I’m a bit bias in this because I am used to hotel working as a contractor, being able to fit everything into a bag or a suitcase is normal and with container homes its also getting into the same realms. But then I start looking at projects around the home as my type of work changed from hands on to a laptop and meetings. In reality the woodworking and other tools I collected are pretty much just gathering dust in the garage of my parents. Over £10,000 of equipment that aren’t even seeing regular maintenance never mind usage.
For the home they will never be needed again but it gets me to the DIY issues that crop up where people head down to the hardware store at the weekends to get all the bits and pieces to do a simple job. Talking to them they will say they can’t afford a professional yet what they have been buying says otherwise. The tools will often only be used once and the job never completed to a professional manner. If it is that normally means its taken longer than it should, in reality people exchange weekends for repairs. The best example I seen was the head of a university I was at when his kettle broke. He had started to repair it when he suddenly just threw it in the bin and got one ordered for next day delivery with our usual supplier of other goods. Why? Because his hourly rate was £50 per hour and its going to take him an hour to fix the kettle by the time he stripped it down, fixed it and put it back together again. Whilst buying a brand new kettle was less than £20 and at least it should work for another year or more.
This gets back to the argument of giving up weekends as time with friends and family are precious. We work hard all week why should we be taking up our time under the sink or repairing something else? A professional can come in and get the job done in half the time and although not going to be cheap it ma work out to save a lot of time in the long run and if done properly money as well.
Doesn’t mean don’t have a woodworking shed or some other hobby it just means if you are going to go to the hassles and cost of buying machinery and tools make sure your really going to use them. Otherwise its a waste of money,time and space. All in all its how most people live these days with a lot of stuff around them they hardly use. Even if not considering a shipping container home I bet there is plenty of things you could de-clutter your house with and benefit from it.
The world changed from being social to being more in a bubble, I don’t call Facebook or Twitter being social its text across the airwaves its not sitting in a library with real people or going to a local pub with friends. Its isolation in the modern age where people banter about the little things in life generally that most people aren’t interested in. Real social engagement seems to be unfashionable for many yet for humans it is normal. Shipping container villages have probably got more going for them in a community sense than most streets these days. If we look at caravans and trailer communities the bonds between people are a lot better than most neighbourhoods. One of these aspects is that limited space makes people spend time outside with others. Sitting on the porch talking to neighbours, community group meetings, children playing together many of these things have been removed from general society. Not all to do with what people live in but how things are built and how people interact.
Not sure if other countries suffer with the same but if you don’t want a shipping container they seem to be around P60,000 and as soon as you do they can be as high as P140,000.
Question is why are they so expensive?
In reality I believe its to do with a lack of safety standards and internal shipping. A lot of stuff moves around within the islands of the Philippines and neither conform to or need to conform to international standards. In the same way all the ferries that sank in the Philippines ended up with an investigation into why the ships sank but all comes down to a lack of safety and poor maintenance every time.
So how do you get a good price for a shipping container in the Philippines? I found the best way is to look and ask but never mention you want to buy one. Just keep an eye out for when someone is trying to sell one. Generally I let people know I am after one but have a limited budget and sooner or later someone will turn up at the door telling me there is one for sale.
Most things in the Philippines exist like this though if your buying the price is high if someone is selling they are normally desperate and you can get a bargain.
Over the years I have noticed a trend of things having to be done by “experts”. If you watch a lot of TV shows its not a case of doing it yourself but getting in people to do tasks. This is simply removing the ability from many people as instead of reaching for the toolbox they reach for the telephone to get things done. Air conditioning like many other things can be done by people at home. That includes servicing which I recommend every 3 months personally with filter cleaning every month.
Anyway just wanted to share this video of air conditioning being installed in a shipping container as it does show how quick and easy it can be done.
In recent months we have seen mango’s stolen, tomatoes and even potatoes dug up. But it got me thinking about the shipping container house communities and the fact these setups would fit neatly on the roof of shipping containers. They do need a bit of rain cover to stop it interfering with the mix of chemicals in the SNAP solution at the same time there is nothing wrong with collecting rainwater to use in the SNAP Hydroponics mixture. Very simple system that can be upscaled to suit anyone’s needs and an ideal starting point for someone wanting to grow at least some of their own food.
Now my big question is this has anyone discovered the mix for SNAP solution? Everyone wants to sell me some but at the same time the formula is going to be a lot more simple than is being made out. Any ideas?
