Shipping container buildings are often seen as “too hot” but if this is the case why are we seeing more and more appearing in Tropical climates?
Here we find an unusual shipping container office complex in Singapore. Although temporary they could quite happily sit there for the next 20 years completely functional. The shipping container offices which have been painted bright yellow known as the ‘phase z. ro’ have actually already been moved and no doubt found a new home already. The design and build of shipping container architecture allows almost giant Lego ease of dismantling and reconstructing elsewhere. Interesting project whatever way you look at it mind.
May seem a waste of energy at first but then again if this type of building is utilized for other buildings off it or back to the grid it may actually pay itself off over time for its generator use or payment from the grid.
Portability is also something people overlook when thinking shipping container buildings as well as “solar power is too expensive”. Well for a friend of mine who’s moving to a remote island he doesn’t have electricity there and generally the buildings are traditional bamboo or concrete. Either way building a home will take time, shipping something like this in however would give him a base of operations until things got underway. As well as a place to charge his power tools. Now this shipping container building by Adaptive Container’s SPACE buildings also has the ease of loading and unloading which many other shipping container building manufacturers are still trying to work round the problem. Add to that the solar rack can be loaded and unloaded in around 30 minutes the whole system is practical as well as thought out.
The name of the type of building is called SPACE which stands for Solar Powered Adaptive Containers for Everyone. Which in reality is a 140sqm of workspace with 20 solar panels on the roof that give out 350 kWh of power a month. Air conditioning is also installed as standard so the “its too hot in a shipping container” defeatists will find they are happy at home inside a shipping container that isn’t racking up the electric bill.
I’m pretty impressed with the layout and the Swiss army approach to design with a basic shipping container attached to one of these would make it a more viable option as the “powered” one would give its excess energy to run the other low cost shipping container unit.
When I originally started looking at shipping container homes I was specifically looking at modular construction. As time has gone on more people seem to be developing much smaller homes using the same concept. I don’t think its down to just a tiny home movement but a sign of the times. In the last few months I have noticeably seen the price of gas increase for cooking, food prices increasing and petrol at the pumps. All in all things are going up in price and we can either prepare for the worst and hope for the best or look at downsizing to help accommodate the changing world.
My previous home was a Victorian terraced town house, tall ceilings, open fire places and brickwork that let the wind just breeze through. In the winter times even with heating on it was not only expensive but still struggled to warm. Insulation injected into the walls, changing sash wood windows to double glazed, installing gas fires over the old coal fires all these bits of modernisation helped solve bits of problems but created more. First one being the expense of the upgrades next as the upgrades went in things like the gas fires over the coal cost more to run. A case of developing an old house with new problems and its one of the reasons I started looking at container housing. Building something that could be developed efficiently from the start, but also using recycled materials would allow the home to be built at a reduced rate.
Now the picture has changed a bit more as I see the sizes I originally looked at may be still viable but are they needed? I rent my apartment out here which is a studio type where the sitting,dining and sleeping are are in what would be dimensions of around 20ft x 12ft. Bigger than a shipping container in width but also looking at the room you can also see a lot of wasted space in the middle of the room. The bed is there day or not as well as a dining table, 3 chairs, 2 computer desks, 2 sofas and a wardrobe. This space isn’t maximised but shows it is extremely livable.
Its why I can see the world changing as the balance of wealth between East and West alters which will see people trying to maintain a standard of living in the West and downsizing the home is one way to do it. Also adding to the fact the population explosion globally is going to see some severe affects on resources such as oil and food, we are already seeing the start of the decline of peak oil.
This practical and child friendly shipping container classroom by Tsai Design Studio was made for underprivileged children on the outskirts of Cape Town. Although limited in space to just 12 square meters the classroom gives teaching room for 25 children between the ages of 5 and 6. During the afternoon it serves as a library for the whole Vissershok primary school. The classroom project was sponsored by three south African companies Woolworths, Safmarine, and AfriSam with the school primarily being used by children who’s parents are local farm workers living in the Du Noon township.
The project idea was the brainchild of 15 year old Marshaam Brink, who responded to Woolworths’ “Making the Difference Through Design” competition with a jungle gym concept. This was then passed over to Tsai Design, who grew her idea into this bright and inspiring learning space. It was Tsai that introduced the idea of a double roof to allow air to create natural cooling while the upper roof also offered some shade to help reduce heat build up. The concrete steps also work as a gathering and meeting area for discussions with the children, a vegetable patch helps educate the children about gardening as well as a source of food.
Shipping container classrooms seem to be cropping up more often and the fact it was a 15 year old that came up with this original idea also shows that the concept has a younger audience already interested and aware of what can be achieved by recycling shipping containers.
The concept is simple by the introduction of retail units that are highly mobile, ideal for temporary or temp/permanent locations the units can be dropped used then moved. Good for the exhibition circuit as well as conferences and general promotional outlets.
I could see these having many uses especially for new shopping developments as a “taster” or promotion outlets for new stores as the footprint is minimal but at the same time can offer access to a new stores stock and facilities ahead of its main building being built.
Also from a festival point of view could give access to some retailers that wouldn’t normally associate directly with event planning.
The Sugoroku Office designed for and by the Daiken-Met Architecture firm located in Gifu, Japan has some typically Japanese features at the same time innovative and modern. Internally sleek and well thought out while the outside I can’t help feeling its half finished. The orange barriers are typical of temporary warning barriers and the stairs seem almost cartoon. But I suppose this is what sets it apart from normal at the same time gives the building some features. The building has been designed to be mobile and can be dismantled for movement.
A Shipping Container Gallery based in Oslo by MMW for Alexandra Dyvi not only is a cheap method of construction but also extremely environmental when using recycled materials especially if the containers themselves in this case are near their final destination. But also the containers themselves are in keeping with a dockside look.
Due to the lack of light in shipping containers because of no windows the addition of circular windows opposite each other allows strong northern light to pass through, as well as rectangular end windows bringing plenty of light. The original site was one of ship building which is another in keeping factor of the shipping container structure. Especially when you introduce walkways and steel ship type steps.
The structure itself is made up of 10 shipping containers which were then insulated on the interior before covered in plywood and sheetrock.
Mike Corvi from Portland Oregon purchased a used shipping container for $2,900. He utilised a local builder with a few friends to convert the shipping container into an outdoor retreat in his back garden within 6 weeks.
$8,000 later the shipping container was finished, but that isn’t where it stopped as Mike enjoyed doing it so much he’s looking at setting up a small business developing and selling them to other people.
I enjoy this video as its a short clip showing the basic stacked shipping containers shortly before they start coating them on the exterior and interior to the finished building where it become difficult to even identify they were constructed from shipping containers. Bearing in mind 80% of the extension is built using recycled materials does show more public and government buildings can go through the same process if they tried. On top of this no doubt cost wise it was a lot cheaper on labour and material costs. Also an important thing here is that its not a school for Africa for a change but Orange County in the United States at the Waldorfschool.com