Shipping containers have been given a new lease on life as the building blocks for family homes in Brisbane.
The metal storage and shipping boxes have previously doubled for make-shift offices, sheds and prison cells, but now they have opened the doors to innovative and affordable homes in Queensland.
The Archer family in Brisbane’s west have jumped on the container home bandwagon, having just put together a three-bedroom home with four shipping containers.
The family wanted a house that was sustainable with the potential to go off-grid, and a backyard for the kids and a veggie garden.
The Oxley home took a day to put together, with the fit-out still underway.
“It looks cool and is compact and gives us what we what,” David Archer said.
Architect Dan Burnett said container homes were not a fad – just an extension of modular building that is the way of the future.
“They can be one of the cheapest ways to build a home costing about $1,200 a square metre,” he said.
“It is a cheaper option than a home renovation and a good solution to a housing shortage.”
There are any number of configurations. One Brisbane home in Graceville was built out of 31 containers.
But container homes have their detractors.
“They’re appropriate in mining sites or in remote areas where labour is very expensive or where you have to get things up in a hurry, but in the city and metropolitan areas in situ is still cheaper,” said Scott Hutchinson from Brisbane firm Hutchinson Builders.
However, his firm built student accomodation in Canberra out of shipping containers.
“There’s something about living in a shipping container that has a lot of appeal and captures the imagination,” he said.
China International Marine Containers (CIMC), the world’s largest shipping container manufacturer, said modular construction has slashed up to 20 per cent off the cost of some new multi-residential properties and hotels in Australia.
“It’s not just plugging it in as a shipping container – the container becomes a hybrid of a shipping container. They are made to size and reduce costs and increase the speed of a build,” CIMC’s John Zendler said.
Article from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-14/shipping-containers-become-family-homes-in-qld/5594602