Company turns containers into homes
A local company is seeking to make container homes a preferred option for potential homeowners.
"We have had one customer so far and he is quite pleased with his home. We are also getting requests from other Caribbean Islands such as Trinidad, so pretty soon container homes will be a must-have in the region," said Stephanie Elliot, head of SMC Renovations Company.
Container houses are exactly what the name says - homes made from steel shipping containers that are usually used to store items or used to carry goods on ships, trains and trucks.
Containers are already used as offices, shops and classrooms. But Elliot said: "We really want them (container homes) to be a part of the Jamaican culture as it is very affordable and can be very trendy, as different persons will choose different finishes. One can choose to have a single- or even double-storey [structure]."
Elliot added: "Each home will be properly ventilated with windows and so on. The walls are also insulated, so it will cool down really easily. They are just like the houses in Portmore, but just cooler."
Elliot said that container homes are often marketed as being environmentally friendly because they are said to be made from used containers, thus conserving metal resources.
"The construction time is really shorter than a regular concrete home as the container would make the home prefabricated already. Also, it can be moved from one place to the next; so if it was constructed on a leased property, the owner can take it along whenever he or she is moving," she said.
Besides trendiness, Elliot stated that owning a container home allows its owner to save a lot of money when compared with a regular concrete structure.
"A regular bachelor pad which is inclusive of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, could cost anywhere between $2.8 to $3m. It is perfect for the young professional."
Public relations officer of the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Emeleo Ebanks, said the container itself will not be a fire hazard or pose a threat, but much consideration should be taken when the insulation is being done.
"The container itself would not be much of a risk; however, it is what they may use inside in terms of insulation and all those things that would pose one. It is something that we as an organisation will have to take a look at and find out what it is that they (prospective homeowners) use for insulation and partition," he said.