Rob mcclendon: well, an oklahoma company called modernblox has a new take on making housing more affordable. The new startup hopes to mass produce shipping containers that they convert into livable spaces, meeting the needs of people wanting to live green and cheaply. OETA’s Lis Exon takes us for a look. Lis Exon: There are photos and tutorials across the internet of unique homes built out of.
Shipping containers. Many are elaborately designed and have highend price tags. Repurposing shipping containers has become big business in the United States because they’re so plentiful. The United States imports more goods than any other country in the world and those commodities arrive in containers at U.S. shipping ports.
Because the u.s. imports more than it exports, many of those containers never return to their home countries. Ben Loh: All the containers ship with their cargo and everything. It’s expensive to ship it back. So we have all these containers stuck in the U.S. Exon: Ben Loh decided to capitalize on the abundance and affordability of the containers.
When he entered a business plan competition in college. The concept has now materialized into a company called ModernBlox. Outside the Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Ben and two other ModernBlox partners, also OSU graduates, display a prototype of what they hope will eventually be mass produced. It’s a 45foot shipping container. From the outside, it’s not really all that appealing.
But inside, it has its allures. There is a long living space with high ceilings, giving the 300 square feet a more spacious feel. There are finished floors, a small kitchen, an elevated platform for a mattress with storage underneath and a bathroom with a highend shower, privacy included thanks to a hiplooking sliding barn door.
Solar power provides lighting and allows it to be used on or off the electrical grid. Loh: So we’re here to kind of help redefining American dreams you know, but in a smaller footprint. Exon: Ben and another partner, Swapneel Deshpande, believe what sets ModernBlox apart from other container businesses is their price point. Swapneel Deshpande: We have to bring in a product, or we have to bring in something.
So that everybody can have that american dream, which is safer, an ecofriendlier dream, as well as it’s affordable and modern. Exon: The price tag for this prototype is nearly $50,000. But Swapneel says the base model will be a more affordable $35,000. Ben says another advantage of a ModernBlox home is that unlike a manufactured home, their structure can withstand high winds.
Loh: if this is on the floor itself, it can withstand up to 150 miles per hour, and then 2050 miles an hour if you anchor. That means like putting cement columns underneath it and kind of bolt it in place. Exon: Another partner in the business, Lee Easton, sees ModernBlox as an Oklahoma business that will help support the world. Lee Easton: If there is a need, let’s say, hurricane, tornado, some disaster happens,.