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A new concept in residential real estate rises in Alberta

For some homebuilders, maximizing profits sometimes means cutting corners during construction. One Alberta developer, however, has found a way to cut costs by using less expensive building material than traditional builders use. This remarkable new multi-family residential real estate project is far from being cheap and flimsy, however. In fact, it's about as solid as it can be.

An infill development is nothing new in Edmonton, as developers find ways to utilize precious space in the city's neighbourhoods. What makes one new apartment building special, however, is the primary construction material: used shipping containers. Altogether, the building uses 48 steel containers to make up 20 residential units. Inside are all the trappings of a typical home: bedrooms, a kitchen, windows and sheetrock walls.

The innovative building is largely prepared offsite, and assembled in about a day. Finishing the entire building takes about three months, compared to about a year for a standard building made mostly of wood. Although this project is only three stories high, the developer plans to build taller buildings in the future. His company also recently built a 60-room hotel out of shipping containers in Bruderheim.

This is a creative and environmentally friendly solution to several problems. However, a development of this nature could also conflict with zoning and building code bylaws if not handled properly. Alternative construction styles and techniques, and infill dwellings, are both tricky propositions. Before embarking on a residential real estate project of this nature, it might be a good idea to first consult with an Alberta real estate lawyer.

Source: CBC News - Edmonton, "Edmonton's first shipping-container apartment building under construction", Travis Mcewan, May 2, 2017

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