I hear more people say they wouldn’t live in a Shipping Container Home than I hear do. But in reality what if you had no choice? Western society is used to being able to pick what they want since before I was born. Times are a changing however but at the same time people are still able to get a good standard of living without as much work as those in China for example.
I came across these photos of workers in China who do have a Shipping Container Home the boom times China are currently in means many people cannot afford housing but will take what is available often that is shipping containers on the edge of a construction site.
The element of choice has been removed from the equation and not only that the shipping containers are in a sorry state as well. Although it does seem China hasn’t dealt with the housing crisis yet its going to keep hyper inflation affecting the economy until it does solve the problem.
Can’t live in a shipping container home because its too small? Well imagine this setup where a 20ft shipping container is shared with at least 4 people does look rather grim.
For the couples you get a whole 4 square meters of space as you can see here with migrant workers 35-year-old Jiang Zhirong with her 35-year-old husband Gong. But this is the problem we are now facing as reality is kicking in that people in China will put up with a real struggle that makes things in the West seem almost trivial in comparison. They suffer with elitism and corruption that affects their entire trade and markets while damaging ours due to the counterfeiting and companies moving East to save money.
Thing is I do believe things can be done better and that China should be doing more for its workers homes like these below can be cheaply mass produced and its stacking system making it cost affective for workers by lowering the space needed such as below.
Problem for the rest of us is China doesn’t seem to be slowing and although the West seems to think there is some miracle in propping everything up by a capitalist empire its proving that manufacturing and farming will always be the backbones of economies regardless what people tell you with a pin stripe suit and shiny shoes. Fuel prices keep going up and “worker homes” may eventually become a norm in some areas especially for large scale projects. I worked in construction nearly all my working life and have to admit I have no issue with living in a shipping container home and with the end of peak oil and things changing it may not be “choice” but demand that will make the final decisions in future.
Initially it seems a bit of a gimmick but when you start looking at the work that has gone into the shipping container as well as some interesting ideas such as the wind up bed it does seem rather well thought out.Jeff Wardell and Claudia Sagan are a pair of travel-loving art collectors which meant they needed a bigger space to show off their collection of over 120 pieces of art they have collected.
This resulted in 2007 the purchase of a 3,200-square-foot and 127-foot-long open-air loft. Rather than splitting the loft into smaller room sections they decided to keep it as open plan as possible for the natural lighting. They pushed the master bedroom to the back, positioned the kitchen and living space in the center and situated a den at the street-facing front windows.
Now the one issue they did have was adding a guest bedroom without disturbing the layout of the loft and this resulted in the idea of the shipping containers. The blue one became the office while the orange made up the guest room. Being very artistic the container interiors are a bit querky and designed to be not only functional but also good to look at. Take a look for yourself in the photos below my favourite idea is the wind down bed.
When looking at the photos above its difficult to wonder who lives in a house like this although the main town photo at the top its difficult to identify that they are in fact all made from containers. What you have here though is a military training ground that can be reconfigured to suit the needs of the troops and scenarios for combat training. Green in essence because the buildings can be rejigged and reused but also a valuable piece of equipment for familiarisation in difficult areas of combat.
Primarily done for the U.S. Marine Corps the MOUT training grounds can be found all over the world and if your interested in knowing more its worth contacting the manufacturer Allied Container Systems at their website.
Natural cooling the cheap and beautification way of cooling a shipping container home if you take a look at these photos below which are actually a medical housing centre called Salam Center located in Soba,Khartoum. Using natural materials to form partitions and a roof structure between container units you can get an idea from the photos below how much shade is being given. In the second photo you can see the partitions have created a walkway at the same time keeping the suns heat away from the container units but also allows airflow along the new partition corridor to aid in natural cooling.
The first photo is actually the last I took the day after, its the stairs after they have been sand blasted and painted. The others are the process at different stages. I had taken the stairs out of the apartment yesterday to get them ready for sand blasting and painting. The sandblaster hadn’t been used in over a year which resulted in it and the compressor having to be cleaned down before I could use them. By the time I had finished that it was already lunchtime and very hot, when I finally did start blasting the rain rolled in to ruin the day. It did only last twenty minutes but it then took another hour for the stairs to dry before I could give them another blast. I had tried to video what I see when sand blasting but it didn’t turn out very well so I just took the photos you see below instead. I did manage to get the stairs painted though but expect they will need touching up by the time they are dropped back into place.
I was hoping to get the wall behind the stairs covered in metal sheeting today but the best I could manage was pre drilling the holes in the sheets, This helps in getting the holes all straight and uniform.
Currently we haven’t constructed one here although I have worked in the modular industry as well as container buildings in the UK previously. Reason for being slow off the mark is simply been busy with daily life and also looking for the right location to construct. My wife sent me these photos a few years back of someone’s house construction and as you can see (probably the way I am) it would make one fantastic container home.
The whole design is lots of open spaces blended with modular units giving space for a growing family as people can be on their own floor and at meal times etc. be able to all be in the same place. The other factor I like about this home is the amount of land it takes up on its lower level as it will fit on many lot areas here in the Philippines easily and this one is already here in Talisay, Cebu (near us). The other important thing here though is generally city planning isn’t a problem below 4 levels which also fits in with this home and our requirements.
An interesting home that doesn’t look over complicated and if placed right will have the benefit of shade on an embankment or hill during the day giving it a cool airy feel to the home. The other thing I like about it is gaps between floors as it all helps with ventilation. You can either live in an insulated box here for air conditioning or work with the elements to cool the house. If I can find the house will try and visit the owner to discuss the construction and any problems they had but I can see our container home being built with a similar design in mind using concrete pillars for framing.
Everything about the design says simple at the same time its not causing any high impact damage to the environment around it. A building ideal for the weekend or for someone seeking a simple way of life with a large outdoor area to wind the evenings away.
The home is built in Sri Lanka and the owner has political connections something of which I am not looking to get involved in but simply to cover the building itself as the design and construction could be easily replicated by others for many locations and scenarios.
Photos courtesy of
Simple and functional is the way to describe this shipping container café which was hand painted in a mock wood finish by designer Richard Woods internally while the outside is bright green. The shipping container was provided by Mr Box as part of the town’s 40th anniversary celebration. Its an interesting design which is obviously something that can be utilized by other companies for similar uses.
Photos :- Denna Jones