The flexibility and all-round usefulness of containers has been highlighted again with the new emergency accommodation installed in the refugee camps in northern France.

When they needed a quick, durable and cost effective solution to the humanitarian crisis, they realised that container based modular accommodation would be ideal.

It is the first time migrants at Calais will have had access to proper accommodation since the closure of the notorious Sangatte camp in 2002, but has been put in place despite fears the new facilities will act as a “pull factor” for asylum seekers. 

epa05095992 A migrant walks among the tents and huts of the makeshift camp called 'The Jungle' next to the fenced area made of containers recycled in rooms to host some 1,500 migrants in Calais, France, 10 January 2016. A new area of the camp will be inaugurated on 11 January as containers recycled as rooms will host its first occupants. Only half of a capacity of 1,500 places will be filled during the days. Between 4,000 and 7,000 migrants are currently living in 'The Jungle'. EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

The one and two storey structures are the first phase of a programme which is due to house 1,500 people by the end of the month.The new housing blocks at Calais boast heated radiators and towel rails, one wardrobe per person and one electric plug per bunk.