September 26, 2016 5:42 pm
Updated: September 26, 2016 10:20 pm

Edmonton-based company introduces Fort McMurray to shipping container homes

Tau. Courtesy of Novhaus

Courtesy of Novhaus
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Novhaus merges energy-efficient housing with affordability, a concept that is gaining popularity with the victims of the Fort McMurray fire.

Built out of shipping containers, the homes range in price from $60,000 to $268,650 and can be installed on site in just 90 days after receiving a building permit.

Novhaus was present at the Fort McMurray home show, where staff got to see the sites of the destruction, as well as interact with potential clients who had lost their homes.

“We went and did the home show in Fort McMurray,” Laeonie Gano, sales associate at Novhaus, said in a phone interview.

“It was a very emotional experience seeing the experiences of the people… Their experiences were sad and inspiring.”

The show generated a lot of interest for the Edmonton-based company, as people are eager to rebuild their homes. The low price tag of the structures and the speed in which the houses are built helped build interest.


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The design merges eco-friendly materials and design with innovative technology, like the company’s newly developed smart app. The app allows a homeowner to access their water, electricity, as well as security settings through their smart phone, giving them the ability to know when there is a water leak, fire or security breaches.

Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of their creations with designs aligning with international LEEDS standards and homes incorporating energy efficient heat pumps, CFL or LED light bulbs and spray-foam insulation.

READ MORE: Denmark tests floating shipping containers as affordable homes 

According to the Novhaus team, the homes are durable for the Alberta climate.

Sea cans are designed to withstand environmental impact of strong winds, extreme cold and rain. The containers are individually inspected and the ones used are no more than two years old.

However, Gano insists what makes Novhaus different is the thought that goes into the design, creating beautiful contemporary homes that don’t look like shipping containers.

Designs range from commercial space to homes, where owners can customise the features their spaces can have. Upgrades include a green roof, a rooftop garden, rain water barrel, acrylic stucco exteriors, among others.

So far, Novhaus has six projects waiting for permits, and approximately 120 clients in the pipeline.

A demo house will open on Oct. 6, an event that Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson has been invited to attend.  Gano thinks this move, which allows interested customers a chance to see the houses, will generate more interest in the project.

“People are tactile. They want to be able to touch, feel and experience [the house],” she said.

You can find more information about Novhaus here.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc

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