By Ann Marie Foley - 03 December, 2014
A unique converted container home has been donated to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) for emergency accommodation to house a family in time for Christmas.
The unit with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living areas is to be located at the SVP’s Deerpark service in Cork city as soon as it can be transported from IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) in Dublin where it was assembled by more than 60 builders and suppliers free of charge.
The Ripple Container Home was built between 27-30 November at IMMA.
“It was the culmination of a project to transform a disused shipping container into Ireland’s first fully-compliant shipping container home over three days,” said Dunia Hutchinson, National Manager of Homeless Services at the SVP.
“On behalf of the Society, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Carol Tallon and Derek Trenaman, who put the whole project in motion, and to everyone who worked so hard on this all weekend, who gave of their time, energy, resources and raw materials, not to mention their sheer force of (good) will.”
She said she was struck by the generosity towards the SVP and the spirit of volunteerism so prevalent on the project which she said was in keeping with the work of the SVP and the ethos of its membership.
The project began long before the tragic death of a homeless man Jonathan Corrie in Dublin and Archbishop Martin’s called for a forum on homelessness.
More than 60 professional and trades people, many of them members of Ireland’s business networking group BNI, donated materials and countless hours of their time to the project completely without charge.
From plumbing to electrics and interior design services, thousands of work hours have been put into turning the container into a state of the art home.
Speaking about the project, Carol Tallon said Ireland has been well behind changing global trends for housing, and moving away from the notion of permanency or lifetime debt.
“A low cost model of housing was inevitable after the property market crash, and this container project shows that there are new housing solutions available to accommodate different lifestyle choices for Irish people. We are hugely proud of getting the project to this stage and look forward to seeing it being utilised as a home by a worthy cause,” she said.
Derek Trenaman of Ceardean Architects and member of BNI’s Prosperity Chapter in Maynooth said, “We are delighted to bring the project to the stage where it is now ready to show to the public and be used as a home for such a deserving charity.”
“The level of support and goodwill from fellow BNI members who are small business owners has been phenomenal with everything from the disused shipping container to the state-of-the-art energy technology being donated absolutely free of charge – it really goes to show what we can achieve when we work together.”
Albert Perris of the SVP thanked all involved and said that the SVP is keen to explore and contribute fresh thinking and creative solutions to the current housing crisis, particularly innovative and cost effective solutions that do not compromise on housing quality.