Small Business Spotlight: Are Shipping Containers The Answer To The Housing Crisis?

Joe Connolly
January 15, 2020 - 5:00 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — SG Blocks is a different type of construction company.

It repurposes shipping containers to make homes, apartment buildings, stores, restaurants and corporate offices.

Founder Paul Galvin tells Joe Connolly in this week's Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank — "Community Banking from Montauk to Manhattan," that it's like using Legos.

Each container is a building block module that can be arranged in any stacking configuration and the end results don't look like shipping containers at all.

It's fast, efficient and cost effective.

A typical house might stand at 960-square-feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen that would cost the buyer about $100,000.

"And your house is made of core tin steel so it's resistant to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes," Galvin said. "It's made out of the same steel that they build bridges and tunnels."

While their largest client is actually the U.S. Military, Galvin developed SG Residential after working at a non-profit that builds houses for the poor in the city.

His goal is to solve the affordable housing crisis. 

"For all of the people that have to encounter construction in their personal life or in their business we wanted to create a system that was transparent, fast and cost effective, and take the power away from the contractors who are building at such exorbitant prices and at such poor quality that we have the housing crisis that we do today," Galvin said. "On the residential side we feel like we have a value proposition that is better than the one the government offers affordable housing developments."

He believes the government cannot be the provider of housing in America, saying, "We need a market solution."

Watch the video above to see how this revolutionary company is scaling up in a traditional industry.