A NEW housing trend is making waves across Sydney, with home builders using recycled shipping containers to create cool and quirky homes and granny flats.
Already popular throughout other parts of the world, demand for shipping container homes has grown considerably in Australia, as owners search for innovative ways to minimise costs and time.
CEO of Container Build Group Jamie Van Tongeren said Sydneysiders were keen to dive in, as there had been a massive upturn in demand for both residential and commercial property.
“Interest has been doubling every year for the last six or seven years,” he said.
“It is never slowing down, it only seems to get busier — it’s a cheaper, quicker way to build.”
With all the major building done within the factory, it can take just one day to assemble the structure, and as little as six weeks to complete a home, Mr Van Tongeren added.
The process begins by drilling holes into the ground, which are then filled with concrete and steel posts. The containers are then lowered onto the posts using a crane and welded together. Other features like the roof are then added.
It is the speed of construction where money can be saved on things like rent and labour, with the overall price in Sydney for a larger container home relatively similar to that of a standard brick property.
Smaller projects are more cost effective, with a container granny flat costing around $25,000, four times cheaper than using conventional materials.
James Lister and Kelly Ross built their split-level Bundeena home using shipping containers, attracted to the different look and design.
Built from seven separate containers, their architecturally designed three-bedroom home took four-and-a-half months to construct and cost around $550,000 to complete fully furnished.
“We love the aesthetic and look of it structurally,” Mr Lister said.
“We had seen shipping containers used in so many different structures, we just thought why couldn’t it be a permanent fixture — it just seemed logical,” Ms Ross added
Using a recycled material was a big factor in the decision, with most containers classified as brand new, having undertaken just one overseas trip to Australia.
“We understand building does create a lot of waste but most the materials we used were recycled. The containers obviously helped,” Ms Ross said.
Other examples include another two-storey home in Cronulla made from eight containers and a three-bedroom property on the NSW north coast.
Builder Aden Moxon of Moxon Bros specialises in assembling containers homes, and said there were different finishes available to suit the owner’s taste.
“You don’t have to stick with the traditional container look … timber and cladding can be used with it,” he said.
Originally published as Would you live inside a shipping container?