A British Columbia-based modular home company, BigSteelBox, has unveiled a series of temporary living quarters for workers made out of shipping containers. The housing was built to house Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) workers in a work camp and is designed to offer them all the comforts of home, while LNG carries out the new liquid natural gas projects in Northern B.C.
Each BigSteelBox shipping container home is built from a single, standard-sized 40-foot unit. Inside, there are two 16-foot by 8-foot living spaces, which consist of a bedroom and bathroom. Each unit also has an 8-foot entry, which forms a hallway when the shipping containers are aligned side by side. The company designed this housing with scalability in mind, so it is easy to cater to a greater demand for workers’ housing by either lining the containers one beside another, or placing one on top of another.
The housing units feature a bed, air-conditioning, flat screen TVs, computer workstations and stainless steel appliances, while they are also fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows to let in as much natural light as possible. The bathrooms feature a shower, toilet and sink. Each fully equipped unit costs $120,000.
Using shipping containers to build temporary worker housing is perhaps not a novel idea, but if the concept catches on, it could prove to be a good exercise in upcycling. The main reason shipping containers were chosen by LNG to house their workers is their increased durability, longevity and structural soundness and sustainability as compared to traditional wood-frame options. The latter will also shift and settle over time, which is not the case when using shipping containers. As a consequence, these housing units will have a longer life-span and require less maintenance. The Canadian government is planning to build one LNG plant by 2015 in the Northern BC area, then three more by 2020. While construction takes place, the workers will reside in BigSteelBox shipping container homes.