Bill Hebner, a former youth pastor from Kelowna, Canada has been building affordable housing for the less fortunate since the 1990s. The first homes he built were made of wood, but more recently, he started using recycled shipping containers as the primary building blocs. Availability, sturdiness, and ease of constructions are the main reasons for this choice.
He’s since come up with a fast and simple approach to building homes which is fast, and can easily be reproduced even by unskilled laborers without any loss to quality. The homes that are built in this way using shipping containers are also safe and lockable, as well as scalable in time and materials.
Back in 2010, Hebner and a team of five unskilled workers finished their first repurposed shipping container home. With the aid of a welder they built a simple three-bedroom prototype home out of two 40-foot shipping containers. It took them less than a week to build the entire home. The house features a fully-equipped bathroom and kitchen, and cost less than $10,000 to construct.
Building those first homes was a learning experience for Hebner, and he has since used this knowledge to construct nurseries, schools, and, of course, homes for the poor. Over the past 20 years, he’s raised more than $2.5 million through private fundraising to build these structures and homes.
Hebner is also not slowing down. In 2014 he helped design and build several housing projects across the world, including a dorm for women in Mtwapa, Kenya with the help of the Canadian organization Hope for the Nations, as well as the Khaya Centre in South Africa.
The plans for his homes are available in his newly released book “How to build a simple three bedroom container house”, which can be downloaded from Amazon.