Windsor

Shipping container residence a first for Windsor

The developer of the city's first residence made out of shipping containers is hoping to have it ready for move-in before Christmas.

'I've got a house framed, done and over with in less than a week'

Nick Foster is building Windsor's first shipping container residence in the 200 block of Curry Avenue. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The developer of the city's first residence made out of shipping containers is hoping to have it ready for move-in before Christmas.

Nick Foster started construction on the Curry Avenue duplex about three weeks ago, taking shipping containers and repurposing them to become homes.

One shipping container is about 2.5 metres by 12 metres (8 feet by 40 feet) — Foster's duplex is made of eight shipping containers and will become three bedroom, two bathroom units. 

"I grew up here [and] worked with fabricated steel products," said Foster. "I thought [shipping containers] would be a perfect match."

When they're done, the shipping container homes could look like this rendering, provided by the designer. (Submitted)

Foster said he used to watch traditional house framers be at the "mercy of the environment."

"I noticed that it took them almost 16 weeks just to frame a house," said Foster. "Well I've got a house framed, done and over with in less than a week."

'It's like Legos'

The two-storey homes will look a lot different from the other two-storey duplexes in the neighbourhood. One difference Foster is excited about is the flat, 'green' roof which will have solar panels. 

"People kind of look at it and go 'Well you're living in a box,' but it's amazing what you can do with them," said Foster. "It's like Legos ... 10,000 pound Legos. That's what I call them."

According to Foster it took six engineers and almost $70,000 of "back and forth" before the city would issue building permits. 

Right now they don't look like much, but the shipping containers are already framed out to become homes. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

"The neighbours have been great," said Foster. "It's west Windsor and we're making it better ... [people] are really happy."

Foster said he gets a handful of people wandering by and asking questions about the new homes almost every day. His dream is to take over the old Grace Hospital site and "get a little village going" to help with the city's housing shortage. 

Listen to the full interview from Afternoon Drive:

Just a few blocks away from the CBC Windsor station on Riverside Drive, an unusual new home is under construction. It's a duplex made from eight giant shipping containers. Afternoon Drive reporter Jonathan Pinto walked over to the construction site and spoke with builder Nick Foster. 6:56

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