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A sod-turning ceremony was held this summer to mark the start of the project at Eden Valley.

Shipping containers repurposed for
First Nations home in pilot project

A southern Alberta First Nation is about to put an unconventional housing material to the test - steel shipping containers.

A container home is being designed for the Bearspaw First Nation's Eden Valley reserve, about 100 kilometres southwest of Calgary, as part of a pilot project.

"It's a partnership in designing them both from a technical and cultural standpoint," said Joe Kiss, president of Ladacor, the Calgary-based company working with the First Nation.

Shipping containers repurposed for First Nations home"You wouldn't even know you're in a shipping container," Kiss said.

Kiss said the shipping containers make good building blocks, and they're affordable and sturdy.

"Really what the shipping container is, is a very good, strong, steel, modular core," he said.

Bearspaw First Nation CEO Rob Shotclose hopes the year-long pilot project leads to solutions to some long-standing housing issues on the reserve.

"We do have a problem with fires and we do have a lot of problems with mould," he said.

"If we can find something that's resistant to all that, that lasts long and that doesn't require much maintenance, then that helps us to save money annually on repair costs and makes it more sustainable for us in the housing area."

An important part of the initiative has been working with members of the Bearspaw community to provide design input into the homes, so that the home will suit First Nations lifestyles, offering a design from both a technical and cultural-specific basis.

Alberta Innovates Technology Futures is helping to commercialise the technology offered by Ladacor and working with the Bearspaw First Nation to showcase it, a release explains.

A monitoring program will then commence to test both cultural acceptance and technical performance of the home.
Sources: CBC and

shipping container home



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