Monday, January 7, 2013

Housing Project in Vancouver Uses Shipping Containers

This is a jobsite just down the street from the Paradigm showroom on Alexander Street. If you had just stumbled upon this on a grey wet morning like today you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just a stack of shipping containers, perhaps a temporary storage location for one of the many shipping companies on the waterfront.

But this is actually a low-income housing project; the first of it’s kind in Canada. The 12-unit complex is scheduled to open this April and will be made available to homeless and “at-risk” women in Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside. The project is the brainchild of Atira Women’s Resource Society and JTW Consulting which worked for two years to create the design, raise money and convince the city it was doable.

Total price tag for the project? Less than $100,000 per unit. Some shrewd purchasing has reduced costs. The containers for example were bought from the Port of Vancouver for $3,000 each. The units will cost less than $100,000 each to build. There’s also substantial cost savings from the lack of construction waste.

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