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Real estate developer makes something new out of something old

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra for environmental responsibility in homes across Alberta. Most people conscientiously separate their recyclables from their garbage, turn the lights off when they're not needed and maybe even get crafty with an old skid. A property developer is taking it to a new level, however, on a construction project in Edmonton, where an innovative spin is being put on a new piece of residential real estate.

Instead of using traditional wood-frame construction methods for a new low-rise apartment complex, the primary building components are used steel shipping containers. The containers are customized in Calgary and then brought to the construction site, assembled and finished. All the usual new home fittings are present, including closets, appliances, flooring and drywall. 

The new building uses 48 of the 40-foot containers, welded together to form a building. Before owners move in, the exterior will get a cement coating to allow the building to blend in with the two neighbouring apartment complexes built in the 1960s. The developer plans to build more shipping container buildings in the future, believing 10- to 12-storey structures are possible using this technique.

Making use of unwanted material makes good environmental and economic sense for a builder, as does an infill project like this. It is important, however, to be certain that one is meeting all building codes and not violating municipal by-laws on any construction project, particularly something non-traditional. A lawyer's experience with real estate by-laws and building code issues in Calgary can help keep a new build on the right track.

Source: Edmonton Sun, "Edmonton company building city's first shipping-container apartment", Gordon Kent, April 27, 2017

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