Folger Steel Framed Offices In Berkeley.

Forger Steel Framed Office building

WA Design set otu to create a modern energy efficient office space that would blend in with its industrial neighbourhood. The three storey building is constructed using steel frames and timber. The new offices stand our and give a refreshing modern touch to the rather dated industrial area between Emeryville and Berkeley. Although brighter than its neighbours its design slips into the location rather well. The facade clad with checkerboard pattern of green and pale blue cement boarding however makes you well aware “this is the building” If driving past. the design rather fits well with shipping container architecture even if there is a lack of shipping containers. The shape of the building and its use of steel could easily see this being a shipping container building. At the same time the industrial feel was no doubt done for that reason as well as the wood in replication of old pallets.

They have also added weathered steel to the northern wall section in keeping with the rusted artifacts located at the Berkeley waterfront. They really have done their homework in keeping with the area while still introducing modern designs and features.

The interior carries on with the feel with exposed steel beams and the use of mixed materials and finishes. Resin panels filled with seawood also allow light to travel while keeping with the seaport idea. A ceiling skylight allows heat to leave the building via the roof at the same time allowing light to pass through it. There is also a motorised sunshade to help keep the building cool throughout the day. Energy wise the use of “free” artificial lighting helps reduce electrical use at the same time tere are other energy power reduction systems used throughout the building.

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Living In A Shipping Container–The Right Type Of People

the wrong crowd

The thing with shipping container homes is you will either get a “that’s cool” or you must be mad type of comment from the people around you. But myself I consider myself one of the right type of people for a shipping container home and I will explain why.

Initially through my first years of leaving school and struggling through college I was having to make do and maximise my cash flow sometimes would be a case of down to the last few pounds (UK money) and then buying something I could then sell later to make more money. Over the years this developed where I was cashing in my salary at the end of the week selling goods all weekend before putting money back in the bank on Monday.

This isn’t thrifty but it does go against the grain as we are told we should have the latest clothes, expensive car, nice house etc. the fact is everything is based around consumer spending and increasing personal debt. I will give a simple example of what I mean if you take a rawl plug its pushed on all the DIY shows as the way to hang a shelf etc but does anyone talk about a whittled piece of wood you just hammer in the hole and snap the head off? Something that is free, doesn’t damage the environment and most of the time actually does a better job due to a tighter fit? Of course not you go down to hardware store and buy the bits and pieces we are told are “right for the job”. The removing of thought from most things has been on going for some time.

Now for me I spend most of my life up and down financially as even when I was with my ex partner and having a great salary her expenditure was a struggle to control. We had the house, the car, 5 horses, ate out most of the time etc.

My salary then was around ten times greater than most of the people I knew from school and generally it was gone at the end of the month due to everything being on finance to keep up with my ex’s desire to compete with the neighbours. But here is what changed.

I left after a problem in the relationship and within the first month I had already saved nearly £3,000 even though was still burdened by debt left over from the relationship. How? because I didn’t eat out and if I did it was lunch time at work that meant my night time meal wasn’t a big curry take out but often was even skipped if not something simple. I began cooking more and at the same time because I had regained my financial control I started to use my remainder at the end of the month for paying off huge chunks of debt instead of thinking “hey lets party!”.

I began to get debt free to the point where I am today living in a completely debt free environment on the other side of the world in the Philippines. If anything I have learned we don’t need most of the stuff we are told are “essential” or this years big item! Even in the U.S. people are waking up to the fact they are sold lies daily and the American dream has changed including the idealism of consumerism. They have realised the last iPhone didn’t enhance their lives so generally don’t buy the new mobile because its irrelevant except as a fashion accessory. That’s all part and parcel of living in a shipping container because its not about “getting by” but actually taking control of your life.

Here in the Philippines Christmas is celebrated by church masses and giving food to neighbours the giving of presents is something being leaked in from the U.S. but thank god most people haven’t bought into it. Personally I actually tell people not to buy me gifts but instead save their money. Not because I am too tight to buy for others but simply most of the time people buy stuff for each other they neither need or want. I would rather someone took the cash and paid off a bit of their credit card because that’s a Christmas gift that keeps giving and not only makes me happy but also helps them get debt free.

This is how it gets on to the right type of people for Shipping container homes as its often down to what people want and need in life. There has been a lot of interest in the single mother living in a shipping container home she built for less than $4,000 but in reality it was her financial restraints that led her into this type of life. For others its being environmental,minimalistic or wanting control of their own lives. For me its a case of minimalist living and being debt free while achieving home ownership. Its not for everyone which is why people either get it or don’t.

