An Edmonton-based company has been designing unique homes out of shipping containers.

“We place houses in Norway. We place houses in Australia. We are building a hotel in Mexico right now and we also have customers here asking for these types of structures,” Sergio Torres with Avante Development explained.

He said the idea has been around for decades but they have improved on it.

“When people walk in to our designs they will never envision that this is in fact a container home. You have hardwood flooring-style, you have nice long, open windows, a very big washroom, open-concept kitchen.”

Using new and recycled containers they build homes from 160 square feet all the way up to 10,000 square feet.

Torres said clients have the opportunity to customize their own designs.

“We take the product or their requirements to an architect. The architect works with the engineer to finalize the design.

“Once the design is finalized we take it to the City for permit approval.”

He said that most of the manufacturing gets done overseas but assembly is completed at the ultimate location of the building.

Torres calls them strong, green structures that are water resistant and able to withstand 280-kilometre per hour winds.

“Once we take the containers we completely clean them out. We spray them with ceramic insulated paint, which is a high-resistant paint which even NASA is using for high-friction metal products,” he explained.

“Speaking from 1,000 square footage up, we can say that we are about 70 to 80 per cent of the cost of a normal home with a stronger structure,” Torres said.

An average 320 square foot home costs about $50,000 dollars, including installation.

For the first time, the company was showing off their designs and promoting their modular homes during K-Days.

With files from Nicole Weisberg