Detroit condos to be built from shipping containers


Home, sweet home. Replace the second “home” with “discarded shipping container with holes cut into it,” though. That’s what the occupants of a new 17-unit condo development will be saying some time next year if architect Steven Flum and company can convince the city of Detroit to let them build the “Exceptional Green Living on Rosa Parks” project on top of land currently containing vacant lots and burned-out homes.

It’s projected to cost about $1.8 million, which is about 25% less expensive than normal and the units will range from 960 to 1,920 square feet, selling for between $100,000 and $190,000. Green experts say that annual energy costs can be cut by up to 60% as well, thanks to the “recycled materials and efficiencies” used for building.

According to the Detroit Free Press,

The project would stack empty containers four high, cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios…

…The developer, Leslie Horn, chief executive of the Detroit-based Power of Green Housing organization, said using empty shipping containers is not a new idea.

“It’s been done in Europe and, to a limited extent, in this country. But no one has looked at organizing the process on a larger scale incorporating a range of recycled materials and efficiencies that could save a homeowner as much as 60% annually in energy costs,” she said.

Horn and Flum said they would use special insulating paint inside and out, high-efficiency water heaters and other energy-saving methods. But by far, the most environmentally friendly aspect of the project is the use of discarded shipping containers.

Anyone out there live in Detroit? Would you live here? It’d be built on the southeast corner of Rosa Parks and Warren. How’s that neighborhood?