When looking at the photos above its difficult to wonder who lives in a house like this although the main town photo at the top its difficult to identify that they are in fact all made from containers. What you have here though is a military training ground that can be reconfigured to suit the needs of the troops and scenarios for combat training. Green in essence because the buildings can be rejigged and reused but also a valuable piece of equipment for familiarisation in difficult areas of combat.
Primarily done for the U.S. Marine Corps the MOUT training grounds can be found all over the world and if your interested in knowing more its worth contacting the manufacturer Allied Container Systems at their website.
When a tsunami hit Chile a devastated town left in its wake lost its school, local university students were able to rebuild the school within four weeks. Tabul is around 500km south west of Santiago and one of the worst areas hit by the tsunami. Finis Terrae University architecture department brought 56 of its advance students to design, equip and mount the school in the damaged town under the project name Viento Fuerte (Strong Wind).
A local company donated the 22 shipping container units needed where were insulated and designed round the concept of prefabricated building modules. 20 of the containers remained on the ground level while the last two were mounted on the first floor. An open area was formed between the containers to act as areas that can offer shade from the sun as well as rain cover for the children, with the remaining part of the existing school adjoined to the containers.
It shows how much can be done in 4 weeks and a video was put together of the project shown below :-
One of the main issues that are cropping up with shipping container architecture is things are often pushed onto recycling being the green solution, then you get greens telling us how toxic the paints are and how transportation is a waste of energy.
The important thing is though if its available and usable its green. If it isn’t and in many cases they aren’t then we are looking at modular construction for buildings which is a more viable method for many uses. I originally worked on this type of system in the late 90s for use in classrooms and clinic construction in the UK as a temporary solution.
Temporary often means a decade as they are generally put into place as an immediate solution while discussions, planning and funding are found for building the main buildings that will replace them. During this time though many of these units would return after years of being in the field and be revamped before sending back out. Which does show the fact they were extremely reliable and resilient to weather. Add to that having slot walling meant that upon return walls would be rejigged to suit the new layout for the building they were becoming. Very little wastage as all windows and doors ended up back in other buildings if not used.
The fact is the shipping container idea developed this new concept which is now fairly old in use but still has a growing market which does appear China is gearing towards the housing industry with.
I can see this being the future of shipping container homes as the dimensions are still in place although the walling systems have been completely redesigned.
Originally I was looking to donate an entire suite but think its better to maintain control of the computers and building to create a community centre where people can come and learn new skills. The local schools could also book time to use it so instead of one school having all the computers all schools gain access to the computers. On the evenings offering local lessons on Excel,word and teaching people how to blog as well as basic computer use are all things the Computer suite can be used for.
When I looked at this video for Haiti I could see the viability of this project working as the shipping container as well as being mobile is very secure. Building a 20ft shipping container computer suite with 10 PCs would greatly enhance the communities education. This is why I am asking for the basic $4,000 although bearing in mind this also covers the cost of computers as well as the shipping container. I am sure the skills learned by the current and next generations via the suite will open up possibilities they may have never had otherwise.
I am looking to locate the first suite in Minglanilla,Cebu,Philippines and seeing how it progresses over time and how it will be utilised by the local people. Hoping that the skills developed over time will help lift people out of poverty but also that the first suite will show where peoples true interests lie in learning to help them get the most from it.
I have added this for interests sake to be honest as its not the most practical of shipping container buildings yet at the same time no doubt many are being used by people like the U.N. and military who can afford the extra costs involved of building a custom made container with electrical hydraulic systems.
But the other reason being is that it is possible to fabricate the two inserted container units by reducing the size of other containers although its unlikely to be stackable then again the size doesn’t match up with container dimensions either by the time you chop it down. Adding to that a cheaper method of adding holes for forklifts to pull the containers out of the main one would make it a cheaper option but also means you can still get away with one container delivery as everything fits inside the one container.
Interesting concept and would be interested to see if anyone’s developed a more simple method of doing it.
I Came across this video tonight for disaster relief in Haiti. The concept is very simple as well as the fact they are using very basic materials that also make it light to construct and if more budget the interior could be lined. In the West something like this may appear as sub standard but in the developing world and areas suffering with natural disasters they are a lot better than most other things provided. You can find homes made with plastic bags and other materials found from dump sites which offer up many other problems. Having a solid framed home reduces the risk of infestation of rats and risk of robbery adding to that a dry family home. You can see why this type of home would not only work in Haiti but around the world in many location as being able to stack up several homes onto a truck flat packed at the same time is extremely cost affective.
The world isn’t getting any bigger but sooner or later people are going to have to start to downsize and the current credit crunch issues on everyone’s pocket may be a sign of it already happening. This shipping container home (Towards the end of the video) is a good example of utilizing a couple of containers for a family home.
There are multiple ways of purchasing shipping containers one of the most obvious one is to contact companies in your area that you know receive freight as they may have excess containers or paying for the return journey of a ballast container. You being able to take the container off their hands will save them the cost of the return journey or clear out old ones in their yard.
At the same time this isn’t always possible and searching around online in places like ebay may often give you a container in your area for sale. A few useful shipping container for sale sites are below :-
When looking at shipping containers your mainly looking for the fact its still squared up which will often see the doors not shutting properly as a tell tale sign that its damaged. Check for rust but be aware of the differences between surface rust and rust that has caused damage to the steel structure. Main thing is take your time and research what to be looking for when buying a shipping container.
I am extremely keen on this idea as we have started Hydroponics here in Cebu,Philippines and although sunlight isn’t an issue or heat often what is here is theft. Having lockable units may be the solution for that problem as prices in the Philippines for food are often inflated. We seem to get the lower grade stock at the same price people are paying for high grade in UK supermarkets. But back on tangent I do think they are onto something with the idea although likely more useful for government buildings such as schools and hospitals as a provider of good quality food than general population use. May yet to be proved wrong mind!
This style of installation is fairly common even here in the Philippines with the front panel being a complete unit. In the UK and probably most of Europe though we generally go for carcass construction which makes individual cabinets that are bolted together to form up the kitchen. Generally more expensive than the method in the video but also they do come raised off the ground which can be helpful for things like cleaning or avoiding damage during floods. A blown out plinth is cheap to replace but looking at either design as the one in the video is using treated wood it would probably hold up well in a minor flood. When I talk about flooding not talking about the burst banks of the Nile for example but things like burst pipes in cold spells when your out.