Real Estate

Could shipping containers really solve most of housing’s problems?

Home construction gets a new building block

Hurricane Michael recently tore through the Florida Golf Coast, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Unfortunately, Michael is just one of many storms to slam the nation's coasts in 2018, and experts are expecting more by year’s end.

As more of these catastrophic storms terrorize our nation, homeowners in storm prone areas are looking for new ways to keep their families and homes safe.

According to an article written by Christina Scolar for CNBC, Brooklyn-based SG Blocks is leading a new wave of construction to withstand these storms: steel housing.

Last year, SG Blocks became the first company to receive an ESR number for a recycled material to be approved for construction. Since then, the company has been using steel containers as a primary building tool, crafting and delivering homes in approximately 90 days, according to Scolar's reporting.

From the article:

"The challenge for people living in America is that we have a very vulnerable housing class right now — whether it's people living on limited incomes or fixed incomes. Many of them are forced to live in areas where there are persistent climate threats from the ocean, tornadoes and hurricanes,” SG Blocks CEO and chairman Paul Galvin said.

According to the article, Galvin said the company is interested in housing families in steel structures rather than wood structures.

Notably, steel housing is relatively cheaper than traditional means of homebuilding.

SG Blocks claims container prices range from $2,500 to $5,000, and the final product, is about 10% less expensive than traditional construction. It also frees up to 50% of building time, the article stated.

This could prove to be important, especially as homebuilders struggle to stay afloat amidst rising building costs.

Earlier this month, data from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index revealed that although homebuilder confidence increased it was only a slight change.

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said favorable economic conditions and demographic tailwinds are expected to support demand, but housing affordability has become a challenge due to ongoing price and interest rate increases.

As of now it seems that SG Blocks has found a way to build cheaper, storm-resistant homes, bringing potential relief to homeowners in the way of hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

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