Concrete base being constructed by local workers with steel uprights.
Shipping containers arriving to site and being dropped onto the supports and into position.
Now the containers are in place work starts on turning them into a dormitory first job cutting all those windows.
Next job is the internal framework of all the beds to be used in the dormitory as well as a few partitions going up for privacy.
Dormitory starts to take shape and the beds and walls become more recognisable as a workers home!
Outdoor sink areas made from concrete start to take shape.
Staircase now installed into position and its starting to look on the road to completion.
Extra roof over the container complex helps reduce heat in the building.
Handrails are added not just as a feature but also to help the guard monitor people entering and leaving.
Looking at the building from the road it gives a very professional finish to the property as it no doubt improves the look of the neighbourhood due to the amount of work gone into the design.
Not my first choice of colours and design for the exterior paintwork but the Conhouse was introduced to deal with high housing prices and a declining affordable living space in Trebnje, Slovenia. The worst affected and no doubt why the designs and colour schemes were directed in the way they are is towards the younger more upwardly mobile generations who are likely to be struggling to get onto the housing market.
The design is based on two containers placed on top of each other with the upper unit overhanging the entrance giving shade and a pathway area while the other side creates a patio or rear terrace. With the way the containers are positioned it also allows a small roof deck type balcony to be available on the upper floor via sliding glass doors.
The staircase has been designed in a minimalistic way which suits the design and age group of the buyers the home is aimed at. With the added floor to ceiling windows although small and compact I can see the appeal of this style of home.
Natural cooling is something I will be covering in more detail in the future but I wanted to open up with this concept design which doesn’t look 100% in the garage access for example but the way its built into a hill side does throw up some very good natural cooling abilities. The fact that it appears 3/4 of the modules or shipping containers are underground allows the natural surrounding earth to not only keep it cool during the day but also warm at night. I originally was looking at an underground shipping container in a similar way for cheese making back in 2007 to keep an ambient temperature here in the Philippines. Also constructing inside the hillside does give a lower impact visually on the construction of the home which is also very appealing.
BOX PARK 08/2011 from Roger Wade on Vimeo.
The concept and idea is simple interconnecting 40 shipping containers to form up small shop units and literally have a “pop up mall”. Advantage in the concept is utilization of land that won’t be developed for at least 5 years allowing quick temporary and functional usage at a low cost. Putting waste land to work and at the same time creating jobs and an increased retail environment for the local community.
Its still something that is being debated on the practicalities of using shipping containers as homes. At the same time showing some of the benefits of shipping container housing can hopefully answer some of those questions.
- First thing is excess to requirements, they are easy to come by and not hard to find ports full of them and at a cheaper price than traditional construction methods would cost for a similar structure building block.
- In international shipping the shipping containers are cheap to come by due to having a short life expectancy for shipping often only a few years, unless your living somewhere like the Philippines where I have seen containers still in daily use from the 80s!
- By design they are made to resist harsh seas and oceans and this gives not only a strong building structure but also an anti corrosive structure avoiding the salt air. The strong reinforced floors with marine glade plywood or timbers, vandal proof robust doors as well as weather resistant paint make it a hardy building block.
- Modular construction use is also something that is important as you can build a home in phases with a bit of planning adding shipping containers as your budget allows.
These are but a few of the positive reasons shipping containers make great homes but lets not stop there, searching through ContainerLiving.net you will see many other uses from doctors surgeries to schools and even radio stations. Then add to that the emergency housing aspect allowing moving containers around the world to disaster zones or construct on site as well as being able to construct entire villages in a short time period make the shipping container not only a single based solution but a multi functional concept for many of the worlds problems.
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.
The design on this home is a mishmash of Shipping Container and timber cabin although a bit of an odd design due to the two materials contrasting with each other the home/retreat works.
Paul Stankey, co-founder of Hive Modular, with his wife, his brother, and his brother’s wife decided about going about building this weekend getaway on family land in hills north of Twin Cities. The two containers came in at $800 each plus labour and transportation.
Upon completion the shipping container home will have a kitchen,dining room,living room,washing and clothes area as well as two queen side beds.
On the energy front there will be at least a small solar array and a cistern will be operated using rainwater catchments from the gully.
The development of the shipping container industry threw up some interesting design problems as its own success then began the need of variations in shipping container construction. Customers had different needs and its surprising that the industry managed to keep within its standard design structure with such needs. At the same time more modifications to the standards had to be added as new problems developed that hadn’t been seen with such things as the corner standard fittings you see on the shipping containers, but nobody had assessed maximum payloads and containers began to fail because they hadn’t been tested to high stress levels and needs of customers demands. As these failings became apparent the International Standards Organisation was swift to step up the specifications on the standards and the quality and strength of shipping containers improved.
The next issue involved railroad cars as there needed to be shipping container reinforcements on the end plates as the containers had extra pressure added when the railroad cars hitched and unhitched costing around an extra $100 per shipping container.
The next issue was standardising the lengths of units to fit into all shipping situations and this seen the rise of five initial standard shipping containers develop :-
- 20 ft (6.1m)
- 40 ft (12.2m)
- 45 ft (13.7m)
- 48 ft (14.6m)
- 53 ft (16.2m)
The matrix of shipping containers were designed so that they would fit into most fitting needs and being able to interlock the different sizes within ships without difficulty. The U.S. prefers the larger shipping containers while Europe prefers 40ft containers. Adding to this was the weight restrictions to keep the shipping containers manageable but also within restrictions such as road limits for freight this seen the following standard shipping container weights develop :-
- 20 foot: 52,910 lbs/24,000 kg
- 40 foot: 67,200 lbs/30,480 kg
- 45 foot: 67,200 lbs/30,480 kg
- The net load totals are:
- 20 foot: 48,060 lbs/21,600 kg
- 40 foot: 58,820 lbs/26,500 kg
- 45 foot: 56,620 lbs/25,680 kg
The development of the shipping container has seen two materials mainly in use Aluminium and Steel. Most common being steel as it handles the bashing of shipping container needs as well as still functionally light and a cheap material. Aluminium is a more expensive solution but doesn’t suffer with the obvious rust problems that steel does. In recent years though Corten steel has seen its entry onto the market place which is rust and mould proof making it the most practical solution.
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.
Rendering credits: InterModal Design and Hive Modular.
Although this shipping container isn’t a home I thought its design was a bit interesting in the use of trellis work to hide the metal side at the same time still allowing air to grow through no doubt once the plants develop it will give the building a bit of shade similar in the way I was talking before about building trellis slightly away from the sides of containers to allow airflow as well along the gap formed between trellis and container side. But also looking at the container more closely it becomes pretty obvious a simple restaurant or canteen can be formed without too much work with the ability to add extension roof canopies off the shipping container to extend the seating area etc. Which many people may assume isn’t ideal at the same time like here in the Philippines most people are concerned about the quality of the food and a bit of shade over most other things. So for a budget restaurant could easily see it working here.