John Murchie: Modular Housing Missionary

Once involved in the tea business that his grandfather and namesake founded in 1894, these days 78 year-old John Murchie is on a quest to develop a modular home that he hopes will solve the housing shortage in underdeveloped countries. His grandfather developed Murchie’s Tea & Coffee company in Canada, which now has numerous retail outlets and worldwide shipping, as MHProNews has learned from the website. A Baptist minister, heavy duty mechanic, machinist and history buff, Murchie says, “We have to change the world and we can do this through housing. Tin roofs and containers are not the answer for housing (in Third-World countries). I don’t understand paying billions on space programs when we have people living in India on a dirt floor. There’s something unbalanced about that.”

Noting the size of buildings is getting out of hand, Murchie says of site-built homes, “Two Dumpsters of materials go to the landfills when they are finished building an average size house. We have to stop that waste.” He previously built 20 prototypes before developing the house he now has in production, which is hurricane and tornado proof, according to The company will be able to build a unit every three days, and sell them for $48,500; but he says in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Belize the cost would drop to $20 a square foot from the $90 a square foot price in Canada. His firm, Murch-Tech Consulting Company, plans to donate five percent of every sale to Haiti relief efforts. The 350 square foot “Eagle” features an open deck on the second level, and is on display in Langley, British Columbia, just outside Vancouver. ##

Photo credit: Ric Ernst/–John Murchie in front of his earthquake and hurricane-proof  modular hom.)

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