Amazon employee creates smart, stackable, modular housing

American start-up Blokable has devised a solution to traditional methods of home construction, which it describes as "too long and complicated".

The firm aims to "empower communities to build their own housing" with smart, stackable, modular units.

The homes, or "Bloks", are built to order in a factory in Vancouver and can be shipped across North America, with a cost per square foot ranging from $150 to $350.

Bloks can be stacked up to five storeys high, with the cost of each unit varying from $25,000 to $100,000.

Blokable plans to make 25 units a month at the beginning of production, aiming to build student accommodation and housing for low-income families.

The first project the firm will embark on is creating emergency shelter for the homeless. They will also build a 24-unit apartment complex in Utah.

Examples will be on show at "various locations on the West Coast through the spring and summer of 2017" with manufacturing starting in summer 2017.

Aaron Holm, founder of Blokable, came up with the company while working for Amazon Go and Amazon Books: "For years, he’d been fascinated with shipping containers. Here’s a global movement of people turning shipping containers, which are terrible building materials, into shelters, homes, stores, and even shopping malls.

"Our whole mission is to empower communities to build their own housing. If you can acquire and title land, manage the permitting process and hire a general contractor to build a foundation and connect facilities, then you can build with our system."

Images courtesy of Blokable

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  1. I have 5 acres in Vancouver WA USA for sale if your interested?

  2. This is a pretty interesting product and a relatively new concept, using shipping containers as residential modular house components. The entire modular industry is thrilled with the advancements in the technology and forward thinking companies like Blokable are leveraging to improve the speed of construction.

    Challenges still remain, in the United States, with regard to the permitting process in many areas. Many areas just are not sure how to handle modular buildings, because of the deviations from conventional construction. When it comes to both residential and commercial buildings, modular building construction is a relatively new concept. The United States in particular has been slow to embrace modular construction, but excellent articles like this, in a global forum, help emphasize the cutting-edge nature of this alternative construction method. and are a couple excellent educational resources if you are looking for more information pertaining to commercial modular construction.

  3. Are there any plans to develop standards or methods to standardize construction and demonstrate code compliance with ICC, ANSI, UL/CSA,HUD or any federal standards. etc? Alternative construction methods, as well as, property code/zoning requirements may come into play. Are there any model communities in the US or Canada that would be beneficial to the permitting approval process? Does the price per sq. ft. include set-up etc? Is there a turn key price figure? This is a great idea and I hope to see this type of construction gain widespread acceptance.

    Thank you,

    CW Oliver

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