Vertical Shipping Container Home?

vertical shipping container Its an idea I have been thinking about for sometime, I find people’s first complaint about shipping container homes as a “concept” is that they are simply too small to be viable. I totally disagree as it all depends on peoples lifestyles but also its very likely they have lived in a smaller space themselves at some point already.

But what if you took the shipping container for an urban situation where land is often at a premium, or more importantly bits of land people can’t imagine being useful due to the size available then take a shipping container and go vertical instead of horizontal. This is still an idea at the moment but thought maybe some of the whizzes out there with a bit of time and 3D imagery could come up with some interesting designs.

I’m sure it can be viable especially in locations that do have a high cost of land and positioning in even what once was a flower bed would be very possible.

The main issue I can see though is the stair access between floors, but like everything else this can be overcome with a good idea pool of people.

40ft container divided into 4 rooms of  10ft high each or at 9ft you could add a 5th floor with 4ft height for storage space. Each room would be 7’8" x 7’10" not huge but a workable space.

Interested in any ideas on the project.

 

The Importance Of A First Aid Kit

foot cut on glass

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.

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.

 

Shipping Container Turned Into A Working Guitar (Cargo Guitar)

Probably the strangest thing I have seen done to a shipping container so far but if it works and helps promote music why not.

The concept is based on being able to not only hear music but experience it through the vibration and lighting. The eight strings are taken through a half twist with a vertical rod placed at the container entrance. The tuning pegs are at the vertical end of the container which allows people to alter the musical scale of the instrument. Having the strings made of radium a material that allows them to glow in the dark. If this wasn’t enough the there is a 1/4” jack to allow the guitar to be connected to an amplifier making it a real electric guitar.

If your in Japan you may be lucky enough to see it at Kobe Biennale

guitar1 A Cargo Container Turned into a Working Guitarguitar2 A Cargo Container Turned into a Working Guitarguitar3 A Cargo Container Turned into a Working Guitar

Pop Up Shipping Container Accommodation By FLEXOTEL

Here in the Philippines there is always a shortage of budget accommodation. Everyone is aiming for the market of around P8,000+ per month rental yet the average worker is earning less than that. Looking for accommodation in the region of P800 – P1,500 a month. Maybe cheap but doesn’t mean they are a bum often they are working away from home and just need someone to rest,wash and eat. People that work in the malls etc are a typical example of people needing accommodation on the cheap. These pop up shipping containers could make an ideal solution as the 20ft you see in the video is suitable for 2 x bunk rooms in real terms P4,000 a month income if at full capacity. The technology in this may seem a bit complicated but often the issue here in the Philippines is transportation costs. If you can stack these units in 4 it would save me P15,000 just in transportation of the truck that could normally only carry one. I can see these being useful for many things including temporary accommodation for festivals where often people are willing to pay over the odds for a little bit of luxury. Great idea and well put together by Flexotel.

Using Google Sketch Up To Design Shipping Container Homes

Often people looking at shipping container homes are on a tight budget. On top of that they don’t want to go and do a training course as well as buy something like Autocad which may be all the bells and whistles but with shipping containers you already have fixed dimensions. This pretty much means that your working “inside a box” which sort of limits the amount of mistakes you can make construction wise as it will still need to fit into a 20ft or 40ft container  generally.

But what I did come across today was this Google sketch up video someone has put together showing how it can be done and with Google sketch up being free and quick to learn how to use would be a good start for people thinking about container buildings. I am still trying to find the time to get on there myself to start putting models together for different designs that I can give away on the containerliving.net but right now over worked and a busy family life leaves very little time to get started on drawing up homes.

Space Saving Furniture For Container House Or Condo Living

[wposflv src=http://localhost/containerliving.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Space-Saving-Video-_-ResourceFurniture.flv]

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.

Shipping container the blank canvas for constructing a modular home

shipping container blank canvas

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.

Restaurant Fabricated From A Shipping Container – Cebu, Philippines

Restaurant Fabricated From A Shipping Container - Cebu, Philippines

There is often a saying in the Philippines want to make a small fortune in the Philippines start with a big one. In reality a lot of is down to the way the country functions but also the fact the way people spend their money. Investing heavily in a restaurant for example may not pay off purely because even a McDonalds is too expensive for the majority of people especially on a regular basis. But this is where a lot of people go wrong because no point investing heavily in a building that you “lease the land on” or going over the top with decor for local people generally they aren’t bothered. I don’t here people whining about mosquito’s or the heat especially when it comes to price! E.g. air con restaurant and pay twice as much for a burger or sitting outside 9/10 saving money comes first. This is why this restaurant works and sits opposite one of the biggest shopping malls in Cebu,Philippines. Its within walking distance of the port so obvious where all the shipping container panels came from but as you can see serves its purpose even if its not pretty.

Shipping container homes don’t have to be a metal box

You will often come across negativity on building shipping container homes as people generally see a big metal box with a logo written up the side of it but at the same time these same people will never understand the concept of why you are doing it in the first place.

At the same though nobody says it has to be a simple box design although for many they choose this type because of environmental reasons or budget. Personally if even a box on the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants on a trellis to give a bit of shade as well as a practical wall cover. For me its not just about looking at a box but more the thought of children getting a Christmas present disregarding the present for the large box it came in to fill 101 dreams all day with the box the gift came in. Shipping containers offer that for the person who isn’t the architect or house builder a box to build from, a modular piece of a puzzle that they can envisage their ideas and turn from a simple or complex idea into a home that has their personal stamp on it. I’m an environmentalist, i’m a designer, I simply love living in my shipping container! whatever it is the point is that metal box became a home for generations and I haven’t heard anyone yet complain about living in one everyone seems more than happy and if that’s the case then I too will be happy to be “living in a box”.