.  The visit was used to explore adequate testing sites for the 400 sf version of the Arctic RDM.  No plans have been finalized, but the experience of subjecting the extreme-weather version of the RDM to some of “…the worst weather on Earth…” is exciting. Wind conditions often range between 100-200mph at the observation point, coupled with temperatures as cold as -50 F and snowfall of as much as 4 feet in 24 hours. Mt. Washington might just be ….The ultimate cold weather test conditions.

Mt Washington Peak Winter

Mount Washington’s weather is notoriously extreme. In winter, Mount Washington experiences sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, snow and ice that essentially turn the peak into an Arctic outpost in a temperate climate zone. In fact, winter conditions at its summit can rival those of Mount Everest.

September 2015 – UNIFIRE INC. is lead distributor for Visible Good

Posted by Tina Newman on September 15, 2015  /   Posted in News

Visible Good has been working closely with it’s lead distributor, Unifire Inc., located in Spokane, Washington.  Unifire Inc. has over 30 years of experience in supplying Federal and State agencies along with commercial clients with dozens of critical products needed for some of the most demanding situations imaginable.  President and owner, Dan Raczykowski says “The Visible Good shelter system is an Integral Part of the temporary shelter Solution” and  sees the RDM as a pivotal product that is coming to market at precisely the right time.  The Shelters and Connector accessory are to be used as demonstration pieces for active presentations at Camp Pendleton, Fairchild Air Force Base and other locations in the next couple of months. These agencies have been in pursuit of easily erectable hard walled shelter systems to replace old and inefficient tents and trailers.

August 2015 – Arctic Shelters are ready for testing

Posted by Tina Newman on August 22, 2015  /   Posted in Blog

Visible Good has made its final touches to the Arctic shelter prototypes which are now complete and ready to ship to the US Army.  Too numerous to mention here, the many changes have resulted in an energy efficient module that is lighter weight, assembles with fewer steps and occupies 30% less volume than previous prototype iterations.  The Company looks forward to testing the unit this Fall under extreme weather conditions.

BOSTON.Com – A rapid deployment shelter can do ‘Visible Good’: Architect

Posted by Tina Newman on July 22, 2015  /   Posted in News

By Cindy Atoji Keene Article

With more than 30 million people displaced from their homes by natural disasters last year, architect John Rossi is on a mission to develop a new emergency shelter design that could prove useful during a humanitarian crisis. Co-founder of Visible Good, based in Newburyport, Rossi has devised a lightweight, folding modular shelter called a “Rapid Deployment Module” (RDM) that is a hybrid between a trailer and a tent and can be used in emergency situations by first responders, aid agencies, and even educators and the military.

Q: Are there any real-world examples of this module in use?
A: The RDM shelter was used by British Petroleum (BP) environmental cleanup crews in the ongoing cleanup operation of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We sent several to Oklahoma this summer to provide temporary housing for families who lost their home after the tornadoes. In addition, after prototype models survived harsh environments, included hurricane conditions and a near miss by several tornadoes, the U.S. Army awarded us with a grant to research and develop an “extreme” module that can withstand bitter Antarctica cold or scorching desert heat and endure 100 mile winds. ]
Q: There are many emergency shelter technologies – what makes yours different?
A: The name “Rapid Deployment Module” says it all. Some emergency shelters can take quite a while to put up – even days. Ours can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools. The parts themselves are universal, like a Lego, and the buildings fit together to make bigger buildings or more versatile spaces. The semi-permanent shelter arrives in its own crate, which is actually the floor. Because of this integrated floor structure, it sits slightly off the ground, which is a good benefit in wet or rubble-strewn areas.

Q: You’ve been working on prototypes of the shelters for years. What inspired you to begin your first sketch?
A: I was doing a ton of work in the module world, those prefabricated houses that show up in a few pieces and go together in a day. I wondered what it would be like to have a tiny building in a flat-pack that could expand to the biggest building you can get. Nine years ago, I did a handful of sketches then put them away, took them out again three years ago after the devastation in Haiti and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The initial concept was inspired by the plastic shopping cart “parking lots” that you see in supermarkets.

Q: Millions of people are displaced from their homes by natural disasters, including recently, hundreds of Chinese who were victims of an earthquake. What happened to most of these people?
A: According to a United Nations release, what often happens is many people actually never end up going back to where they are from. Relocation becomes semi-permanent, if not permanent. In Haiti, for example, there are still hundreds of thousands living in tent camps. This can be a problem because the camps become very permanent places but the infrastructure is very temporary, often with no sanitation, lights or water, and lots of safety and security issues.

Q: There are loads of case studies on failed sheltering projects because the team didn’t consider the cultural context of the application.
A: That’s a very thorny issue. It’s very hard to manufacture something at a reasonable cost that’s customizable across cultures. I won’t say I cracked the code on that one. But in Haiti, I noticed that people started putting graffiti on trailers; they turned a blank canvas and turned it into something that is their own. I think it’s their way of taking possession of these foreign big white boxes and making them a reflection of their culture. I would completely welcome that on any of our installations.

Q: You have a demonstration RDM set up in Newburyport. How do you use it?
A: I’m sitting in here right now, talking on the phone. The vent screens are open, and there’s a little folding table and desk chair. You don’t need a lamp because the roof is translucent and there’s plenty of natural daylight. It’s a very standard module, set up per the 20-picture installation diagram. We spend time working in it, and one engineer’s son, Liam, does his homework here and has even slept in it. He’s 13 years old, and we like to say the shelter has passed the “Liam test.”

July 12, 2015 – Help Support Education in Nepal

Posted by Tina Newman on July 15, 2015  /   Posted in Blog, News

Visible Good has been engaged in talks with World Education, a Boston-based organization That “…improves the quality of life through education for half a million children and adults in 22 countries…” and is one of UNICEF’s largest partners for education in Nepal.  Our talks center on RDM units for use as replacement schools for the thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged by the devastating earthquake in April and the follow-on tremors.  The World Bank has stated that the recovery in Nepal is likely to take ten years.  With 40+ year’s experience in Nepal, World Ed is taking the long view and Visible Good is happy to support their efforts.  We are currently seeking funding to support the assembly of a dedicated inventory for this purpose.  If interested in providing financial support for this effort, please contact us at

Visible Good sets up a donated shelter for The Food Project in Wenham, MA

Posted by Tina Newman on June 11, 2015  /   Posted in Blog

On Thursday June 4th, the Visible Good team delivered and setup a shelter system at The Food Project farm located in Wenham, MA.

Innovent Technologies donated this shelter in an effort to support the Food Project Mission “to grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system”.


June 2, 2015 Voice Of America – Features Visible Good

Posted by Tina Newman on June 03, 2015  /   Posted in News

June 2, 2015
Star Tides is held at the National War College in Washington, DC.  It features innovative technologies focused on the shelter, energy and clean water market sectors.  VOA News featured Visible Good during its exploration of the shelter marketplace.

Carolyn Turner produced the following video:  Voice of America – Features Visible Good Shelters

“Throughout this week, we are taking a closer look at the Star Tides infrastructure for emergency support and disaster relief recently on exhibit in Washington at the Defense University.  Today VOA’s Carolyn Turner explores a temporary shelter.”