Upcycle Living – Shipping Container Home

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Upcycle Living who are based in Phoenix are looking to bring the affordable budget shipping container housing to the mass market. They produced a 2 bedroom home at a green street fair in Phoenix and already the orders began to roll in. Although still not cheap at around $100,000 but demand and interest still seems readily available.

The basic 2 bedroom home was 1,280 square feet built by utilising four fourty foot shipping containers. The exterior wasn’t modified to allow people to see the home was in fact shipping containers. In the future the addition of solar panels and a shade screen are already on the cards. Inside recycled hardwood floors as well as sustainable bamboo kitchen cabinets keep the home in keeping with the green feel.

The other side of the concept is the saving of around at least 2/3rds on traditional building methods which for people taking on mortgages could be a huge chunk of change saved.

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The other positive out of this home design is they have kept with the original stackable use of the shipping containers which also makes it faster and easier to construct with compared to fancy designs some architects go for. I quite like this design to be honest as its practical and shows what can be done to make a container a home.

Shipping Container Homes Are They Practical?

I was up last night writing articles when I came across one about the fact shipping containers are full of toxic paints and need sand blasting clean before they can be refitted etc. etc. in a very extreme “green” view. Now the annoying thing I find about this sort of stuff is there is no mention of why it had to be stripped back to bare metals, no mention of why they assume the paint is toxic or the fact that if dormant its probably not doing any harm whatsoever.

There is also no balance given between regular construction and shipping container construction to way up the options properly. No financial information or even a rough estimate of what the price comparisons would be on environmental or standard home construction. In reality a debate was opened without any facts or data to support either way.

The problem I have with this is that it creates a misinterpretation of how things are or how the conversions take place and if practical or not as its stated as “fact” rather than extreme instances. I have seen people strip back some containers to bare metals before and I have seen hardwood floors removed because they are worried about things like pesticides in the woods. Doesn’t mean they are dangerous and lets face it the container has to be “legally” useable by humans in a working environment contacting the original manufacturers your likely to come across things likes “yes pesticides have been used” and “no they don’t give off an odour or actually do any harm” considering that the floor is likely to be covered over its not going to create any problems. Although often removed for replacing with concrete floors depending on the construction method. Paints are the same I can understand internal paints being an issue to some people wanting to know they are lead free etc. at the same time finding out what paints are used also means you can have peace of mind.

Also the “TYPE” of container and its usage makes a difference, food travels in containers just as much as car parts and new hi-fi systems which is likely to see containers that are in better condition due to the fragile nature of the cargo but also unlikely to have anything that could tarnish the food flavour or pollute it.

I will get off my soapbox for a bit, but would say if your going to say its a bad idea on something run comparisons of other available options and use fact over hearsay.