About Oneesan Container Housing


Frequently Asked Questions about the Container Housing Project
How much did the unit cost?
Hard construction cost is $82,500 per unit. This cost includes premium elements that would not normally be installed in non-market housing (e.g. curtain walls and in-suite laundry), but which were incorporated because this is a first-of- its-kind project and we wanted it to show well.
How does this compare to other non-market units?
Housing constructed using shipping containers as the base structure are significantly lower in cost per unit as compared to typical social housing projects. For example and while a proper analysis needs to be conducted in order to have confidence we are comparing apples to apples, a 320 sq ft unit at Sorella Housing for Women cost $220,000 while the 290 sq ft units at 502 Alexander cost about $82,500 per unit. Again, these are hard construction costs.
What would the units sell for, if stratified?
Our informal survey of real estate agents suggests these units in this location could sell for about $199,000 each.
How big are the units?
Each fully, self contained unit is between 280 and 290 square feet, net living area.
Does this project  meet current building  code?
This project meets and in some cases exceeds minimum building code; for example in sound transfer and insulation.
There are 12, self-contained units on a standard city lot (25’ x 117’ feet).
Is the project  Green?
While budgetary constraints limited our ability to make “greening” the project a priority, an informal and conservative process suggests the project would qualify for LEED certification based on four measurements including our focus on securing a sustainable site, choice of materials and resources, innovation in design and meeting some of the regional priority requirements.
Why Recycled Shipping Containers?
Shipping containers are thought to have a useful sea life of 10 – 15 years; this is with no maintenance and withstanding whatever Mother Nature can throw at them. It is expected they will last “practically forever” with proper care and maintenance. There are an estimated 24 million vacant shipping containers in the world. Repurposing them is good for the environment, provides a base structure that reduces the cost of construction and construction timelines and as you can see, they look great!
How much did the project  cost, including  land?
The full project, which includes the heritage restoration of the Single Room Accommodation Hotel next door, cost $3.3
Million and provides 31 units of non-market housing.
Imouto Housing for Young Women, the building next door, won a City of Vancouver Heritage Award in 2013 as well as an International Best Practice Award for Innovation in Housing for the program it houses, which supports young women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.