Photostory #463: Aluminum Houses Rolling Off Production Line

Ted Grant
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
February 27, 1968
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
Taking a futuristic, but solid approach to the urgent problem of housing Canada's growing millions, one of the nation's major aluminum companies has borrowed the production-line techniques of the automobile industry. Recently coming into production at Woodstock, Ontario, the Alcan Universal Homes plant is programmed to finish a house every 96 minutes with an approximate building time for each unit of 20 working hours. The houses are produced completely furnished in two halves and are approved by the federal government's Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Several designs are further varied by such additional structures as garages and breezeways. When placed on the site the two halves are fastened together over the basement or foundation and the house is then ready for immediate use. Carpets are already laid, the windows are curtained, beds and tables in place, the walls hung with pictures and all appliances connected. These completed houses are designed to provide inexpensive homes ($11 - 14,000 each, not including the building site or basement) at a rapid rate. Using modern methods of intensive production, this company's venture into a new phase of house production is likely to be the beginning of a new universal concept for coping with one of mankind's primary needs - a place to live in comfort. Canada, which for years has played a leading role in new construction methods can claim to be among the best housed countries of the world. Now, using designs incorporating the durability and convenience of aluminum to present a factory-produced residence easily transported to the site, the nation is giving a practical demonstration of an experimental commercial solution to widespread, current problems in human habitation.