The Future Of Shipping Container Architecture

shipping container

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.

$10,000 Shipping Container Home

$10k 1280 sq ft Container Home

I came across this ranch styled shipping container design which uses a concept I have seen several times generated in real homes, that’s to use 2 large containers on the exterior and then build a roof span across giving a large open area in the middle. Looks pretty cool when completed in real and obviously from a design point of view very quick to get the basic containers in place followed by the roof.

I can see this being very viable where land use isn’t an issue or the fact your only looking for a single layer dwelling such as disabled use. Adapting openings into the containers you could alter the entire layout to something that offers more space for bedroom use etc.

Design and website can be found at ericwichman.com

Using Google Sketch Up To Design Shipping Container Homes

Often people looking at shipping container homes are on a tight budget. On top of that they don’t want to go and do a training course as well as buy something like Autocad which may be all the bells and whistles but with shipping containers you already have fixed dimensions. This pretty much means that your working “inside a box” which sort of limits the amount of mistakes you can make construction wise as it will still need to fit into a 20ft or 40ft container  generally.

But what I did come across today was this Google sketch up video someone has put together showing how it can be done and with Google sketch up being free and quick to learn how to use would be a good start for people thinking about container buildings. I am still trying to find the time to get on there myself to start putting models together for different designs that I can give away on the containerliving.net but right now over worked and a busy family life leaves very little time to get started on drawing up homes.

Shipping Container Home Ideas To Reality

big boom design shipping container home concept

If your looking at constructing a shipping container home one bit of advice I would strongly recommend is looking at other peoples first. Not only those constructed but concepts and ideas. Take for example the “Big Boom Design” above its utilized most of the shipping container and using it on multiple layers. May not always be practical to open the roof up to the elements especially above your sleeping area but at the same time a raised bunk idea could work. Its one of the beauties of shipping container homes is they are an empty box leaving you to decide what suits your needs and what is practical. A small shipping container home may suit many where others want multiple units for family units. The modular system of the shipping container makes all these ideas practical.

All Terrain Cabin – Canada (shipping container retreat)

Keep it modern, keep it simple, keep it outdoors the All Terrain Cabin has been designed within a 20ft container frame which has folding walls and a space big enough for a family of four and even a pet to live in off grid. The advantage this unit does have over many is that it can be transported due to its flexibility of folding up its sides and then can quickly be moved to its new location. The other thing I can see here that hasn’t been utilized though is you could add awnings to increase your outside space for the elements while making them more functional.

 

All Terrain Cabin - Canada (shipping container retreat) All Terrain Cabin - Canada (shipping container retreat) All Terrain Cabin - Canada (shipping container retreat)

All Terrain Cabin - Canada (shipping container retreat)

Source:MocoLoco

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Intermodal Design Shipping Container Homes

Intermodal Design although putting emphasis on disaster relief for container homes as you can see here in their “stages” of construction it also makes sense for low budget housing. For me it also makes the difference between government handouts and people taking responsibility for themselves as evolving their home from what would be just a live in shipping container to an evolved home where you can’t tell its a container is what can change the perspective of many on how container living works.

Building villages in these types of units allows the whole community to develop together, it also bonds the community together as they are more likely to get involved in each others projects to complete the homes into their finished state. Which in reality is what any architect in housing development wants more than anything or should be social development and community building.

Intermodal Design -IMDU0322 shipping container home Intermodal Design -IMDU0322 shipping container home Intermodal Design -IMDU0322 shipping container home Intermodal Design -IMDU0322 shipping container home

Natural cooling the cheap and beautification way of cooling a shipping container home

Natural cooling the cheap and beautification way of cooling a shipping container home if you take a look at these photos below which are actually a medical housing centre  called Salam Center located in Soba,Khartoum. Using natural materials to form partitions and a roof structure between container units you can get an idea from the photos below how much shade is being given. In the second photo you can see the partitions have created a walkway at the same time keeping the suns heat away from the container units but also allows airflow along the new partition corridor to aid in natural cooling.

image

image

Source

Simple Intermodal Design Solution For A Changing World

shipping container cabin, intermodal design

The interest in shipping container homes is increasing rapidly and no doubt its a mix of those looking for environmental homes as well as those suffering with the recession taking standard homes out of the financial reach of many. InterModal Design from Hive have come up with 6 shipping container cabin designs. Understanding the limitations of shipping container homes Intermodal Design studied Japanese home design as well as yacht interiors. This is mainly down to the fact that minimalist and functional are pretty much applied to both types of homes where much of the furniture is multi use and often will disappear into a wall or an opening to maximise space when not in use. On top of this Intermodal Design are looking to utilize green technologies such as LED lighting and low water consumption fixtures. Going off grid is also an available option within the design teams ability.

 

shipping container cabin, intermodal design

shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design

Rendering credits: InterModal Design and Hive Modular.