Container Homes Hit Vancouver!

container house,vancouver,shipping container housing,shipping container,home

We have had a few container homes in Canada but this is definitely the most recent. 12 Containers are being utilised to form social housing for women in the downtown Eastside of the city.

The project is looking to complete by April 2013 and is the brainchild of the Atira Women’s Resource society, which bought a lot in 2009 to build traditional housing.

The idea was put forward by the society to BC Hydro who were giving away two containers to a non-profit organisation. Which eventually seen a further two containers donated by Atira with the remainder being purchased from the Port of Vancouver.

The design has been modelled on existing shipping container homes in the Netherlands and Europe. Which to me makes sense as you learn from other peoples mistakes and experiences.

The residents will be women over the age of 55 who currently reside in a shelter.

“What we hope is to set up an intergenerational program,” Abbott said. “We have housing for young women next door and we’d like to set up mentoring relationships between them.”

The accommodation will see the older women paying $375 a month rent while younger tenants will be charged 30% of the market value to help pay the $500,000 mortgage on the project.

The containers which give a floor area of 320sqft are going to be stacked 3 high and offer private bathroom, kitchen and in-suite laundry to the tenants. Window coverings from floor to ceiling offer up a lot of light on the ends of the unit with an external staircase linking each unit.

There will be an open house on completion before the properties become occupied with an estimated $100,000 per unit in construction and material costs.

“While getting them here and getting them stacked is extremely satisfying and exciting, what I’m really looking forward to is handing over the keys to the women who will live there,” Abbott said from the site where the containers were being unloaded Friday.

On a green note if the containers hadn’t become housing they would have very likely been shipped back to Asia and eventually melted down as scrap. That’s if they didn’t sit at some port rusting away.

Shipping container houses are still a bit of a Taboo subject when people talk and think about housing but good to see the market is changing. Not only for recycling but also container housing often means downsizing the excess that people often live with. So whatever way you look at it container housing offers some valuable and environmental lessons for sustainable living.

Shipping Container Office Buildings – Philippines

Gothong Southern - Shipping containers 

Shipping container modular buildings may not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of filling a companies needs in a tropical climate. At the same time anywhere near the ports it makes a lot of sense as its in keeping with the local area as well as easy to have delivered. Here in Cebu, Philippines I spent a day looking for shipping container modular buildings around the city and port area. A couple of reasons in doing so the first one being most people can’t believe people would use a shipping container to live or work inside because they are “too hot” and secondly I am very interested in cargotecture and shipping container modular buildings.

shipping container office and seating

This one I noticed when I first came to Cebu and it makes a lot of sense during the day to have seating so high up. Road dust off the main road is bad as well as the surrounding area being built up restricting airflow but also concrete density increases heat. Sitting up above three shipping containers your literally getting the best the local area has to offer with airflow and arguably cleaner air.

Shipping Container Office - Cebu, Philippines

Another Shipping container office one of the better developed ones but also its located in a shipping container yard so no issue in getting shipping containers for the project!JAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, PhilippinesJAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, Philippines

JAJ Aggregates is one of the most interesting cargotecture designs I have come across in the local area as its suspended one side of the building in air sat on two concrete pillars (you can’t see its Sunday which is obviously wash day). The two concrete pillars are sat behind the laundry.Shipping container building - Cebu,Philippines

 A shipping container office still in development. Something to do with a local truck haulier, often people live in the trucks and its likely this is either going to be an office for the vehicle owners or a rest place on route for the drivers. That extra bit of paint will make a huge difference to the left side!

Shipping Container Accidents Photos

Shipping container accidents on ships from around the world. The interesting thing to see is not the fact some of the containers have folded up and literally crushed bearing in mind they are under at least 5 ton per shipping container above them. But the way that even at very extreme angles the shipping containers still stay interlocked and holding on to each other stopping them falling in even the most extreme of circumstances.

Shipping container accident on ship image Ship run aground ship rammed into harbour side shipping container stack falling over shipping container stack falling over Jeppesen Maersk ship with shipping containers falling shipping containers collapsed on ship

Shipping Container Banks

I remember living in Germany before and finding the banks often in odd remote locations. Partly because we were with the military meaning there are plenty of soldiers in remote places needing access to money as well as having a good tax free income offshore. But also the farming communities still needed servicing for bank access. Odd to think though that many banks go extreme on security when more often than not reducing funds available or putting in a public place may actually reduce the risk of robbery in the first place. I remember talking to a bank manager before regarding “front of house” the counters we see when we are withdrawing funds. The maximum he said he ever had on the front of house was £30,000 which isn’t a lot considering 10 years in prison if caught in the UK robbing a bank.

