A Blokable unit being built at the company’s manufacturing facility in Vancouver, Wash. (Blokable Photo)
Blokable has set its sights on fixing what its leaders deem a broken U.S. housing market.
The Seattle startup pulled back the veil on a model it has been quietly developing for years that aims to transform how housing is built. For most of its history, the signature public-facing element of Blokable was its Bloks, manufactured smart housing units that come together to build inexpensive but high-quality complexes. But Bloks are just the appetizer, Blokable’s leaders said in an interview with GeekWire, and the main course is its model to provide “housing development as a service,” that seeks to dramatically lower the cost of building and ensure everyone has access to a home.
Blokable pitches the service as “turnkey” for market-rate and non-profit developers, as well as housing trusts and other organizations that build housing. Blokable handles the entire process, teaming up with architect and general contractor partners that work from a standardized baseline created by the company. Blokable’s formula can be easily repeated from project to project rather than having to build from scratch each time, cutting down on design and engineering time and saving money.
In real estate terms, Blokable’s service includes elements of a modular housing builder, a design-build firm and a fee developer that builds for others without owning the land. But the company says its model has never been done before and has the potential to dramatically lower costs to build housing, specifically affordable housing, and provide people with new paths to homeownership.
Aaron Holm, Blokable co-CEO. (Blokable Photo)
“We wanted to find a model where the use of capitalism could create a thing that creates wealth in the people who buy it,” said Nelson Del Rio, one of Blokable’s co-CEOs. “We are creating a …read more