Detroit Builds Condos With Shipping Containers

Shipping containers aren’t exactly the first thing that comes in mind when people think about a home. But in Detroit, a company decided to build condos using shipping containers.

There are many purposes for a container, but not many imagine it would make for a great home. One building company has been thinking about building condos with shipping containers for the past four years. The Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks is going to be a 20-unit multifamily housing development built of 93 shipping containers. On the overall, this Detroit housing project is worth $3.4 million.

The first time Detroit heard about building condos out of shipping containers was in 2008. The crash of the real estate market has postponed the construction on the Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks project for several years. Now, constructors looking to draw investors and convince them living in a shipping container isn’t as … unusual or homeless as it sounds.

“Even last week I met with some investors and one of them said, ‘I’d rather invest after you have one built’. I think part of it is education. People still have a stigma because they don’t see the versatility in container construction” said Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared, the company that is currently developing the condos made of shipping containers.

Designers and developers behind this ambitious project argue that living in retired shipping containers isn’t such a new idea. People in Europe have embraced the technology “not only because of sustainability, but because of profitability”. “We are saving about 60 percent on the framing of typical construction by using containers because we can build much faster and at a fraction of the cost” the Three Squared CEO added.

But don’t imagine a condo made of retired shipping containers is going to be cheap. According to Leslie Horn, the condos will sell for 5 percent less than what other units in the similar size category are currently listed. The sizes of the condos vary from 850 to 1,920 square feet and will feature ductless heating and air systems, tankless water heaters and some energy-saving solutions that should drive energy costs down by 80 percent.
Although a retired shipping container costs about $2,500, developers have to put in “ninety-five percent of”  remaining costs warns co-founder Joel Egan with HyBrid Architecture in Seattle.

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