At the same time modern banking today has tried to remove cash from the system where possible meaning most people don’t need large cash amounts and more likely just after money for a night out on a Friday and ordering a curry. Which makes these smaller shipping container banks ideal for many locations especially with banks being keen to squeeze as much profit out of us while downsizing branches all over the place.

Shipping Container Bank Germany Shipping Container Bank Austria

Petrol Station Built In Shipping Container

Shipping container petrol station (Gas station / Fuel station)

Petrol Station (Gas station) Koboko district, west nile region uganda

May seem a little odd for some as the fuel consumption of cars are pretty high. But I have seen similar units for sale here in the Philippines aswell because they are ideal for more remote areas that mainly use motorbikes or have low fuel consumption due to lack of vehicles in the area that wouldn’t justify a large scale petrol station at the same time this type is probably less likely to pollute the ground as working in the industry years ago underground tanks had a habit of rusting and leaking over the years which is why they are removed due to contamination issues in the ground.

Shipping Container Homes The Only Safe Investment In the Current Economic Climate?

As I sit and see that people talk of a second recession when in fact they just mean all those billions thrown at trying to fix a problem by “spending their way” out of debt surprisingly hasn’t worked (touch of sarcasm). Then we have not only entered a long recession but also the fact it was magnified by throwing away the spare capital we had to bail out banks that quite literally couldn’t care less about anything or anyone but themselves.

Mc Mansion - US housing marketBut at the same time the end of Mc Mansion construction is a blessing if nothing else came out of the recession. Oversized, poor quality and simply just not needed. These homes were just a figure of how out of control the housing market became in the U.S. but just as much I remember in my parents town a public toilet is now a small 1 bedroom apartment worth £100,000 and not only was it a toilet it backs onto a cemetery two bonus features in one overpriced property. Not going all environmental here by the way as people lost a fortune on property at the same time I can’t believe people were being encouraged to get into this much debt in every direction with the “market can only go up” mentality. Which as we well know history tells us otherwise time and time again. It was simply a case of consumerism gone mad as well as speculation as people bought more homes on the back of the fact the market will go up and that they could sell multiple homes as surely there are buyers out there somewhere (we just haven’t seen them).

Consumer society

Consumerism always ends up like this a pile of excess hitting landfills everywhere yet I agree choice and consumerism is great its just the fact people are buying so much stuff they simply never use, don’t need and often don’t know why they bought it except for materialistic value.

Moving on to shipping container homes though it could be the only safe bet in the current economic climate. They can have a low floor area meaning cheaper land taxes, easy to construct, readily available shipping container stocks in many parts of many countries and on top of all that you can do it as you can afford it keeping away from any debt from the bank. Building your own home especially now that the banks aren’t keen to loan could be the only option and using shipping containers could be the most viable. For us we are currently looking at going back to the UK shortly and I will be looking into the issues of construction there for our first family home as we can build it on weekends, complete the first 40ft container so we have beds,toilet area, kitchen etc. while we add more units to the shipping container home. Being able to stack also means we can buy a low amount of land and utilize several levels wasting no money. All part of why shipping containers homes are so viable.

Shipping container specifications

shipping container specifications

Even though standardisation of shipping containers has been in existence since 1967 its still not as specific as it may seem. Most people recognise 20ft and 40ft containers but in reality they vary between 10ft and 53ft in length (10ft are very common here in the Philippines for small loads). The heights also vary from 4.25ft to 9.5 so if buying a container getting the exact metrics internally and externally are important otherwise you could end up buying something unsuitable for your needs. The only thing that does seem to be standard is width at 8ft, what the containers are made from and internal dimensions vary between manufacturers and companies needs.

An example of this is Matson’s who after calculating the best sizes of container for their operations along the West coast of Hawaii set upon using 20ft and 24ft containers that fitted their converted freighters from WW2 and integrated a racking system into the freighters specifically for the containers. This allowed the containers to be stacked six high and to be easily offloaded at the dock side using specialist crane equipment.