EverBlock: Supersized Lego for modular building
New York City-based entrepreneur, investor, and perennial tinkerer Arnon Rosan drew inspiration from everyone's favorite construction toy to create a modular building system. Functioning very much like supersized Lego, EverBlock is promoted as suitable for building modular furniture, dividing walls, and even a habitable shelter – no glue, or specialist tools required.
Rosan's background includes experience as a manufacturer of modular plastic flooring, fencing, and roadway systems, in addition to military and disaster relief applications, so he was well-positioned to come up with an idea like EverBlock.
The company currently offers four different sized plastic blocks in an array of colors. There's a full-size 12 x 6-in (30 x 15 cm) block, a half-size 6 x 6-in (15 x 15 cm) block, a 3 x 6-in (7.5 x 15 cm) quarter-block, and a smooth finishing cap. A footing and shelving system is planned next, followed by roofing and a number of unspecified additional shapes.
The blocks themselves function just as you'd expect. Sporting protruding nubs and corresponding sockets, they interlock together with some applied force and can be stacked together. To disassemble, a small flathead screwdriver is recommended for extra leverage.
The kind of structures that anyone could get started with include dining room tables, shelves, assorted furniture, and dividing walls. Brackets can be drilled into structures like dividing walls to ensure that they are safely secured, and advanced techniques include adding LED lighting strips and tubes, steel, wooden dowels, and PVC rod reinforcements.
EverBlock also plans to move into modular building construction, with disaster relief and military shelters targeted specifically. We quizzed Rosan as to the plastic block's efficacy as a shelter, given their lack of insulation.
"There is a strong need for rapidly deployable rigid shelters that transport compactly and efficiently yet provide durability and a more substantial feel," says Rosan. "While tents are great, having a rigid block wall offers a greater level of protection and prevents unauthorized entry. EverBlock would offer superior protection to most tents and heat and air conditioning could be provided within the shelter.
"We haven't sold any blocks yet for military or relief use, but I think its only a matter of time until governments and aid agencies see the value in having a rapidly deployable building system that is so versatile and re-useable. It would be possible to add a simple corrugated metal roofing or even a tent/style roof."
For those interested in getting started with EverBlock, a single full-size block will set you back US$7.25, while a bulk pack of 18 blocks costs $125.10.
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Called "Inca Brix" (sic), the building blocks were just a shell which could be glued together using the usual solvent cement and which could be filled with poured concrete.
I expect this latest version will be nearly as successful.
The end result, assuming the engineering is proper and construction oversight is sound, will be lasting refuge for humanity.
If you want plastic? Go to the middle of the oceans and start scooping it up. There is plenty there for the taking, and it is free.