One of the main issues that are cropping up with shipping container architecture is things are often pushed onto recycling being the green solution, then you get greens telling us how toxic the paints are and how transportation is a waste of energy.
The important thing is though if its available and usable its green. If it isn’t and in many cases they aren’t then we are looking at modular construction for buildings which is a more viable method for many uses. I originally worked on this type of system in the late 90s for use in classrooms and clinic construction in the UK as a temporary solution.
Temporary often means a decade as they are generally put into place as an immediate solution while discussions, planning and funding are found for building the main buildings that will replace them. During this time though many of these units would return after years of being in the field and be revamped before sending back out. Which does show the fact they were extremely reliable and resilient to weather. Add to that having slot walling meant that upon return walls would be rejigged to suit the new layout for the building they were becoming. Very little wastage as all windows and doors ended up back in other buildings if not used.
The fact is the shipping container idea developed this new concept which is now fairly old in use but still has a growing market which does appear China is gearing towards the housing industry with.
I can see this being the future of shipping container homes as the dimensions are still in place although the walling systems have been completely redesigned.
I was never 100% on shipping container homes as a solution to the housing problem until I started looking at the skill level and availability of capital people have.
Where does the negativity come from that puts people off? Maybe its the fact even poor people on TV land have huge houses which makes people think they aren’t doing so well themselves and should look to do better.
Maybe its that they aren’t brick built, yet timber frame is a lot more flimsy. In fact I look at everything about a shipping container home and wonder why not?
For a start its a basic model that most people can adapt a home from. Which starts getting into the realms of conspiracy theories of why people are trying to put others off the construction. Remember when you worked on your car and repaired it yourself? Today its got to be plugged into a computer that identifies the problem reducing your ability to fix the vehicle even though you own it yet the garage extracts money from you that you may not have had to pay before. I think this is the issue in the housing industry with codes and legislation to try and make it impossible to do things yourself and in the end relying on contractors who in turn rely on their suppliers giving them information for the latest products, that the goes back to the manufacturers who in turn go back to shareholders. Is it a conspiracy theory to stop people doing their own thing? I really don’t know these days and as a surveyor I come across many a legislation that makes no sense yet is followed because its taken as gospel even if nobody thinks there is a valid reason.
ISO’s for example some are relevant some are not. Did you know that some are just about a process being in place and copied over and over again rather than actually putting a value on if the process is correct? Well companies have to pay for these and the more companies have to pay the less the people on the street can decide what they want in their own life. A big rubber stamp will come down with the biggest excuse of all “safety reasons”. Based on what?
Now the shipping container units themselves are already ISO approved as container units and have specific weights that they adhere to. They are built to a much higher specification than many homes ever will be and at the same time the mopping up of excess shipping containers for homes is still slow moving. I know myself that specific areas are never keen on such developments as it bases things as “in keeping with the area”. There is very little thought into the fact as social housing these buildings can offer up a very cheap alternative to the normal buildings. But even that falls into a funny area in the UK as houses were taken from council ownership into housing association the reason being that council housing is bound by law to provide a home where housing association is more inline with a rental agent being able to evict and choose its residents. Many people believe this came about due to the coal mining strikes in the UK as the social housing at the time may have meant back payment in rents had to be paid but at a negotiable rate to suit the miners and the courts. This isn’t how private enterprise likes things to work. Create social housing with a threat of eviction you remove the ability to strike and this is why people believe housing associations exist.
What’s this got to do with shipping container homes? as I showed on my previous post you can be debt free within no time as well as be the owner of land and the shipping container home. This makes many people self sufficent which also means that governments may see this as a threat because your not bound by debt or portfolio development. Which for me pretty much says everything about a shipping container home being viable. If it makes governments feel uncomfortable as your land area is smaller, so less tax and your more likely to utilize the land to the max as well as more likely to be smart investing with the spare capital you have it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for government but it does make sense for an individual or family.
Prefabrication is one way to go in the modular housing industry but primarily it has another function for myself as I look at what has been done to get ideas on how to convert shipping containers and this prefabricated home is being constructed by Clayton Homes, based in Maryville, Tenn., is one of America’s largest manufacturers of mobile homes and prefabricated housing. They are looking at green architecture as it is a market that is opening up especially with rising costs of living many people are looking at smaller homes to either downsize or for their first homes. Although this home isn’t cheap at an estimated sale price of around $100,000 its design and concept is based round a more up market home buyer compared to the usual mobile home buyer. Giving something in between luxury home and mobile housing.
Its design offers a home that can be run on $1 per day due to energy efficent appliances as well as superior insulation and E rated windows this will no doubt be an expanding market in the forthcoming years due to rising costs of energy and large homes finding their prices collapse in the current market. The I-House is no doubt going to fit into many peoples ideas for the future as well as a very capable home.