Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus

  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Step 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso15 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso5 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso6 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso8 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso13 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus Suso14 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative

Plans & Renderings

Step-Up/Step-Out by Modulus


Is it public art or rapid interim shelter? Perhaps it is both. This skylight-topped, natural-light-filled 4-bedroom housing design capped with a shared full bathroom sheds new light on the rapid shelter landscape...

Conceptual Idea Only


8 residents / 4 bedrooms

$16,500 / resident

Temporary (<6 months)

60 days offsite 1 days onsite

There is a need to help, and that help needs to be immediate. If you’re having a bad day, which turns into a bad and sleepless night – if you have no security or safety and staying warm is near impossible, you need the ability to have a good morning. You need a pat on the back, a fresh shower, an opportunity, a supportive feeling, a well rested mind, a belief the world has not given up on you. You need a “Step-Up”.  Just one day can make the difference between a downward spiraling path and a chance for a new life. If tents can be exchanged for safe cover, if services can be directed using technology and a mobile approach, and if streets can turn from shame to pride – perhaps a corner can be turned in transient housing.

Approaching a similar problem, albeit not dire – the transient housing at concerts, festivals, and events sweeps into town like a whirlpool and just as quickly leaves having created little more than trash and disruption (aside from a generally good time for the partygoers…). Their tents and garbage are money tossed aside to assuage a populous and little redeeming benefit is created for the municipalities they frequent. But what if there was a solution to both.

  • Quoted Total Cost: $132,000
  • Planned Occupancy (1 person/bed): 8 beds
  • Estimated Cost Per Bed: $16,500
  • Quote’s Total Interior Square Footage: 320sqft
  • Quote Includes # Units: 4 units
  • Used for Shelter Before: Not used as shelter yet
  • Readiness: Conceptual Idea Only
  • In Stock / Ready to Ship Today: No
  • Manufacturer Identified and Available: N/A
  • Setup Speed: <30 days
  • Setup Difficulty: Moderate (prefab assembly)
  • % Built Onsite: <10% – Arrives Ready, Almost All Built/Assembled Off-Site
  • Portability: Semi-Mobile (detachable, minor disassembly)
  • Intended Use of Shelter: Temporary (<6 months)
Design Advantages By starting with a modified shipping container which can be moved across highways and roads to any location – and inserting 4 prefabricated pods, a restroom pod, solar panels and battery storage – a self-contained transient housing solution is created that can replace outcroppings of tents along rivers and roads, shanties piled up under freeways, and boxes propped up along parks and courthouses. In addition, using sustainably produced accoya wood to craft a screen around all sides of the unit, an elegant architectural solution is developed that gives pride to place and occupancy, and offers limitless iteration for locale or organization (step-Up). In addition, as previously mentioned, the approach works easily as well for a private sector solution and can be branded to benefit corporation as well as partnership with local community (step-Out).
Manufacturer Identified Yes
Used for shelter in the U.S.? No
Prior use examples N/A
Prior use comments
Building experience comments
Intended use cases The benefit of Step-Up/Step-Out is its ability to home multiple people (so a husband and wife or parent and child) in one unit, and also the ability for the unit to be used for public and private purposes, profit and non-profit, health, welfare, entertainment – and to be located anywhere.
R-value (insulation) 31-40
Risk Category
Roof Load (PSF) 20
Indoor Clearance Height (ft) 8.9
Waterproof? Yes
Professional Engineer Stamp?
Conforms to ICC’s Temporary Structure and Uses Code
Other Structural / Safety Comments
Sustainability / Green Building Certifications?
Materials Used / Made of: Accoya wood, Recycled Intermodal container, cork interior, tech integrated communication
Disassembly / Assembly Comments: Can be shipped cross country without extra transportation costs.
Ideal Mounting Surfaces Soil (Dirt/Grass), Asphalt / Parking Lot, Other
Anchoring Process No foundation required
Item Cost ($) Notes
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