Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tote International Can Supply A 361 Square Foot Metal-And-Styrofoam Home For $12,000, And It Withstands Earthquakes, Heavy Snow, And Wind

This is news that the people of Eagle, Alaska, and perhaps other flooded communities along the Yukon River could have used a couple of months ago. Recovery from the ice jam floods in Eagle proceeds, but slowly. Unfortunately, this Deseret News story wasn't published until August 5th, 2009.

Ryan Christensen and his co-founder of Tote International, Jim Haslem, are shipping thousands of homes to Third World countries in hopes of giving quality, affordable housing. Together with Haslem's son, Nick Haslem, they developed a 361-square-foot house made entirely out of metal and petroleum-based Styrofoam that can be built in under an hour, costs $12,000 — and can withstand up to a magnitude 8 earthquake, a category 5 hurricane or a 10-foot snow load.

"It's a tough little box," Nick Haslem said, pointing to the house he and two co-workers had almost erected in only an hour. The three of them jumped up and down on top of the foam roof to prove its durability. The sturdy little house, thanks to its foam walls, is also almost completely soundproof and can be adequately heated with a single pilot light. Energy efficiency is said to be up to a true R-50. It's also fire-retardant up to 1,400 Degrees Fahrenheit, bug proof, and mold-resistant.

Sounds like an Alaska-ready home. Watch the video below:

The Tote International website provides further details. The company has been shipping these home kits to various distressed locations throughout the world. They can show the new homeowners how to build it on their own in 60 minutes or less. People also learn how to take it all apart in the same amount of time, so they can take their whole house with them if they need to move — whether they're refugees or want to avoid a disaster. "It's meant to be picked up and moved wherever they need them," Jim Haslem said.

They don't just manufacture single units. They can manufacture double units, quad units, and even two-story double units. Home kits consist of walls, floor, and roof, including windows and door; wiring, plumbing, drywall, and cabinetry are NOT included. The company is based in Cedar City, Utah; contact information HERE.


  1. Even two-story double units.

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