Container Housing in Kenya. Cost comparison.
Current modest no frills low cost bungalow costs in Kenya are at kes 20,000 per m2 for a habitable complete unit.
Cost of a 20 ft container is as below.
20 ft container = kes 200,000
Transport to site=kes 50,000
Windows =kes 40,000
Doors =kes 20,000
Paint =kes 20,000
Toilet partition and plumbing fixtures=kes 30,000
Simple basic wiring =kes 15,000
A 20 ft container is 2.4m by 6m =14.4m2.
This translates to kes 26,000 per m2.
This cost is higher than the cost of construction using stone and can be compared to constructing a normal stone house with more superior material quality.
The container itself costs kes 14,000 per m2. This is the cost without transport, windows, doors and paint. Container transport needs specialised cranes to lift to the lorry and to lift out to place on the ground, hence costly.
Containers are also uninhabitable without windows and doors.
This kes 26,000 per m2 container house does not include cost of roof, ceiling and wall padding for insulation. This means it will be too hot during the day and too cold at night compared to the normal house built with stone which is a good insulator.
Risk of health hazard.
Some containers could have been used to transport hazardous chemicals hence being written off by the shipping lines. This can pose a health risk if human beings were to use this as habitable space.
Containers are box shaped and rigid in tems of shape compared to a stone house which can easily be shaped into stylish looks.
For people who need to keep moving house or office location e.g road contractors and NGOs working in the North Eastern province, container housing is convenient since its easily transportable.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.