Concrete base being constructed by local workers with steel uprights.
Shipping containers arriving to site and being dropped onto the supports and into position.
Now the containers are in place work starts on turning them into a dormitory first job cutting all those windows.
Next job is the internal framework of all the beds to be used in the dormitory as well as a few partitions going up for privacy.
Dormitory starts to take shape and the beds and walls become more recognisable as a workers home!
Outdoor sink areas made from concrete start to take shape.
Staircase now installed into position and its starting to look on the road to completion.
Extra roof over the container complex helps reduce heat in the building.
Handrails are added not just as a feature but also to help the guard monitor people entering and leaving.
Looking at the building from the road it gives a very professional finish to the property as it no doubt improves the look of the neighbourhood due to the amount of work gone into the design.
During 2005 Stephen Shoup founder of design and build company ding LAB inc. purchased a furniture and woodcarving building they wanted to convert into a live/workspace. This then was outgrown as Shoup became a father so he began developing a plan to increase the space to create more room in the backyard. He created the office using an old retired freezer and a shipping container formed in an L shape.
The exterior of the Shipping container was then covered with cement board panels by CertainTeed as well as redwood. Hidden beneath the exterior panels is a layer of exterior coat insulation. The shipping container sides were filled with batt insulation and then covered with rigid insulation with a radiant barrier.
- Inside the office you will find a drain back water based radiant heating system that is connected up to a 200 gallon holding tank as well as two 4′x8′ solar thermal panels. Cork flooring was used on the interior as well as the walls being covered with reclaimed fir and Homasote panels.
The window you can see in the photo was recovered from a salvage yard as well as the sliding door. Wherever possible recycled materials were used price wise the project came in at around $150sqft.
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.
The discussion of cosmetic appearance as well as cooling and insulation properties often come up when talking about shipping container homes but half of the issue is people don’t think out of the box or that nature can often have the solution right in front of us. This development in the photo is actually inside an office complex providing natural beauty, a changing scenery as well as cleaner air all from a vertical garden which is artistic in design. The reason I picked this one out of the projects that Gsky have already completed is that its shape i similar to a shipping container,its indoors and if they can do this indoors why can’t we outdoors? May also help get round planning permission issues as it would be a living piece of art. Gsky do sell the products as well although not sure if they do international shipping. One thing is for sure though is this can be replicated with a bit of thought.
A floating home which appears mainly from timber construction but offers an interesting design for a home on waterways. No doubt could be adapted if not already to utilize sustainable materials. The home was actually prefabricated and travelled from the contractors workshop from another location on the lake. Although the timber frame also makes this a lighter home for construction, I am sure that shipping containers could be used in the same way as the shape of the home could easily be adapted to shipping container usage for recycling containers at the same time if looking to do something similar. Here in the Philippines for example timber isn’t always practical due to cost as well as termites. Which is the main reason most construction here is done in concrete.
Most people think of prefab construction as being off-site pieces assembled on site – floating a whole house was quite a task but saved time, energy and money in the long run. It is a rare building that can be more cheaply built to float than to sit on land.
Half of the problem when talking to people about shipping container homes is getting them to literally think out of the box. Here we can see 4 container units sat side by side with partitioning sections being added. A standard roof and pretty much the home is starting to take shape and a lot quicker than traditional methods.
Now cladded over can you even recognise it as a shipping container home? The cladding isn’t glued either they have actually installed it with a “super therm” ceramic paint manufactured by Superior products Minnesota who claim it can be used as a paint, adhesive, insulator, fireproof barrier as well as an acoustic barrier. Also part of the claim is that its insulation properties are equal to that of a conventionally designed home.
The design above is a good example of integrating a balcony area as often it gets overlooked yet could be a view over the ocean, BBQ and dining area, or simply an external sitting and entertaining area. The other thing I like about this size of unit as well though is it can maximize the 2 x 20ft containers by joining them together in an L shape then using the balcony to complete the unit as a square. Giving a modern looking home which doesn’t look too obvious of its shipping container roots with the over cladding.