Imouto House – Alexander Street

Imouto 2For a while Imouto House looked like a stack of shipping containers that somebody took a cutting torch to. That’s because it is exactly that; Vancouver’s first recycled shipping container based housing project has 12 units of housing for Atira Women’s Resource Society. Imouto in part provides housing for women aged 55+ living in shelters or SRO rooms. Imouto is the Japanese word for “little sister”and was chosen because the building in located in Japantown, kitty corner from the Vancouver Japanese Language School.

The first containers were lifted into position in late November 2012, and the Barry McGinn designed project took a little longer than expected to complete, but it’s now open. Each unit is 320 sq ft, with its own kitchen, bathroom and laundry, and construction is a lot cheaper than traditional methods, coming in at under $100,000 a unit.

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This entry was posted in Downtown Eastside, Non-market and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Imouto House – Alexander Street

  1. leechap says:

    How do you figure $300/sq ft to be a lot cheaper than wood frame at around $200 /sq ft? Even concrete with moderate finishing is about that according to industry sources.

    • ChangingCity says:

      From the Atira website: “Housing constructed using shipping containers as the base structure are significantly lower in cost per unit as compared to typical social housing projects. For example and while a proper analysis needs to be conducted in order to have confidence we are comparing apples to apples, a 320 sq ft unit at Sorella Housing for Women cost $220,000 while the 290 sq ft units at 502 Alexander cost about $82,500 per unit. (This cost for Imouto includes premium elements that would not normally be installed in non-market housing (e.g. curtain walls and in-suite laundry)”

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