Good Example Of Low Cost Shipping Container Home (Video)

The world isn’t getting any bigger but sooner or later people are going to have to start to downsize and the current credit crunch issues on everyone’s pocket may be a sign of it already happening. This shipping container home (Towards the end of the video) is a good example of utilizing a couple of containers for a family home.

Shipping Container Housing Complex

Not the greatest of videos showing construction of shipping container homes but more to do with the fact its going mainstream and cost affective. Previously modular structure housing based on the same dimensions as shipping containers has been used for years for things likes classrooms,doctors surgeries,morgues,hotels but its only in recent years have we start to see it leaking into the general public developments and even more importantly starting to gain recognition for its viable use as low-cost housing.

Flat Pack Shipping Container By ASA Container

modular container building

Its a system that is often overlooked but is heavily used by certain industries such as the military. The fact is the whole unit can be flat packed and then as you can see in the picture the base and ceiling make up the transportation box with everything inside before being raised. Then the pillars form up on the edges before the slot walls go in. I worked on this style of construction for some time as well as the traditional “plywood” construction of modular structures such as classrooms. It was the shipping container system though that revolutionised the industry and I just wanted to show that this produced in a factory can give a very high finish and low cost installation. For me in the Philippines I know of a mountain that is for sale very cheap and could easily see these being sold down the side of it as low cost housing. Adding to the mountain top a large water gathering system as well as wind turbine and solar panels. Maybe a project for the future but when looking at shipping containers and modular housing remember that the modular frames of containers are built round the same size so mixing with shipping containers is possible for example using a framed unit in the photo without its sides welded to two 20ft containers either side with their sides cut out would give a room 24ft wide by 20ft long without too much effort.

Source: ASA Container

Disaster Relief Container Homes – Green Container International Aid

Green container International Aid have realised the possibilities of rapid house development due to the shipping containers natural structure. On top of that it obviously is a housing development that is designed for more sustainable living. After years in the tropics myself  you see weathers offer the extremes from hot sunny long days to heavy rainfall and flooding and a shipping container home survives these issues without too many problems. Add to that over the problems of concrete housing such as the need for water and materials being moved to site for construction or going down the timber route to find problems with termite infestation the shipping container often comes up as the most viable for many projects especially if rapid deployment is needed.

disaster relief shipping container home

disaster relief shipping container home disaster relief shipping container home disaster relief shipping container home disaster relief shipping container home

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Disaster Relief Shipping Container Home City Concepts

When I came across these yesterday I thought wow some great ideas going on here but they had “Haiti” plastered all over them. No offence but the disaster relief as well as low cost housing solutions shouldn’t be limited to Haiti. These places would work not only for poor but business sector workers in developing nations where city prices are expensive. Quite simply they are fantastic images and I can see how these shipping container homes could quickly become a shipping container city.

shipping container apartments

shipping container apartments shipping container apartments

But more importantly they aren’t ugly! They are however very viable for many uses although staircases need altering for safety reasons on the images but the concept in general is fantastic.

Shipping Container Homes In China

Shipping container home china - The sign reads "Cargo Shipping Container House for Rent/Purchase" (The Epoch Times Archives)

When I started looking at shipping container homes I had already spent a few years working with modular construction of hotels as well as timber frame housing. It was easy to see how a concept of one could fit the other at a lower cost.

On the other hand though many people are very against the idea without even listening to the argument. Bit like a friend of mine who had no money week to week, flash car and upmarket home but an empty pocket. In reality the shipping container home can do a role reversal because you start with money not debt due to cheaper costs of living as the one thing we can’t do without is a roof over our heads.

In China its having the same problem as Shenzhen where a lot of the manufacturing is done in the country has seen house prices climb to unrealistic levels for most people to purchase. In steps the shipping container home which may even before be seen as a “joke property” its now seeing a development as a low cost housing solution across east and west of Shenzhen City. The main reason for choosing one is obviously cost where they can be rented for 6 yuan (US$0.88) per day, which adds up to only 180 yuan (US$26) a month, and 2,160 yuan (US$316) a year.

The owners of the shipping container homes often don’t have rights of land ownership that leave them a fear of being towed away in the middle of the night. the houses are often seen in woods,under bridges, near construction sites or highways in Shenzhen. A price to pay if you want to be in the City but with the average price of housing being 20,000 yuan per square meter (approximately US$272 per square foot) there is more likely to be an increase in container living rather than reduction in the area.

A report by the Economics Daily said that a Mr Wang purchased a container for 10,000 yuan (US$1,465) and rents the land it sits upon. He had originally dreamed of owning a home when he first moved to the city but quickly found the cost of living increasing a lot faster than his salary increases. Because property rentals were also too expensive to rent he took residence up inside an abandoned container that he found in a construction site.

The one good thing out of this is that Container home manufacturers are finding a growing market which will no doubt also improve the quality of the homes. They are now able to successfully compete in the housing market due to the huge demand for low-cost housing. A real estate specialist remarked the interest in “cargo shipping-container houses is the best indication of China’s high price of housing.”

To get an idea of the severity of the housing problem the land has seen prices rise around 40% between December and January. The area has not been affected by China’s stiff measures to control pricing.

