Emergency Accommodation – Acton


QED, Cargotek & Ealing Council


Architectural Detailing and M&E



OSM Construction, Bootle Containers & ISOspaces

Total Build Cost

We worked with QED to develop this container solution to create emergency accommodation for homeless people in Acton.

It was a tough challenge, taking just 10 months from concepts to tenants moving in. So we’re proud to have played a part in helping Ealing council provide temporary housing for up to 280 people who would otherwise be in B&Bs.

The whole design was for a temporary use; it had a 7-year site use, at which point the units will be taken to another site (the agreement was for a 23 day dismantle of the site to completely remove the buildings and the services).

The containers themselves each have a specific number and log book, which allows future reuse and flexibility of which containers can be joined together in the future (this helps with logistics and turn around time in the future).

Each unit had been used as a single trip container from China prior to it being turned into a dwelling; single-use containers give some consistency in the unit size, floor height and general quality, rather than the varying sizes that are in the market. The UK, in general, is a net importer of containers so the resource would either be shipped back empty, be scrapped or stockpiled.

We produced 315 drawings to enable this project!

We built a site model using Revit (3D modelling) to work out the site levels and ensure coordination of the services and walkways.

Check our  VR Panorama here:


We designed the internal layouts, thermal build up, and detailing of the different unit types ready for manufacture.

We worked with private building control and fire specialists to check the design prior to the units going to site.

We also designed utilities for the site to provide water, power and lighting. We liaised with suppliers to ensure connection dates were met.

Our role also included coordinating the various parties involved in the project – the developer, two manufacturers, the site contractors, the design team, and the utilities providers.