Yogu Shipping Container Coffee Shop, Banilad,Cebu,Philippines

I nearly missed this coffee shop as we drove past it today on the way to the Department of Science and Technology. Its a perfect example of a budget shipping container cafe but done in a very quaint way that is fully functional and the container actually gives it a bit of charm. The other important note here is the location as it slips quietly in between a condominium development and a petrol station which also shows how functional the building can be in a small space. The added canopy gives it a lit sitting area for evenings as well as canopies over the windows and outside area for shade against the Philippines sun.

Another great example of cargotecture in action.

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yugo shipping container cafe

Shipping Container Condo Development – City Centre Lofts

Shipping containers are often seen as “not” the way to go in housing development but City Centre Lofts have seen the potential to move into not only single dwellings but for city living and I can’t blame them. The truth of the matter is they have done their homework on the cost of structures comparing other materials and can see a 25% saving on the building method using shipping containers for condo development. As well as keeping to its green values they are looking at 50% use of recycled materials as well as other green enhancements to the properties.

City dwellings are always restricted to cost which translates into land use having stackable shipping containers converted into condo homes offers up a real solution to city dwelling especially as the world population continues to increase.

Why Live In A Shipping Container Home?

The initial problem with a shipping container home is getting over the hurdle that its not just a shipping container but can be adapted for home use. I have worked in several industries that involve travel. The issue with that is you get used to living with pretty much everything you need in a bag and its when you get to that scale of things you realise how much stuff people have but don’t really need.

When I looked at the $4,000 shipping container home in the U.S. owned by a single mother you quickly can see why she did it. Ok she didn’t want to work full-time at the same time its difficult to do with kids anyway. In reality though she has adapted her budget to fit a home and its only in the last 20 years has this obsession been going on to get bigger without reason. Why? because it drove the fake housing boom market through the roof until it all fell apart like lemmings running off a cliff people became obsessed with making money on homes yet there were less and less people coming in at the bottom end of the market which then collapses the whole chain. This happens due to the “Refurbishment” housing people that quickly rip out old, replace with new and sell on with added profit. Do this with enough people you price out the bottom people on the ladder to the point many gave up even trying to get a first home. I know I wasn’t interested in tieing myself down with a 25 year debt for a house that cost three times as much as it was less than 10 years earlier.

Shipping container homes from a budget point of view are a banks worse nightmare. Only loan you may need initially is for land as its likely you will just develop the home yourself in your spare time. This knocks of literally years of debt you would have had going via a bank loan giving you more freedom and better cash flow. Mix in the general running costs of heating,cooling,lighting on a smaller scale property your also reducing your footprint which also lines the pockets with more money. If anything you are probably going to spend more time outside than you would in a conventional home which is also a lot healthier.

I really do struggle to see a downside on doing a shipping container home especially when I see so many people burned with the housing market crash quickly followed by the recessions that have been on going ever since. Being debt free the ability to survive the current trend is a lot easier than riddled with debt with a bigger mortgage than the building is worth.

Shipping Container Home -Red Neck Retreat

Shipping Container Red Neck Retreat - Home

Shipping container homes have existed in other forms besides the yuppies wanting to do something positive and the fanatical greens. Its a practical home for hunters and fishermen due to the price and characteristics of having a shipping container as a home. Location is always an issue but the thing with the container when being sited it can transport most of the materials with it inside for whatever purpose its required. This home is made from two 40ft shipping containers and designed for its off grid location with a composting toilet solar photovoltaic power supply, a solar water heater as well as a biomass heater. From the outside it doesn’t look too exciting but inside its gone down the route of a traditional hunting lodge. I would advise dropping by The Chive for more photos and information as they have various parts of the construction going on so you can see the project being developed over a time frame.

The construction of the shipping container home involved stud partitioning using 2×4 batons that was then insulated and panelled over with wood. Double glazed windows were also used on three sides of the home.

The home offers two nice bedrooms and a bathroom with a composting toilet. The back of the container home is also partly buried to help with insulation helping to create an ambient temperature. A wood burner stove takes care of those cold winter nights.

Via The Chive

Shipping Container Red Neck Retreat - Homewood panelled bedroomWood panelled room with wood burning stove

wood panelled kitchen - shipping container homeShipping Container Home With Solar Panelstimber cladded bathroom - shipping container home

Shipping Container Pool Room

There is something about the bright green mixed amongst a natural background making these shipping container buildings look fresh and inviting. The other thing I like about the first building is the number of pools I have been to in the Philippines that have very poorly built shower areas to wash off in that you often feel its a last resort going in them. These types of buildings are much easier to maintain as well as cheap to install. For the private pool or weekend retreat it creates a great spot to just chill out or get changed. Either way another great use of recycled shipping containers.

shipping container changing rooms shipping container pool room bright shipping container design shipping container garden retreat

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

As I have mentioned already on another post I was impressed with the Chinese design for the Solar Decathlon. The Shipping container Y Container home submitted by Shanghai’s Tongji University embraces cargotecture in a modern way. Not only with the home design shape but also the six recycled shipping container structure also is easy to transport, energy efficient and incorporates sustainable technology.

