The Idaho company has received a lot of attention in shipping container housing.Then this happened


Two years ago, Idaho’s house made of shipping containers Innovative housing show Within the sight of the Washington Monument at the National Mall in Washington, DC

Three months later, in August 2019, then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson praised housing maker Indie Dowell during a tour of Boise’s factory in Caldwell.

“My expectation when I hear about container homes is that it looks like a container that someone fills in and puts in some amenities.” Carson told Idaho Legislature at the time.. “This is completely different. It’s transformative and looks like a house built on a small site. It’s done very well and involves a lot of creativity.”

Currently, the 3520 Arthur St. factory is idle, waiting to deliver the final of the 14 completed 14 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom homes to Leap Housing Solutions. Affordable Homes at Caritas Commons Project in Northwest Boise.

Indie Dwell’s former Caldwell factory was temporarily closed

With 61 employees fired, it is uncertain when the factory will reopen.

“It will probably take months before we get up,” Indie Dowell co-founder and chairman Pete Gombard said on the phone. “We are also scaling other factories at the same time, so there are many moving parts.”

This week, Indie Dwell announced that it will invest more than $ 2 million to open a new factory in Newport News, Virginia. According to the company, 220 workers will be employed at the factory, which is expected to open next year.

“Affordable housing shortages in Virginia and across our country are exacerbated in the pandemic, and Indie Dwell’s innovative modular units are an important part of the solution,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. Said in a press release..

Indie Dwell too Operates a factory in Pueblo, Colorado, Opened in July last year. It employs more than 65 workers and plans to expand its workforce to 200.

Autumn Munson in the center will caulk the exterior frame in the third stage of the Indie Dwell production line from the 2019 photo. Stages 1 and 2 include cutting window and door openings and installing steel frames around them.

Autumn Munson in the center will caulk the exterior frame in the third stage of the Indie Dwell production line from the 2019 photo. Stages 1 and 2 include cutting window and door openings and installing steel frames around them.

The closure of the Caldwell factory International Code CouncilHas established building codes and practices used around the world and enacted new regulations on the use of shipping containers.

Used containers, which Indie Dwell preferred as a low-cost way to reuse materials that could be discarded in steel, can no longer be used in homes. According to Gombard, single-trip containers are now mandated, increasing costs and defeating the goal of recycling used containers at the end of their shipping life.

Ship the container and replace it with a steel frame

IndieDwell modifies the factory to assemble the entire modular unit of the house from steel. We will continue to produce 6-story single-family homes and apartments.

“This Caldwell shutdown was always planned as part of the conversion of existing container-based product lines to cold-formed steel products for future use,” said Gombard.

BoiseDev.com, First reported The factory closure quoted former Indie Dwell marketing manager and spokesman Chris Chandler as saying the company is suffering from a cash shortage. Chandler, who was fired last month and refused to speak to Idaho Legislature, said Told to BoiseDev.com The Indie Dwell said, “I ran out of money before the moon ran out.”

Gombard denied it.

“It’s not accurate,” Gombard said. “He said we ran out of money. We haven’t run out of money, and we’re still running. As I said, we just announced a new factory. . “

He said Indie Dwell is in talks with the landlord of the Caldwell factory and is looking to expand. The Caldwell factory covers an area of ​​21,000 square feet, while the Pueblo factory covers 100,000 square feet. The Virginia plant will also be 100,000 square feet, he said.

Both the Caldwell and Pueblo plants were set up to operate one production line, creating and finishing new modules every nine days. Like Newport News, Pueblo will eventually have three production lines. Expansion allows the Caldwell plant to expand to two or three lines.

Laura Mock is installing siding in the Indie Dwell container house in the 2019 photo. Siding is the fourth of seven stages that a container goes through when creating a house.

Laura Mock is installing siding in the Indie Dwell container house in the 2019 photo. Siding is the fourth of seven stages that a container goes through when creating a house.

IndieDwell created the first module in 2018, a year after the company was founded by Gombert and its chief influence officer, Scott Flynn. The company has completed 27 projects and built 150 to 200 units. According to Gombard, 85 percent was completed in Caldwell.

Leap Housing Solutions continues to use Indie Dwell homes

IndieDwell has built eight single-family homes on Shields Avenue in northwestern Boise for Boise’s nonprofit Leap Housing Solutions, which helps low-income households get affordable homes. The 14 completed Caritas Commons homes awaiting shipment will be located in the same neighborhood.

Indie Dwell is also planned Build 14 more homes for a leap 921N near West Fairview Avenue and North Cloverdale Road. At the Whitney Commons Project on Shamrock Street.

“We are working with Leap to consider whether to set up a factory for the next project or to build that project in Pueblo,” says Gombert.

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