Lok-N-Blok Enters the Fray as New Building Category

From an idea sparked by a children’s toy, to an entirely new category of building, Lok-N-Blok makes waves in the industry as a solution to both material and labor shortages.
Inspired by the ease of building toys, Greg Siener and his Lok-N-Blok team have launched a new way of building, and just at the right time

Inspired by the ease of building toys, Greg Siener and his Lok-N-Blok team have launched a new way of building, and just at the right time. Photo courtesy Lok-N-Blok

A new way of building is upon us. No, it’s not 3D-printing or offsite construction, it’s Lok-N-Blok. On an average day in the late 90’s, Greg Siener was building a retaining wall with a business partner. Offhandedly, Siener said: “You know, if we had some big ‘ol Legos, this would go a whole lot faster.”

The playful comment sat with him overnight. Siener decided to send a sketch idea to his brother, who worked with him as an electrical engineer, and shortly thereafter Lok-N-Blok was born.

THE 26 YEAR-LONG DREAM

Lok-N-Blok wasn’t built overnight. For Siener, the company took its first steps 26 years ago. After the loss of his brother in 2012, Siener decided to leave the company they had started to go all-in for Lok-N-Blok.

The technology behind the Lok-N-Blok design took years of testing. Siener had landed on using polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer used commonly in the automobile and packaging industry. Not only is the material resourceful, but durable too.

After the first block was created in 2012—weighing in at 16.5 lbs.—five years of rigorous testing ensued.

It wasn’t until June of 2018 that a final approval was rendered. After all, testing criteria had to be built from the ground up, as this brand new way of building warranted its own category and classification.


Lok-N-Blok Load weight final test image
Lok-N-Blok underwent several years of testing to come up with a solution that satisfied everyone. Photo courtesy Lok-N-Blok

In 2013, Lok-N-Blok premiered its first prototype block at the International Builders’ Show. As the product made its debut, Siener had to wonder—will people accept it?

Fortunately for him, they did. 

Across the board, people were enamored with Lok-N-Blok. They only had one block—now, just over 6 lbs. in weight—to visualize the implications that it would lead to. A brand new building category to the industry.

By 2019, the first structure using Lok-N-Blok technology was built. And by 2022, the company officially launched its product at the very place it’d captured initial interest—the NAHB International Builders’ Show.


@constructutopia What do you think of a home built out of “Legos”? 🤯 #fyp #ibs2020 #internationalbuildersshow #loknblok ♬ MOMENTS IN LIFE - Turreekk

IMPLICATIONS FOR A NEW WAY TO BUILD

Since its official manufacturing debut at IBS 2022, Siener and the Lok-N-Blok team have garnered massive industry interest—from industrial, to commercial, to residential development.

The extremely high demand was an unexpected surprise for the company. 

“We always knew that people liked what we were doing, but I did not expect this much interest,” says Siener.

It comes at no surprise, then, that several humanitarian organizations have expressed interest in implementing the product. Lok-N-Blok is perfect from a volunteer standpoint, according to Siener, as it doesn’t require the same training and trade skills that wood construction does.

He notes that the build times using Lok-N-Blok will be 60–70% more efficient, and ten times faster than traditional construction as well.

From the start, Siener wanted the product to be as green as possible, using recycled materials with all natural mineral additives. Fortunately for the company, the polypropylene-based material is considered a green plastic, and is abundantly available even in today’s material shortage crisis.


Lok-N-Blok structure being used with traditional wood for the ceiling
Lok-N-Blok structure with traditional wood planks for the ceiling. Photo courtesy Lok-N-Blok

For now, the planned implementations of the product are in the midwest. Particularly, Mayfield and Western Kentucky, where tornados ravaged the state in December.

The company also anticipates their product being extremely beneficial to the Florida Gulf Coast and similar areas—given the 250 mph wind resistance of each structure.

In fact, the first residential home built using the polypropylene technology will be a replacement home for a Kentucky couple, who had lost their previous home to a tornado disaster.

After that, Siener hopes to have at least a dozen homes across the country in the early stages of construction by the middle of May.

“We have a Cadillac system that we’re not charging a Cadillac price for,” says Siener. “The goal is not to try and sell our product at a high margin; we’re trying to create a position for ourselves in the marketplace while providing a superior product.”

For now, we’ll have to wait and see how the implementation of the product goes. In the meantime, builders wanting to learn more about the product and its implementations can download the quick start design guide below—provided by the Lok-N-Blok team.

About The Author

Quinn Purcell, UTOPIA Associate Editor

Quinn Purcell

Quinn Purcell is a graduate of Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism. He specializes in video, photography, copywriting, graphic design, and even music production. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Utopia. When he's not working you can usually find Quinn at a local brewery, or watching true crime shows with his cat.

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