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Alberta developer shows off its first shipping container family home in Calgary

WATCH: An Alberta home developer is touting its first shipping container home in Calgary as the natural evolution of homebuilding. Global’s Tomasia DaSilva reports.

An Alberta home developer is touting its first shipping container home in Calgary as the natural evolution of homebuilding.

The house in Rocky Ridge was built by Edmonton-based Homes by 3Leafs using a number of stacked recycled shipping containers.

“All together there are four shipping containers,” CEO Som Sourachit said. “Two on the bottom and two on top.”

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Family home made of shipping containers in Rocky Ridge.
Family home made of shipping containers in Rocky Ridge. Tomasia DaSilva

The 2,000-square-foot home is also billed as being energy efficient and having net-zero capabilities.

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While shipping container homes aren’t new, the company’s chief technology officer said their homes take the concept to the next level.

“It’s not something someone just put together in a garden shed,” Homes by 3Leafs’ Stephen Ezekwem said. “We intend to actually build traditional homes that you would see anywhere — that are desirable.”

That desirability in this home includes amazing mountain views, a galley kitchen, a fully-finished basement and a giant rooftop patio.

Homes by 3Leafs shows off new shipping container home in Rocky Ridge
Homes by 3Leafs shows off new shipping container home in Rocky Ridge Tomasia DaSilva

READ MORE: Alberta business turns seacans into affordable, stackable homes

Ezekwem said the homebuilding industry in Canada has to evolve.

“Things have been exactly the same for over 100 years,” he said. “Go to Europe, go across the pond, they are constantly reimagining things.”

Homeowner Jaime Turner agreed, and said sustainability is one of the main things that sold him on this house.

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“This house built of steel and steel-framed on the inside — not wood-framed — can last at least 100 years longer than a traditional stick-built house.”

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Still, that came with a cost. The home rang in at about $700,000, about $200,000 more than the average Calgary home.

“I knew going into this that there would be a premium in terms of increasing the materials to the levels that would accomplish the energy savings goals that we had for our family,” Turner said.

Turner expects that will pay off in the long run when it comes to utility bills and other costs of running his household.

He was also sold on the environmental factor.

“It’s a teachable moment for our daughter Charlotte,” he said. “She’s seven and learning all about the environment.”

The Turner family celebrates new shipping container home.
The Turner family celebrates new shipping container home. Homes by 3Leafs

READ MORE: Take a tour inside Edmonton’s first shipping container apartment building

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Homes by 3Leafs currently has six projects on the go, including one shipping container home it expects will be the largest in North America.

It’s not daunted by the tough economy, or the competition from other homebuilders.

“I wouldn’t say we’re competing with a certain industry,” Ezekwen said. “What we’re doing is showcasing what is possible.”

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