Your future home could be a shipping container

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Some shipping containers used to transport maritime goods are now being constructed into homes. (Pixabay pic)

PARIS: Are you looking for a modular, original and on-trend home? Investing in a container house could be the right option for you.

These types of houses, made from containers recovered from ports, are becoming increasingly popular. Over the last decade, an entire market specifically based around this trend has taken shape.

Some companies offering housing designed from old containers used for the transport of maritime goods refer to this use as the container’s “final journey” (“dernier voyage”).

The concept, which has been around for a while, continues to gain ground.

After transforming their own home into a floating cottage using an old shipping container, a Canadian couple based in Port Severn, Ontario, started a business.

The originality of the concept is such that the couple’s home has now become a tourist attraction in itself. Their home as well as their “do-it-yourself floating home structures and cottages” can be found on the website for their company Live Outside the Box (LOTB).

What is the appeal of these boxy blocks that can be stacked like Lego pieces?

Their sturdy metal structure facilitates the substitution of certain polluting materials, concrete in particular, which represents more than 8% of global CO2 emissions.

This method also embraces the principle of upcycling, since it is based on construction materials that already exist.

While they are often praised for their ecological aspect, at a time when tiny houses are in the spotlight, there are some drawbracks to container houses.

One drawback is that metal is a thermal conductor, which means that it lets the cold through. In other words, a house built from containers often requires the addition of an insulating material either on the outside or on the inside.

Another argument in its favour is the economic implications. With prices below 100,000 euros for a surface area of approximately 100 square meters, the offer is indeed attractive.

However, potential customers also need to keep in mind the additional costs associated with the delivery of the container house; the land, installation of utilities and connections to the water, gas and electricity networks are, for example, additional costs to be taken into account when considering investing in this type of housing.