(SNAP Hydroponics uses no electric as it doesn’t need water circulation which makes it more practical for many)
An interesting video showing how to utilize shipping containers for classrooms and homes in Haiti. The other important thing here is the strong structure of the shipping container units which if it had been used more prior to the disasters in Haiti no doubt more lives would have been saved. Many lives and houses have been lost due to poor construction and going down the shipping container route does mean for a lot of the safety of the home or school in hurricanes or earthquakes your reliance on a poor builder isn’t needed. The building itself as a shipping container had far excelled anything that the local building codes would find acceptable and a building that will be able to ride out the storm.
Hope more of these types of structures are being utilized in Haiti to help things get back to normal.
Its something we talk about a lot here at home about “getting one” but this week its been a case of we needed one! The cut was right down to the bone and without compression on the wound blood poured out of it. A simple mistake as someone had left some glass blades outside my office door which I tripped over leaving the room and swiftly found a deep cut and needing 4 stitches to put it all back together again.
The important thing here though is we are near the hospital and we did have stuff readily available, many shipping container home developments though are off-grid and in locations if working alone you may struggle to get back from. Adapting a first aid kit as well as getting in the habit of contacting people every hour if lone working is important for your own safety especially when doing construction work on your shipping container home. Commercially many of the lone working rules actually forbid the ability to do some of the stuff we do as private individuals if you were doing it for a company. So as you can see its pretty serious stuff and well worth preparing yourself for any emergencies.
To be honest this really annoys me the fact that as part of Re:START a project is being sued in Christchurch New Zealand after a pop up shopping mall was installed. Why? for breach of intellectual property rights interesting concept considering that its “shipping containers!” its not even a new idea as shipping container malls have been in existence in third world countries as well as other locations for some time. But this doesn’t stop the owners of Boxpark Mall out of London from trying to coin the idea as their own. On top of the fact the concept is not new Christchurch in New Zealand has done this project as part of getting life back to normality after an earthquake that killed 166 people but let that not get in the way of the developers of Boxpark Mall. Personally I would say boycott Boxpark Mall if your in London as this intellectual property nonsense has got out of control on a lot of things where people assume they can just sue and get away with bullying their way through life.
Although technology moves on in Fire Training Facilities are still needed to do the basics as well as develop teamwork. One of the problems is creating a unit you can train in again and again especially if setting fire to it! This is where shipping containers fill the gap as not only cheap to construct and also adaptable to different designs they are also hardy against fire for training.
Although a lot of training is done in front of a computer screen and other training scenarios there are things you can’t get to work except in real world situations and the Fire Training Facilities offer the best way to develop these skills as well as overcome any problems that people may have in a controlled environment. For example someone may be great on paper but how do you know they suffer from a fear of confined spaces or heights without physically putting someone in those situations?
Another advantage of using shipping containers is that the Fire Training Facility can be moved allowing smaller fire stations to gain access to localised training that they may not have otherwise.
The robust structure as well as its building block type system also means you can adapt the buildings for different scenarios or specific training that is needed. Generally like most things if an accident happens there is then reassessment on how something was done and obviously being able to recreate something to see if it could be done another way the training facilities can be utilized for that task.
Its interesting how surplus shipping containers have found their way into many parts of peoples lives directly or indirectly to think your local fire teams may have trained in them or the military and police using them for other types of training facilities does make you wonder what’s next for the shipping container?
This video is rather important for people to understand that living small doesn’t have to be ugly or unpractical. The furniture designs in this video show how this type of furniture can save a lot of space around the home as well as be multi functional. A desk that turns into a bed, a wall that turns into bunk beds etc. etc. in reality these pieces of “real furniture” are great for shipping container homes but also for small rooms or condominium homes for furniture.
When most people think shipping container they are thinking a solid steel box used to transport goods around the world. A unit that is able to rust easily and overheats in the sun at the same time cold when temperatures drop.
In reality you have this on the left, a blank canvas for modular construction the box like shape gives you a starting point that has many alternatives in its construction and not only that its easy to work with. The skill set needed for self building is reduced drastically down to weights and possibilities, design is reduced down to budgets and creativity. So when you think container think of the drawing as its the basis of modular construction that is sustainable and often from re-cycled units allowing a reduction in waste at the same time putting it to good use. Also using the shape from the drawing takes away a lot of the boundaries people set in their mind and allows the thoughts to flow on how to attach multiple units together to form up a home. The important thing to remember though is the strength comes from the outer frame the wider parts shown on this side of the drawing.