The design offers up an off grid way of life with three veranda areas as well as an open porch. Wooden screens extend the facade of the perimeter and can be rolled back to open up the interior.

The roof as like many other shipping container home designs utilizes them for photovoltaic panels but what is a little different is the heat build up is transferred into the shipping containers floor for heating as well as heating water. Vacuum insulation has also been utilized to help with heat loss and gain.

The icing on the cake being the Y shape itself, not just a gimmick but it offers up natural ventilation as it can tunnel in air from whichever direction a wind or breeze is available. Hot air meets at the central triangular area where the containers join and is ventilated out while the cool air continues to circulate.

Its designed round cheap home designs for couples in Shanghai. Yet this same design and model could be used anywhere by anyone. I often here critics talking of “I couldn’t live in that” when they refer to shipping container homes but at the same time they aren’t thinking of people trying to get on the housing ladder or people that are looking for a low cost form of sustainable housing. I pretty much love everything the house has to offer, its well thought through and should be a home that goes into production.

 
 
Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon  Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon  Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

THE WEBSITE STILL SEEMS A WORK IN PROGRESS BUT WORTH A VISIT :- http://solardecathlon.tongji.edu.cn/

Shipping Container Grocery Store – Seattle, U.S.

Shipping container Grocery Store

The Stockbox Grocers venture idea is to bring essential groceries and fresh produce to urban areas that struggle for access and cost of healthy food. The first miniature shipping container grocery store opened in Delridge in Seattle. Its the prototype of the venture and will be tested at its location for 2 months before looking Stockbox look to introduce other mini grocery stores around Seattle.

The concept and hopes of Stockbox is that it will become easy for residents to walk or bike to the stores to buy fresh food. A small grocery store can meet the needs of urban communities and in reality it used to! We have been slowly converting things to suit the car and the out of town shopping when in theory these places should never have been removed. The advantages of this model though is partnering deals will be struck to allow the Stockbox grocers to operate on car parks around Seattle. The other positive thing about this venture is its targeting the people within communities that only have public transport as an option which isn’t the greatest when looking to shop.

Monday September 12th seen Ferrence and Jacqueline Gjurgevich open the first store at West Haven Apartments car park in Delridge. The small stores can handle 5 customers at a time only need one attendant and will be open 7 days a week.

“A lot of people who come in are breaking down the myth that people of low income and mixed income don’t want access to organic or natural food,” Ferrence tells GOOD. In the first week, the shop proved to be successful and interestingly enough, the most popular items were orange juice, lemons, Dave’s Killer Bread, corn and Annie’s Mac and Cheese.

shipping container grocery store shipping container grocery store shipping container grocery store

New Zealand Uses Recycled Shipping Containers To Promote New Zealand Films (New Zealand On Screen)

New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers  

Bit of a gimmick project but one that is likely to interest if not just from the film front but also curiousity as to “what is inside”. The shipping container multi media rooms bring film to the general public as well as easily mobile to take from town to town especially with their more mobile caravan version. From October 23rd New Zealand On Screen will show iconic New Zealand films, TV and music videos both inside and on the exterior of the shipping containers in Auckland and Wellington. The caravan setup on the other hand will tour small towns that wouldn’t normally be part of the film festival.

New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers scene stealer app designed for the New Zealand On Screen Festival multi media wall Vintage lounge New Zealand on Screen Uses Recycled Shipping Containers touring cinema screen visiting 18 towns caravan cinema (screen room)

Why Shipping Container Buildings Make Sense

 I was sent an article regarding shipping container homes and buildings saying how toxic and impractical they are with a lot of information but with no facts backing any of it up. Toxic paints in what way? Pesticides in wooden floors what hazards do they pose after they are installed already? In reality its what I call Green Propaganda. Its irrelative as nothing is factual and just opinions a lot of hot air without actually delving into such things as have you spent any time with shipping container home owners? have you talked to them about real costs in the construction? have you even bothered to find out if there was anything dangerous or toxic relating to the containers they used?

Answer to all these questions will be without a doubt no! they haven’t bothered to look and ask, also there is no scope to anything outside of their window. For example the basis may be that they are living in America and can only think of America. What about Africa, Asia or other locations that have a huge slum population that modular shipping container buildings can offer a real solution?

shipping container school Manila

Why can it offer a real solution? because its cost affective in many ways, talk of many of the countries first issue you come across is CORRUPTION. Shipping container projects can be prefabricated and dropped onto site reducing the risk of money disappearing from the projects. Secondly its cheaper especially if labour is scarce which in the Philippines getting good trades people is often difficult. So having building block structures that remove the risk of things like poor mixed concrete where its common place for the mix to be reduced so money can be stolen gives a school as is shown here that will not collapse in the way we seen schools collapse in China during earthquakes. Its not just practical its a secondary safety net.

The argument that also came up is shipping containers are too small to live in. Really??

