Design firm offers low-cost homes from containers

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Shipping containers can be turned into small homes, offices, or shops for less than P500,000, a design firm based in Brazil said, suggesting one possible solution to the Philippines’ affordable housing shortage.
Casa Container Marilia-Arquitetura, which has made inroads in Asia with sales of their converted container designs in Taiwan and is interested in the Philippine market, said that their design packages cost from R$28,600 to R$26,900, (NT$266,715 in Taiwan), or about P440,000.

The steel, aluminum, and fiber containers, which are 20 feet long, have a total floor area of 14.876 square meters, and can be configured as residences, office space, or small shop space such as beauty salons or sari-sari stores. The package also includes a small patio, provided the property lot (which the buyer must provide) has sufficient space for it.

The basic design as a residence provides a bedroom/living room, kitchen, and bathroom, and has a large glass door-window combination with ventilation panels as the main entry on the side of the container to allow light and airflow, as well as a small ventilation window for the bathroom and an end entry door opening onto a small porch, which can be secured behind the container’s original doors.

Insulating paint on the exterior, fiberboard wall panels, and solid wood flooring also help to keep the container cool.


“Provided there is a lot available and any required local permits have been obtained, the house can be set up in a matter of days, and just requires utility connections,” a company representative said. “It can also be easily moved to another location later.”

Although Casa Container Marilia-Arquitetura sells completed homes, the company has made its basic designs available on its Facebook page for those who want to try creating a small home or business space with their own container.

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