Low cost shipping container homes for the Philippines

 They can do it in Mexico so why can’t we do it here in the Philippines?

low cost container home Mexico

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The first issue is not funding but accepting the problem is only going to get worse not better. Reorganizing and developing infrastructure as well as new housing is badly needed to clean up slum areas. There may be land disputes at which point why haven’t the owners cleared these slums and fenced them off? For other areas that are legal these types of units could make affordable homes for the masses due to their flexible nature of being stackable upwards and sideways allowing dense populations to exist without looking like the photo below :-

Tondo slum, a part of Metro Manila.

Nowhere should ever get to this stage in the first place. But the finger of blame should only be representative of things to learn from so that we can move forward and stop it from continuing to happen. There is an influx of constant people to Manila looking for work as well as the birth control issues that are giving Manila its baby boom which no doubt goes hand in hand with high disease rates and death rates. Housing is not the solution but part of it, education is the key to all of the solutions and awareness that things can change. Especially by the actions of many individuals instead of one body trying to help thousands. Take the same area and utilize it the way a container village has been built in Amsterdam :-

shipping container, village, amsterdam  shipping container, village, amsterdam

Its not a quick fix and its not the be all and end all of problems in slums but it could be a step in the right direction. Additions of things like schools within the communities to develop education for those that need it more than most to help not only with basic education but teaching the links between poverty and family size, disease and waste management as well as many other key things that can help people out of poverty. Social awareness of responsibilities of people within a community and forming a real bond within the community to keep it clean and functional. Strict controls on the numbers that can occupy units and enforce it as over capacity living gets things back to square one.

But how do you get people to take action in the first place is my current dilemma as I want to make this happen and would love to be able to start on a small scale project and work towards a large scale slum to village conversion. I have been putting together costs for the last 12 months on materials and equipment to build the first shipping container home as I need a show piece here in Cebu that people can see how viable this is and can be to utilize. I would like to place it in a prime location and be able to invite people in to the home to see the benefits and dispel the myths on shipping container homes.

Its not going to be cheap initially because of the way the Philippines has an insular protective economy to protect the rich. Basically meaning the initial equipment won’t come cheap due to import duties at the same time its value is in the fact we can use it over and over again so this investment would be an initial one and after that will only need maintenance and repairs.

It won’t be an easy step and I have already spent 12 months on this project looking at the viability of it at the same time I need to prove it works to get other people on board more importantly Charities, NGO’s and Governments to make this happen. The initial stage is in our hands to create the first modular shipping container home to show piece the possibilities. After that I am sure even people looking to build a home can see the benefits of recycling containers as homes which also helps the environment.

If you would like to donate to the project please do so at Low Cost Housing Project

Shipping Container Home–Ideal First Home

I moved out to the Philippines due to thoughts running through my head in 2007 that firstly the housing markets were overpriced but secondly there was no starter homes being built to get me on the ladder to pay off the debt 100% within 10 years. Instead I was looking at homes bigger than I needed which in turn would leave me up to my neck in debt as well as expensive heating and electricity bills for space I would under utilize. All these were signs the world had gone housing mad based on presuming more people would be paying more at the bottom to feed the obsession of profit on houses at the top.

In reality it wasn’t and isn’t sustainable and the collapse of the markets today show it to be fact. Problem is now banks are lending less money to less people where do you get on the ladder to start with? Homes are often still too big for first time buyers due to budget restraints yet shipping container homes could be the alterative for low cost housing. I have to admit though I don’t think low cost has to equal low quality.

Advantages of low cost housing using shipping containers is that your development can be done in phases and done correctly adding enough insulation in the walls to make the home have a great insulation property from not only the elements but sound proofed. Adding to that designing the house round the environment it exists is also an important factor. For example living plant walls or shade provide a way to shield the house if in the country side making it pretty difficult to notice its even there. Same as constructing along mountain sides or other locations that obscure the fact the home is there. On a city front colours can be used to brighten up the location or blend it into its surroundings all adapting to existing buildings in the area.

Most importantly the footprint is small in square metres allowing land to be purchased for the task at reasonable cost or should I say could even be bought cash in some cases. Allowing the budget to also be phased in over time. As the budget allows you can adapt construction to it matching the funding to the containers being bought so that the first container offers up a 1 – 2 bedroom small functional home which is limited but once a second level is added you can expand the home out and continue to rise 3 – 4 storeys high on a small piece of land.

Planning issues may be an initial problem which is why I request anyone with photos to share the homes they have built and how they got round any doubts town planners had on your projects.

I believe shipping container homes can give homes to families on limited budgets just as much as it can give homes to an eco friendly couple or architect looking to win a design prize. They are a housing solution being embraced in many countries already but with the excess containers at ports this could be a recycling project that can solve both housing and the dumping of the containers no longer needed.

Shipping container homes in the Philippines projects

The blog has been a little quiet lately but its not doing to a lack of things going on but the reverse. Several interested parties has stepped forward for various construction projects all of which I am now knocking up drawings and ideas for how far the projects will go we will have to wait and see currently its just in the early stages but can see it developing well if it gets taken seriously especially by local government as a housing solution. There are several reasons I am keen to do low cost housing including giving people dignity and pride in their home which should hopefully tie in with other projects to make a sustainable higher standard of living possible. On top of that shipping container class rooms are also on the cards as well as an interesting swimming pool idea so all in all its getting pretty busy. I will share some of the 3D images once I have finished the designs but I would request donations if you decide to use any of the sketches or drawings purely towards building the beach house container house here which will be fully online from start to finish to show you how to build it yourself. Currently we are looking at an initial budget of P100,000 for the unit and construction.

Just wanted to post an update on ongoing things as people may wonder where I disappeared to.