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Toronto Star – Storstac Container Homes and Tinyhomes Feature

Shipping Container home (s) are drawing more interest in Toronto

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The New Old Stock Designed; Storstac built; off-grid Shipping Container Tinyhome/Bunkie

Costs of Building Homes from recycled materials match price of traditional home construction

By: Tracy Hanes

Special to the Toronto Star

Five years ago, there had been virtually no interest in shipping container homes. Times have changed. “I get two to three queries a day about shipping container homes,” says David Pali, director of business development for Storstac (www.storstac.com), a Toronto company that modifies shipping containers and fabricates portable buildings. While most of Storstac’s business is for commercial or industrial clients (it has created a Tesla showroom and a shop for the Moss Park Market), it also creates residential projects, such as the addition to a Toronto residence/restaurant and a four bedroom house slated for downtown Hamilton.

Most shipping containers are used only one or twice to ship cargo before being abandoned in industrial yards or shipped back to China, where they are manufactured.

Storstac has been in business since 2003. Its president and founder, Vincent Ruggiero, has 40 years experience in the industry. He created ways to recycle discarded shipping containers. He also invented the first portable mini storage units and the first portable wireless telecommunication shelters for the companies that became Rogers, Telus and Fido; created hazardous material storage systems for Ontario Hydro; and created shelters for the Trans-Siberian Pipeline.

Toronto architect Jason Halter of Wonder Inc. Designed both the Hamilton home and two man caves for Hollywood producer Dan Lin, fabricated in Storstac’s yard and shipped to Los Angeles. Halter says shipping container buildings have been around for 25 years in the US.

While raw shipping containers are relatively inexpensive – about $17  a square foot – the other costs are similar to traditional home construction, so these types of homes don’t cost less to build, Pali Says. For example, “you have to do steel work, plus you still need interior stud walls, insulation and mechanical systems.” The Hamilton house for example, will cost about $175 a square foot.

The homes also have to meet zoning and building code requirements.

Storstac only uses containers made of corten (or weathering) steel. which is more resistant to atmospheric corrosion then cheaper “mild” steel. Storstac also has a Ministry of Environment-approved paint booth on site that warms the containers so paint will adhere properly and not peel.

Pali and Halter both expect interest in shipping container houses to continue to build. “they are fantastic building block,” says Pali. “They are stackable modular and movable.”

 

(On the weekend of Saturday October 1st 2016, Storstac was featured in 3 separate articles (including the front page article) in the Toronto Star Homes and Condos section regarding the shipping container homes and tinyhomes/bunkies we have built over the summer. This article featured here was a “special to the star” that was an in print exclusive)

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Storstac featured in the Toronto Star for various housing and tinyhome/bunkie container builds

 

Storstac Building Toronto’s First Shipping Container House

Storstac is excited to announce that along with The Hamilton Shipping Container House (which will be the first permanent shipping container house in Canada to be located in a major cities downtown core), we are also currently fabricating TORONTO’s FIRST SHIPPING CONTAINER HOUSE which will be permanently located in the heart of Downtown Toronto (on Queen @ Bathurst), right here at our Toronto shipping container fabrication facility. This precedent setting build nicknamed the Harlem Underground Shipping Container House (as it will expand the current living quarters that are part of the same building that Harlem Underground Restaurant is located) is already BUILDING PERMIT APPROVED and will consist of three 20′ High Cube shipping containers sitting on top of a solid concrete foundation. Although the shipping containers themselves are fabricated in China (as China is the only place in the world where shipping containers are fabricated) all of the modification work will be carried out at our fabrication shop here in Toronto, and all materials used for this project will be made in Canada. Storstac has been tasked with engineering and completing all of the shipping container modifications, paint and steel-work for this Toronto shipping container home. The Toronto shipping container home modifications include cutting and framing all window, door and interior openings, custom paint and a number of structural reinforcements where required. The Toronto shipping container home will arrive on site and will be installed by Storstac over the course of just a few hours.

For projects like this Storstac rely’s on its 450+ years of combined shipping container modification experience (Dating as far back to 1971) ensuring all modifications meet and exceed strict building code requirements, as well as ensuring the shipping container modifications last more then a lifetime. Modifications  such as this are made possible with the help of Storstac’s President, who, over his carrier (which began in 1971)  has been part of more then 10,000+ shipping container modifications. Expected completion of the project is Summer 2016. Follow us on Instagram @storstac_containers for updates on this shipping container housing project, as well as our other container housing and container modification projects.

 

Toronto Shipping Container House with building cutouts

                  Toronto Shipping Container House rendering with building cutouts

Toronto Shipping Container House with neighbor buildings

     Toronto Shipping Container House rendering with neighbouring buildings intact

 

First floor of the Toronto Shipping Container House with walls removed at Storstac modification facility in Toronto

First floor of the Toronto Shipping Container House with walls removed at Storstac modification facility in Toronto

 

 

 

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