Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Korean trek on dis­play Any­one spooked by the thought of a big earth­quake hit­ting Welling­ton might be in­ter­ested in an un­usual quake-proof Tawa home up for sale this month.

The new build, on Bell St, is made of four 40-foot ship­ping con­tain­ers welded to­gether. Its young de­sign­ers were half­way through con­struc­tion on Fe­bru­ary 22 last year, and con­sid­ered mov­ing in straight away.

‘‘When the Christchurch earth­quake hap­pened we thought ‘should we sleep in the house tonight?’,’’ owner Shasha Chen says. ‘‘The house will just shake but it won’t col­lapse.’’ Ms Chen, 25, and her hus­band Nick Yin, 30, de­signed the three-be­d­room home in 2009, be­fore ship­ping con­tain­ers be­came a com­mon build­ing ma­te­rial in post-quake Christchurch.

They had been house-hunt­ing for their first home and were unim­pressed by what was avail­able.

‘‘We just came to the idea to build some­thing dif­fer­ent,’’ Ms Chen says.

‘‘The con­tainer idea just popped out.

Ship­ping con­tainer homes are com­mon in Europe and Amer­ica.

The cou­ple were at­tracted by the green cre­den­tials of us­ing re­cy­cled con­tain­ers, and thought it would be a cheaper way to build a house. They were wrong. ‘‘Peo­ple say ship­ping con­tainer houses are cost-ef­fec­tive: that’s only in other coun­tries,’’ Ms Chen says.

‘‘Here in New Zealand be­cause the build­ing reg­u­la­tions are dif­fer­ent, labour costs are dif­fer­ent, I can’t say it’s cost­ef­fec­tive.’’

Safe as houses: Tawa cou­ple Nick Yin and Shasha Chen de­signed their dream home, made of ship­ping con­tain­ers, be­fore C2hristchurch’s earth­quakes, but are pleased its new own­ers will have a quake-proof house.

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