Housing is amongst the most basic of human needs, and yet, it’s becoming increasingly elusive — even in wealthy countries like the US. Technology has changed every sector leaving construction as the last industry prime for revolution.
The Solution – Roombus produces high quality and eco-friendly modular Smart Homes that are affordable for everyone. The homes are engineered to withstand storms, earthquakes, and even stop burglars.
We caught up with founder, Dami Jegede to learn more about his company.
What inspired you to start Roombus?
So my background is software engineering, and I’ve built 2 successful fintech companies. In 2018 I started looking to solve a bigger and more impactful global challenge. It became immediately clear that affordable housing was what I really, really wanted to do. It has been a big and hairy problem for decades and it gets bigger every year.
Initially, it was about building affordable homes, but when we took a deep dive, it evolved into building the future of housing. We believe that is smart, health-focused, safe and eco-friendly homes.
How does Roombus differ from the homes built from shipping containers?
We actually looked at shipping containers at the onset. In fact, it was what made the venture seem attainable to me, but we abandoned the direction after much research.
We found in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology found that the majority of containers have harmful levels of toxicity inside — with spillage of harmful substances and chemicals that were not removed by thorough washing.
Hazardous chemicals and pesticides are used to treat the wooden floors, and some were coated in paint which contains harmful chemicals like phosphorous and chromate.
To top it off, container housing was too niche a market for our vision, only 16% of people we surveyed were open to owning a container home.
Roombus, on the other hand, has designed a proprietary steel core frame system that allows us to build truly disaster proof and healthy homes. Great for humans and the environment. Our homes are not limited by container dimensions and compromise, and so our spaces are much bigger.
Please explain how the homes are designed with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind.
Construction is one notorious industry that produces one of the highest amounts of waste in the world today. Building homes on lots are highly inefficient from cost, labor and waste perspectives.
Most of us have passed by homes under construction and seen the amount of wasted materials on-site — broken wood framing, off-cuts from roofing sheets, insulation, and drywall. Most of that new junk is heading to a landfill near you.
Our prefab method (building in a factory), and precision manufacturing reduces material wastage by a whopping 95%! Our steel framing system is 100% recyclable, and we use bamboo to replace as much wood as possible.
Bamboo grows super-fast and is extremely light on the environment. We utilize above-code insulation to save energy and reduce the need for heating and cooling all year round — from Florida to Alaska.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Grit and resilience can’t be overstated. You need to learn to pick yourself up and just keep moving. This is why you have to be double sure about your venture before you start.
Does it really matter to me? How much do I love this? Hold on tightly to your destination, but let your path be flexible. Too many people waste too much time on a path that just never will open. Pull up your goal maps and try new routes!
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