Our shipping container home

Currently we haven’t constructed one here although I have worked in the modular industry as well as container buildings in the UK previously. Reason for being slow off the mark is simply been busy with daily life and also looking for the right location to construct. My wife sent me these photos a few years back of someone’s house construction and as you can see (probably the way I am) it would make one fantastic container home.

multi layered container home idea

The whole design is lots of open spaces blended with modular units giving space for a growing family as people can be on their own floor and at meal times etc. be able to all be in the same place. The other factor I like about this home is the amount of land it takes up on its lower level as it will fit on many lot areas here in the Philippines easily and this one is already here in Talisay, Cebu (near us). The other important thing here though is generally city planning isn’t a problem below 4 levels which also fits in with this home and our requirements.

multi layered container home idea

An interesting home that doesn’t look over complicated and if placed right will have the benefit of shade on an embankment or hill during the day giving it a cool airy feel to the home. The other thing I like about it is gaps between floors as it all helps with ventilation. You can either live in an insulated box here for air conditioning or work with the elements to cool the house. If I can find the house will try and visit the owner to discuss the construction and any problems they had but I can see our container home being built with a similar design in mind using concrete pillars for framing.

Shipping Container Office Buildings – Philippines

Gothong Southern - Shipping containers 

Shipping container modular buildings may not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of filling a companies needs in a tropical climate. At the same time anywhere near the ports it makes a lot of sense as its in keeping with the local area as well as easy to have delivered. Here in Cebu, Philippines I spent a day looking for shipping container modular buildings around the city and port area. A couple of reasons in doing so the first one being most people can’t believe people would use a shipping container to live or work inside because they are “too hot” and secondly I am very interested in cargotecture and shipping container modular buildings.

shipping container office and seating

This one I noticed when I first came to Cebu and it makes a lot of sense during the day to have seating so high up. Road dust off the main road is bad as well as the surrounding area being built up restricting airflow but also concrete density increases heat. Sitting up above three shipping containers your literally getting the best the local area has to offer with airflow and arguably cleaner air.

Shipping Container Office - Cebu, Philippines

Another Shipping container office one of the better developed ones but also its located in a shipping container yard so no issue in getting shipping containers for the project!JAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, PhilippinesJAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, Philippines

JAJ Aggregates is one of the most interesting cargotecture designs I have come across in the local area as its suspended one side of the building in air sat on two concrete pillars (you can’t see its Sunday which is obviously wash day). The two concrete pillars are sat behind the laundry.Shipping container building - Cebu,Philippines

 A shipping container office still in development. Something to do with a local truck haulier, often people live in the trucks and its likely this is either going to be an office for the vehicle owners or a rest place on route for the drivers. That extra bit of paint will make a huge difference to the left side!

Placing a shipping container

The thing with shipping containers although very sturdy if the ground isn’t level it can often twist and pop the wood flooring up as well as make the doors difficult to open. The worst case scenario is that you build uneven then move the container finding it then levels itself damaging the work you undertook.

Now it doesn’t always have to be some complex ground as they are very robust pieces of kit you just have to make sure its level even if its soil your dropping the container onto. Also you have to look at what your needing the container for and where. For example in the UK the howling cold winds can make sitting in a container a cold place to be so sheltering it away from wind channels such as behind a wall are beneficial. But if in the Philippines for example heat is an issue so building the units on pillars is very beneficial as the air flows under the unit as well as the sun heating the ground throughout the day. This affect allows natural heating at night as heat from the ground rises during the night hours to help keep an ambient temperature. How high to place the container is then the next question and one that you need to base on the exact location you want it and needs. For example if building studio apartments maybe you want to create some reverse U shaped concrete pillars 8 – 10ft high to sit the containers on as this not only allows the heating/cooling but also a parking space to keep your vehicle in the shade when not in use. At the same time you could be just raising the same unit on pillars less than 3ft high to allow access for drainage pipes etc. which still offers some heat reflection and cooling but obviously the angle is restricted.

The beauty of the shipping container is that its physically a robust building block you can adapt to most needs as long as your practical and make sure you try to keep things as level as possible you will have little problems especially if joining multiple units. I have worked on modular housing previously and found floor levels as much as 10” out and uneven (10” over one end and 6” under the other) this has happened due to contractors involved in preparing the ground not being part of the modular construction teams not knowing the critical importance of getting things right. Instead doing a quick job for quick pay which resulted in headaches for me as we had to physically lift the units and level them manually adding an extra few days to the job. Which when your talking modular and time sensitive you have containers arriving to be joined yet nowhere to install them until you’ve fixed the first few and over a few days your starting to get problems catching up as things are all out of sequence. For the modest house builder its not too much of a problem but this was a multi storey doctors surgery built in a similar way to shipping container houses.