I Came across this video tonight for disaster relief in Haiti. The concept is very simple as well as the fact they are using very basic materials that also make it light to construct and if more budget the interior could be lined. In the West something like this may appear as sub standard but in the developing world and areas suffering with natural disasters they are a lot better than most other things provided. You can find homes made with plastic bags and other materials found from dump sites which offer up many other problems. Having a solid framed home reduces the risk of infestation of rats and risk of robbery adding to that a dry family home. You can see why this type of home would not only work in Haiti but around the world in many location as being able to stack up several homes onto a truck flat packed at the same time is extremely cost affective.
This is a bit of an odd scenario to be in as I have been hearing for the last year about shortages of shipping containers in specific areas. But now we are starting to see the downsizing of trade and ships taking goods from Asia into Europe with Maersk as well as other companies cutting 20% of its capacity between the regions and no doubt as things continue to worsen that will reduce further.
This does put at risk the shipping container home movement as obviously the less containers to go around, the less viable shipping container homes because of containers starting to maintain a value and the scale of imports and exports may actually improve due to the growth in Asian economies, as people start to want more European products as things level out.
The green movement will no doubt approve of the decline at the same time those just wanting an affordable home may need more convincing.
I remember living in Germany before and finding the banks often in odd remote locations. Partly because we were with the military meaning there are plenty of soldiers in remote places needing access to money as well as having a good tax free income offshore. But also the farming communities still needed servicing for bank access. Odd to think though that many banks go extreme on security when more often than not reducing funds available or putting in a public place may actually reduce the risk of robbery in the first place. I remember talking to a bank manager before regarding “front of house” the counters we see when we are withdrawing funds. The maximum he said he ever had on the front of house was £30,000 which isn’t a lot considering 10 years in prison if caught in the UK robbing a bank.
At the same time modern banking today has tried to remove cash from the system where possible meaning most people don’t need large cash amounts and more likely just after money for a night out on a Friday and ordering a curry. Which makes these smaller shipping container banks ideal for many locations especially with banks being keen to squeeze as much profit out of us while downsizing branches all over the place.
PVC plastic pipe was used with rebar inside 600×600 mm holes, although the approximate depth isn’t shown I would say to get someone to work it out for you on the weight your putting on top as well as the strength of the ground your sitting upon to reduce risk of movement.
Setting a string out across the top of the PVC also allows leveling off before pouring to make sure the containers going to sit properly. In these they were then poured with concrete on site in place 8 holes and pipes taking 2 days to complete.
Another good idea they came up with though will working on this is that if the ground is level and you wanted to make all the posts in one go (Which also means you can do this and transport them to where you need if restricted on materials for concrete).
- You take one piece of PVC piping and cut to length
- Then cut it in half
- Rivot a piano hinge down the one side
- Add 2 luggage clamps to hold it together
Hey presto you now have a jig for making the posts saving money on PVC pipe and not only that if its tall enough you can use it for what they are now which is concrete fence posts.
The problem in the West we think home we think big.. we think of more and excess and the “we can’t live without items”. But then again how many of those items can you really live without?
Once you have an idea of reduction you have a step forward in the way your container home can be.
Here you can see the bed, small steps and side table alongside a wardrobe. Maximising the width of a small space. Underneath the bed is the storage space which is ideal for those with luggage and I can see this being used in things like modular hotel systems.
Combining wash and cooking facilities into one reduces space drastically as generally we are doing one or the other so makes sense. At the same time strongly advise good earthing (ground) to reduce risk of electrocution.
You have to remember you may be losing some of the worldly goods of excess inside but you are gaining the environment on the outside allowing living spaces such as gardens and views over a concrete jungle.