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Shipping container homes grow in popularity

06-26-2012 11:07 BJT

Ever consider living in a shipping container, the corrugated steel containers you see stacked in shipyards? Well after the last real estate bust, living in what amounts to a steel box has grown in popularity—thanks, in part, to slick design and green amenities.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Americans buying real estate had an appetite for the grand and ostentatious.

Michela O' Connor Abrams, president of Dwell Media LLC says, “The McMansion, the idea of building this gigantic house that one family lives in and probably never goes into many of the rooms, but it became the moniker of success, right? The bigger it is the more you know I’ve achieved.”

An idea that didn’t last long after 2008 the housing crash. Conspicuous consumption gave way to conservationism and minimalism says housing & design magazine executive, Michela O’Connor.

Michela says, “We do we have a consciousness in a much grander form in society."

A consciousness that changed with the times. Cheap can be chic is the new sensibility.

Pre-fabricated homes,“pre-fab” for short, are homes that builders manufacture at another location, and ship to the homeowner’s address. While pre-fab homes are supposed to be cheaper than homes built on site, shipping and transportation can actually make them just as expensive as those built the conventional way.

Gordon Scott, co-owner of Connect Homes says, “And the cost of moving one of those cross-country often ends up rivaling the cost of actually building the home in a factory.”

Enter Gordon Scott and his partner Jared Levy, two young, hot-shot architects with a new approach to an old idea. Take the “modular,” pre-fab home concept and make it even cheaper.

Gordon says, “Basically, we’re the first company to figure out how to leverage the inter-modal shipping container network, which is the network that brings all of us all of our goods and can do it incredibly cheaply. The intermodal shipping network can deliver basically 64,000 pounds of anything, anywhere in the world for $5,000 as long as it’s in a container. So we figured out a way to sort of dimensionally containerize a housing module.”

Unlike traditional modular homes that may be 60-feet long, 16-feet wide, Connect Homes are the size of, well, a shipping container: 8 Feet-by-40 feet-by-9 ½ feet.

Gordon says, “We found a way to fit a home into that network, so now these modules can be delivered for very low cost anywhere in the world. This is $105,000 out of the factory. And once it’s delivered and installed on-site, it’ll be about $128,000.”

Add to that the cutting-edge design, luxury amenities and the eco-friendly features and you may understand why these properties – and other modular homes like them – are a hot commodity.

Even the Airstream trailer has seen renewed interest in recent years with a 40% uptick in sales in recent years and it’s clear why with leather furniture, flat screen TV’s, and a walk-in closet, it’s perfect for the person looking for all the modern conveniences of a luxury home in a much more compact size and at $38,000-to-$95,000 – a much more compact price.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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