Could timber clad shipping containers help solve the housing crisis?

A prefabricated portable home has been constructed to illustrate alternative solutions are viable when it comes to solving the housing shortage.

A New House for London has been built from two specially adapted shipping containers, presenting a model for how under-utilised brownfield sites could be used to locate prefabricated, adaptable spaces, suitable for modern urban living.

The cost of this new home is just 10% of the average London property.

Buildbase worked with its supplier network, including BSW, Metsa Wood, L&G and Altripan, to meet a tight building schedule and donate a wide range of timber for use throughout the project, from studwork and roofing to cladding and interiors.

The timber donated was guaranteed sustainable with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. It was supplied to meet the nearest specification to reduce time and workload on-site.

Neil Woods, category director for Timber at Buildbase said: “Timber is a perfect material for affordable housing. Timber cladding is much more cost effective compared with alternative materials such as glass, metal or plastic. It’s also easily available and can be used throughout a build. In fact, the more you build with it, the more you capture embodied carbon within a building’s structure. The effect carbon has on our environment is hugely important and using timber can significantly reduce your building’s carbon footprint. With high thermal properties, timber is energy-efficient too, so the cost-savings continue once the house becomes a home.”

Taylor Steel at Carl Turner Architects said: “A New House For London required a wide range of timber products for internal fit-out and cladding. We turned to Buildbase to supply everything from basic timber studwork to sheets of beautiful birch plywood. The main issue for us was sourcing timber of our exact specification, but we were able to work with Buildbase to overcome these initial concerns. We are particularly delighted with the outcome of the birch plywood interiors.”

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