Better rush down and tell these guys they should be rioting instead of happy for the housing the received. Here in Talisay, Philippines because they are smaller than a shipping container, but then again they don’t have plasma TV’s, need a bedroom for every child, large kitchen etc. etc. because they used to one room living. The advantages of this type of housing is its cheap and fast but also reinstates self pride and self respect. Yes I know they aren’t shipping containers and its currently something I am looking into as I want to do a price comparison on construction. The point was the physical size of houses people are prepared to live in.

Community Housing Project Talisay,Cebu,Philippines – Gawad Kalinga charityNow as a foreign national I can understand space being an issue yet the article didn’t cover cutting out wall sections and welding units together. Neither did it look at any other real solution to combining units together. One solution could be to attach an empty unit (similar to this below) which is a basic shell. Its dimensions are the same as a sealed unit and allows for containers to be attached in whatever direction you want. Depending where you are its likely to be cheaper than a contained unit as a contained unit here in the Philippines has a “scrap value of the steel”.image 

Now what if I am a westerner wanting to build a shipping container in the West??

Labour costs in the UK are around 35 – 40% of a house construction, shipping container homes can be done mainly by the owner and friends bringing that cost down by at least half if not more.

Land needed is reduced as shipping container homes are generally smaller in dimensions meaning they need less land which means they cost less to construct because you buy less land.

Running costs are lower because your using a smaller land area and if insulated correctly its likely to be more energy efficent I have had a victorian and edwardian house in the UK and they are cold in the winter even with the heating burning money away due to the high ceilings and type of brickwork.

Modular costing is the main reason it makes sense to me. Because if you buy a house in the UK you pay up front and stuck with a mortgage for 25 years. But if you buy land in one phase then your containers as you can afford to add things in a modular costing form how much cheaper is it?

Well I will give an estimate based on Worcester England as its where I live generally when I am in the UK. More expensive to live than many other regions but will work for a comparison I will take what is available which left 2 properties one is in a council estate and the other is a 1 bedroom home :-

1 bedroom terraced house for sale

Cost £100,000

Mortgage period 25 years

Monthly cost £614

£614 x 12 x 25 years = £184,200 (COST OF LOAN £84,200)

 

 

 

 

Shipping container home version :-

Land for Sale in Evesham (why Evesham because we want to move out of the City to a more rural location)

Guide Price: £20,000

Size: 2.5 acres (This is a big piece of land for the money)

Land Type: Small Holding

Planning Permission: No Planning Permission (not yet although allocation of temporary structures will be)

First concern is the £20,000 which is a huge chunk of change, I can either wait 2 years and save the money to buy the land cash (if its still available by then) or look to get a loan. Either is an option although if taking a loan on would involve a lot of hunting around for price comparisons and being able to pay it off early without penalty.

Even so if we estimated a cost of £35,000 to complete the purchase after all the interest was added in a worst case scenario we now have land to start our project on. The issues would be trying to negotiate the land usage with a “temporary structure” as shipping container homes often fall into this category and if needed look at pushing forward on other developments. I would be keen on a site as large as this to look at raising cattle for food as well as vegetables and fruit trees. Isn’t this more viable, sustainable and a better option than the house at £100,000? Wouldn’t it also be cheaper to construct, cheaper in loan payments, and cheaper to maintain? Isn’t it also a better location away from the city to give children a better environment to grow up in?

I struggle to find the logic in the fact assumptions that shipping container housing isn’t viable. May not be everyone’s cup of tea and I know many people sceptical of the idea at the same time they have never lived in or been to a working shipping container home which leaves their imagination thinking of a rusty old container.

Could go a little further than that with the holiday home concept where you will find literally thousands of caravans in the UK or in the US “trailer parks” full of temporary homes or weekend retreats depending who lives there. Many are smaller than shipping containers yet people pay a small fortune to live in them during peak holiday seasons near the coast.

Container House A Real Solution Or Just A Eco Dream?

As you can see in this blog we collate container house designs and projects all the time but is it just a modern fad? In the UK doing your bit for recycling people will talk about the fact they bought a hard wearing reusable bag and no longer use plastic ones at the supermarket. But to me its simply a token gesture and it shows more on the fact the bags are made to look trendy over usage, and where did the bags come from in the first place they weren’t made in the UK!

At the same point people argue about toxic paints and moving the containers to their final destination as someone’s container house. But these eco greens never talk about the cost of doing it in traditional ways or practical solutions. Why am I looking at building a container house? well its not to do with the environment its down to the fact its affordable and I can do all the work myself which in real terms for the UK labour costs 40% of the build cost. Reduce the material cost as well drastically how much are we talking to build a shipping container home in the UK?

In reality people take pride in ownership of a home and isn’t more “eco friendly” to actually be building homes that are sustainable and affordable than arguing about how much toxic paint was used in the original painting? Damage was already done and its unlikely most of the paints people are talking about actually do any harm unless you start messing with them too much.

A container house is something I can see governments not being happy with as its borderline temporary accommodation which also means there must be reduced tax implications on the land that it sits. But for most people its the achievement of being able to own a home that takes priority and a container house can offer that.