As a follow-up to a story posted here on March 24 about steel shipping containers transformed into homes by a New York firm, The Providence Journal reports a consortium of government, academia and business elements are combining forces to convert old shipping containers into homes, much like a modular unit. Senator Jack Reed, (D-RI), an advocate of affordable housing well before he became a U.S. senator in 1996, announced a $150,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) grant to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Brown University. Called the Partnership for Sustainable Development, the two schools will share the grant equally, and the design students will work with two RISD-trained architects, which is the business element. The consortium will also have access to the business, marketing, sustainable energy and industrial development departments at Brown. Results of the semester-long project will be available to the SBA, and will be a guide to the two architects as they develop a business model to recycle the modules into sustainable-energy homes.