That shipping container you see on the back of a truck or boat may be hauling more than produce or lumber. It may in fact be someone’s home.

An Edmonton-based company got considerable attention at the city’s K-Days fair last week with its model shipping container home.

Avante Developments is offering custom homes made from shipping containers that range from single-family homes to multi-family units. The company can also re-imagine shipping containers as commercial spaces, from hotels to restaurants.

The 320-square-foot home on display at K-Days was made of two shipping containers, and took three workers three-and-a-half hours to assemble.

While modular homes have been around for decades, the company is designing its structures with modern fixtures and designer looks.

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

The company can make homes ranging in size from 160 to 10,000 square feet. Customers can design their own home, or choose from a range of the company’s plans.

Because the structure is made from recycled materials, it is environmentally friendly. And the home is sturdy, Torres said, able to withstand 280-kilometre-per-hour winds.

In addition to durability, the benefit of choosing a home made from a shipping container is cost. The 320-square-foot display home costs about $50,000 with installation.

Homes that are 1,000 square feet and up are between 70 and 80 per cent of the cost of a similar-sized regular home, Torres says.

With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Nicole Weisberg