SEATTLE, WA – Blokable introduced Blokable at Phoenix Rising, the world's first vertically integrated modular housing development that delivers high quality, energy efficient rental apartments in western Washington state. At a cost to the state of $ 125,000 per door, the project cost less than half the average cost of new construction in a region with a lack of affordable housing. Blokable at Phoenix Rising was developed on land owned by Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care in Auburn, Washington, and consists of five studios and seven one-bedroom apartments reserved for those earning 30% of the area median income. The system costs 60% less for heating and cooling and 30% less for the entire utility and meets stringent energy and environmental standards that are becoming the standard for new buildings in many states and communities – including all-electric systems and high energy efficient building envelopes.
Vertically Integrated Modular Development (VIM) is Blokable's proprietary platform for high-quality, low-cost housing development on a large scale. As a developer and builder, Blokable owns and streamlines the entire development process, eliminating unnecessary costs and reducing every project. The company offers turnkey design-build service to both commercial and non-profit landowners at a set price and guaranteed delivery.
"We launched Blokable four years ago because we could see that the housing industry was really struggling to address the severe shortage of housing in the US," said Aaron Holm, Co-CEO of Blokable. "Technology innovations alone cannot change the fact that building market prices or affordable housing simply costs too much. In this highly fragmented industry, innovation is being swallowed up by the fragmentation of the development process, which drives building costs up forever. To quickly apartment buildings To create at prices that middle- and low-income Americans can truly afford, Blokable has vertically integrated the development process – from planning, planning, and approval to almost complete assembly, delivery, and ongoing off-site support. "
Blokable at Phoenix Rising cost $ 1.5 million and was funded through an innovative partnership between Blokable and Washington State. The building has a state-of-the-art steel construction system with purely electrical energy and a useful life of 50 to 100 years. The interiors include antimicrobial surfaces, a soundproofed living space, dimmable ceiling lighting, independent ventilation for comfort and ventilation with energy recovery for efficiency and lower operating costs. Floor plans range from 280 square feet for a studio to 340 square feet for a 1 bedroom.
"We believe that dignified housing is a human right," added Nelson del Rio, co-CEO of Blokable. “A roof over your head is the foundation of human health and wellbeing, education and economic opportunity. Put simply, when you suffer from residential instability, everything else in your life is so much more complicated. At Phoenix Rising, it's the climax of four years of working to streamline our process and cost structure so we can create as much equity as possible in the communities. In addition to developing affordable turnkey housing for a fee, our next step is to develop properties with the next generation of ours and own building system. "
Blokable has developed a pre-built building system that is standardized, repeatable, and offers endless location variations. The Blokable Building System produces modular structures, so-called "Bloks", 95% of which are installed under a factory roof and delivered to a construction site by crane. They can be combined into living environments with studios and 1 to 3 bedrooms, for buildings 1 to 5 floors high from scratch or up to 8 floors with a podium. Because the bloks are standardized, they are pre-approved for development in a variety of environmental and earthquake conditions in the United States.
As of November 2019, Blokable has been part of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and jointly managed for validation by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) To improve the energy efficiency of its prefabricated building system compared to industrial standards. Blokable is also working with IN² to develop metrics for zero energy readiness and the full life cycle impact of apartment building development at various infill locations.
"Because we are vertically integrated, we have a different perspective on the value that the buildings that we develop and own create," said Holm. "We believe that affordability and energy efficiency go hand in hand. Some of the expanded access to housing is pushing the industry onto a performance foundation for environmental regulations. We see our building system as a platform for future energy innovations that could decarbonize the built environment and improve climate resilience."
Del Rio added, "If you are building housing for low-income residents, why should the quality standards be different? Why is it okay for a low-income community to have lower quality and lower energy efficiency? The reason is that this is the case. " Costs that developers may not want to bear and that can make it extremely difficult to fund this development. Blokable flips this script. "