While it may not be the most traditional way of building, once you’re inside one of Edmonton’s newest apartments, you wouldn’t even know you’re standing inside what was once a shipping container.
A three-storey, 20-unit apartment building – made from repurposed steel shipping containers – is nearing completion in west Edmonton.
“We’re getting a lot of interest,” said AJ Slivinski, owner of Step Ahead Properties.
“Overall, everybody’s very impressed. I think their first words out of their mouth is, ‘We didn’t really visualize this.’ And I think they come to the realization that whether it’s shipping container or stick build, there is no difference.”
The sea-cans come from Canada’s West Coast. Because of the high cost of returning the containers back overseas, most of them only make a one-way trip to North America.
“It is a green option,” Slivinski said. “We are repurposing the steel that is piling up on the coast.”
Step Ahead Properties worked with Calgary-based company Ladacor Modular Systems on the building.
The containers were repurposed in Calgary, then shipped north to Edmonton. Even the tiles, countertops, floors and walls were built in a warehouse in Calgary before making their way to Edmonton where the apartment building was constructed like “LEGO,” Slivinski said.
The process lowers construction costs while reducing building time. Slivinski said while a traditional stick build might take 12 to 18 months, shipping-container build times are around three to four months.
While Alberta has seen shipping container garage suites, lane houses and a hotel, this multi-family housing unit in the Glenwood neighbourhood is the first of its kind in Edmonton.
“Many other people are doing this, but on a much smaller scale and making it a little more eclectic where they’re painting it different colours, one or two units and making it more art,” Slivinski said.
“We’re really taking it to shipping container 2.0 where we’re going to blend our product right into the environment.
“We dare anyone to be able to tell the difference between a regular stick build apartment building and a fully built shipping container building.”
While some might think the units would be noisy with all the steel around them, Slivinski ensures potential tenants that the building is fully foamed and insulated like any other apartment building.
The building offers one- and two-bedroom units. Rent is based on the market.
“We are trying to offer a brand new product and trying to be competitive with our rates,” Slivinski said.
A show suite is now open at 16315 – 96 A Ave. The company is holding an open house from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 29.