These projects are being done by a UK Based charity their website seems to be a work in progress but the concept of the conversion of a shipping container as you can see is a lot more simple than many people realise. Not sure about the solar panel side of things as they don’t have a battery backup as well as no ventilation for the heat build up from the computers in the container.
But then again I am not in Africa and acclimatised to the environment as the kids there may not even notice. I have computers here in the Philippines which are in arcade boxes sat outside the home. I can’t go there because of the mosquitos they seem to love my white legs, but the local kids will sit there for hours completely undisturbed as they are used to it but also I have noticed that with some things locals don’t seem to get affected the same way. Red ants for example I was stood near a beach and they were climbing all over my feet and biting me. But I could see my wife’s feet they actually just went round. Haven’t a clue what the difference was but its happened with other things as well.
Anyway getting off tangent! The shipping container internet cafe is obviously a project that is already working and spreading computer training into developing nations. But another area people often overlook when sending aid is why not convert the containers in advance then load them with the materials that they are sending for projects? Instead of shipping the container back it stays and actually becomes part of the community. For example this where its all panelled and ready to be used as an internet cafe but could just as easily have the far end prepped for shipping with the computers etc. and the rest of the container utilised for sending other materials and equipment.
This isn’t a recycled container but it does show how “flat pack” modular units can be used for creating offices/temporary accommodation rather rapidly and with a minimum number of people. The secret to it all is being able to prefabricate the building so its all ready to go and packs itself within itself allowing everything to be delivered to site complete. Great idea and one that has begun to expand out as an industry. Prefabricated buildings based on the shipping container dimensions allows easy transportation and mobility at the same time also cost affective.
During 2005 Stephen Shoup founder of design and build company ding LAB inc. purchased a furniture and woodcarving building they wanted to convert into a live/workspace. This then was outgrown as Shoup became a father so he began developing a plan to increase the space to create more room in the backyard. He created the office using an old retired freezer and a shipping container formed in an L shape.
The exterior of the Shipping container was then covered with cement board panels by CertainTeed as well as redwood. Hidden beneath the exterior panels is a layer of exterior coat insulation. The shipping container sides were filled with batt insulation and then covered with rigid insulation with a radiant barrier.
Inside the office you will find a drain back water based radiant heating system that is connected up to a 200 gallon holding tank as well as two 4′x8′ solar thermal panels. Cork flooring was used on the interior as well as the walls being covered with reclaimed fir and Homasote panels.
The window you can see in the photo was recovered from a salvage yard as well as the sliding door. Wherever possible recycled materials were used price wise the project came in at around $150sqft.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Seen its first partnership school construction project with shipping containers as a joint venture between Digicel and USAID.
École Louis de Borno in Léogâne the town located at the epicentre when an earthquake hit will be utilizing the new school for 600 primary school students.
Part of this project involved utilizing local youth between the ages of 15 – 24 which don’t have vocational training and from a non-formal education to assist in the construction.
There is also 100 people being employed at a pre-fabrication plant to assist with the projects as the project is looking to construct 50 such schools to educate upto 30,000 children per a 2 shift schooling system.
The construction of the school unit is simple as its only 2 x 20ft containers with an additional ventilated roof structure. Simple but functional as well as a cheap hardy option.
The USAID partnership procured 100 containers for the shipping container school projects in Haiti and is part of the joint task force in Haiti’s humanitarian aid mission, in response to the earthquake.
Designboom‘s summer offices are located on the island of Sardinia away from their main base in Milan. Bit of a retreat from the city living the team started to work on their idea of building the summer offices out of shipping containers. An ideal solution to the problems with Sardinia’s strict building codes as shipping containers like many other parts of the world fall into “temporary” accommodation. The three 20ft shipping containers were adapted for a live and work space for the team during the summer months. Not a shack on a hill but fully working and functioning electricity,water, air conditioning and high speed internet.
Two of the containers are set in an L shape manner with a gap between them used as an outdoor kitchen diner unit being made in the gap. The third container is used for the bathroom and shower room complete with composting toilet,washing machine and sink.
The containers have also had sliding doors installed that fit snug behind the shipping container doors to allow plenty of daylight and cross ventilation into the structures. The added bonus of the L shape layout being that if too much wind comes off the waters they can open the shipping container doors to create a windbreak for the eating area.
The containers were painted with ceramic paint SUPERTHERM® but no insulation has been added.