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admin | Category: Modular Container Homes | 22.03.2015
3twenty Modular's 180-person shipping container complex at an airforce base in Cold Lake, Alberta, contracted by the Department of National Defense. Shipping container housing or “cargotecture” has been touted as a solution to a wide variety of housing shortages, from affordable, sustainable, or on-reserve housing, to homeless shelters. A handful of companies are now also looking to the containers, or “sea cans,” as a solution to workforce housing shortages in the booming natural resource sector. The largest company of its kind in Canada, Saskatoon-based 3twenty Modular, has built about 300 container homes for tradespeople across the Prairie provinces in recent years.
But there are several unique features that make container homes ideal for workforce housing: they are durable, mould-resistant, stackable, and able to house large numbers of workers on a small plot of land.
Other non-profits are also exploring the potential of shipping containers in community development.


There are millions of discarded shipping containers sitting unused on docks around the world, and in North America they can be had for around $900 each. It can be expensive to get rid of these chemicals, with the result that many cargotecture companies use new containers. McCrea says that although 3twenty intended to use recycled containers initially, they found it was actually cheaper to make them from scratch. Design companies and architects are also looking to shipping containers to supply sustainable and affordable residential housing. Since then, Zigloo has been looking to container homes as the future of sustainable housing, and has several groundbreaking projects in the works featuring green technologies such as grey water reclamation, solar hot water systems, photovoltaic panels, and green-roof systems. The development, slated for the town of Devon in Alberta, would also reclaim an old industrial site and bring it back into the community.


As designers find increasingly creative and profitable uses for shipping containers, McCrea expects the industry will blossom in Canada and around the world. In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling old shipping containers, each self-contained unit cost a mere $82,500 to build—about a third of the price of traditional wood and concrete housing typically designed for low-income homes. Community associations hope to eventually turn the space into an affordable housing development.



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