 

Sea-Can Shipping Container Home–Canada

 

Sea-Can Home

A bit of a monster shipping container house this construction project is rapidly coming to completion in Canada. Offering off grid living due to solar heating,solar/wind electric and homestead farming. The owners of the home are Bill and Rosanne Glennon, constructing a huge 5000sqft retirement home.

Sea-Can Home is using 30 recycled containers as well as only two stories visually above the plains making this a very low impact large home in Canada.

Sea-Can HomeSea-Can Home

Large central garage surrounding by three high shipping container walls.

5 Bedroom home, complete with large sitting room. Once finished no doubt the envy of the neighbours.

5 Bedroom home, complete with large sitting room. Once finished no doubt the envy of the neighbours.

Shipping container stacked on its end isn’t a statement of versatility of shipping container architecture but is actually a lift shaft for access to the multiple levels in the building.

Shipping container stacked on its end isn’t a statement of versatility of shipping container architecture but is actually a lift shaft for access to the multiple levels in the building.

shipping container home

The lower level is going to be consealed with the upper levels being insulated and stucco finished making the home blend into its surroundings to almost looking like a normally constructed home.

Insulated roof to R80 will also leave a space for a solar heating system to be adapted for the home.

Insulated roof to R80 will also leave a space for a solar heating system to be adapted for the home. With such a large space available a solar array and wind turbine will also be added for the electrical needs of the property.

Children’s loft bedroom designs

Sangiorgio Mobili have come up with some fantastic loft bedroom designs for kids. They show minimalistic neither has to be dull or clinical in design. Utilizing interesting shapes in the designs as well as bold colours it gives a bedroom area that the neighbours kids would be envious of. At the same time not losing the concept of being minimalistic and practical at the same time which makes them ideal for shipping container homes where many of the bedrooms are in smaller spaces. 

childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design childrens loft bed design

Shipping Container Transportation & Handling

shipping container handling If looking to buy your shipping container always be aware where the seller is and the distance they are from you as well as the transportation options and cost to get it from the location of the shipping container seller to your place of construction. Buying without taking this into consideration can be an expensive mistake to learn. Trucking has never been cheap and adding to that you may need a crane or some other way of unloading the shipping container you need to way up the options of if its practical or better to wait until someone nearer has one for sale.

You really need to go over this list of things to consider when transporting a shipping container and be able to tick them all off before you get into a sales transaction :-

  • Discuss within your neighbourhood with your neighbours in advance as you may be able to smooth disputes over before they happen as often its just a case of a “nosey neighbour” wanting to know what your up to rather than anything personal.
  • Check the local town planning and regulations as discussing it with the people that may block it in advance lets them have they’re opinion and even as a temporary building just giving them the heads up they appreciate it and likely to leave you to it. Also as a temporary structure which is generally how shipping containers are seen your exempt of many of the legal requirements and standards of a "normal" building structure.
  • The container will no doubt arrive on a semi tractor trailer which slides the shipping container off the back of the trailer so having a place set aside if you don’t have the final location ready such as the bottom of a dead end road or somewhere else its not going to be obtrusive until it can be relocated. I plan this even if I do have a crane due on site incase they have a breakdown or some other reason to reschedule. Access is also going to be an issue so make sure the road can take the weight and length of the truck and trailer as it will need to have enough room to get in and out.
  • Height clearance for not only unloading the shipping container but also if a crane is needed to drop into final location. Power cables and telephone wires are a common issue. Contacting your power and telephone company if the wires are in the way should be done long in advance to find a solution.
  • Be nice to the driver! Can’t say this enough as I after a long drive the driver may be unsociable but a cup of tea and a few biscuits go a long way as does maybe a little bribe to put the shipping container where you want it. Just be aware if putting it on the ground the risk of moisture and if possible try and get it situated off the ground. If its not going to be on the main road make the company aware in advance as they may request it to be lifted from the road side due to risk of the truck becoming embedded in soft ground and stuck.
  • If its being situated somewhere temporary try and get it in a location that is suitably stable and even as well as having good drainage. The door ends twist which is why its important to get a level location as the doors will bind otherwise. On the drainage front try and get it sat on concrete footings, railroad sleepers or gravel something allowing water to drain away.