Shipping containers are starting to become the norm not only for house construction but also for reusing as offices and other buildings. WhiteCrate has taken on the realisation that you can also make them an extremely portable sales unit and have developed a company round the concept. From an exhibition and event perspective these are also fantastic as you can simply fold up and drop when needed saving a lot of expensive costs in labour.
Keeping on the green route of recycling the company tries to get all its fitting out materials from local sources to help reduce unnecessary transportation and excessive waste. Having a broad selection of designs also allows people to get an idea if its suits their business and needs.
I nearly missed this coffee shop as we drove past it today on the way to the Department of Science and Technology. Its a perfect example of a budget shipping container cafe but done in a very quaint way that is fully functional and the container actually gives it a bit of charm. The other important note here is the location as it slips quietly in between a condominium development and a petrol station which also shows how functional the building can be in a small space. The added canopy gives it a lit sitting area for evenings as well as canopies over the windows and outside area for shade against the Philippines sun.
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.
City Mall in Christchurch, New Zealand has come up with a quick construction project after New Zealand’s earthquakes earlier this year. This pretty much put the central area of the city off limits except for demolition work. The shipping containers have been converted into two clusters of 25 shops with 2 cafe’s hoping to get the city centre back to life and the centre of the community. Maybe a thing we are going to see more and more with the reduced costs of construction of shipping container buildings as well as the earthquake resistant designs.
Another shipping container building in Minglanilla. This one though is a car parts business supplying things like oil and batteries. As you can see though easily slid in off the main road and its neighbour is the Gaisano Mall.
Giving it a great location for selling. A good example of a shipping container building being used as a store where they have kept the main doors to lock the unit up securely at night when the store is closed.
The development of the shipping container industry threw up some interesting design problems as its own success then began the need of variations in shipping container construction. Customers had different needs and its surprising that the industry managed to keep within its standard design structure with such needs. At the same time more modifications to the standards had to be added as new problems developed that hadn’t been seen with such things as the corner standard fittings you see on the shipping containers, but nobody had assessed maximum payloads and containers began to fail because they hadn’t been tested to high stress levels and needs of customers demands. As these failings became apparent the International Standards Organisation was swift to step up the specifications on the standards and the quality and strength of shipping containers improved.
The next issue involved railroad cars as there needed to be shipping container reinforcements on the end plates as the containers had extra pressure added when the railroad cars hitched and unhitched costing around an extra $100 per shipping container.
The next issue was standardising the lengths of units to fit into all shipping situations and this seen the rise of five initial standard shipping containers develop :-
20 ft (6.1m)
40 ft (12.2m)
45 ft (13.7m)
48 ft (14.6m)
53 ft (16.2m)
The matrix of shipping containers were designed so that they would fit into most fitting needs and being able to interlock the different sizes within ships without difficulty. The U.S. prefers the larger shipping containers while Europe prefers 40ft containers. Adding to this was the weight restrictions to keep the shipping containers manageable but also within restrictions such as road limits for freight this seen the following standard shipping container weights develop :-
20 foot: 52,910 lbs/24,000 kg
40 foot: 67,200 lbs/30,480 kg
45 foot: 67,200 lbs/30,480 kg
The net load totals are:
20 foot: 48,060 lbs/21,600 kg
40 foot: 58,820 lbs/26,500 kg
45 foot: 56,620 lbs/25,680 kg
The development of the shipping container has seen two materials mainly in use Aluminium and Steel. Most common being steel as it handles the bashing of shipping container needs as well as still functionally light and a cheap material. Aluminium is a more expensive solution but doesn’t suffer with the obvious rust problems that steel does. In recent years though Corten steel has seen its entry onto the market place which is rust and mould proof making it the most practical solution.
There is nothing that specifies what a house of worship has to be made out of and shipping containers make a lot of sense especially if a church is being renovated for safety reasons.
At the same time I find a lot of churches and chapels here in the Philippines fall into disrepair due to a lack of maintenance and budget. At the same time I am sure shipping containers could be utilized as a cheaper long term solution especially in areas prone to bad weather where a conventional church may find its roof damaged in bad weather conditions. The other benefits are that its at a single level (unless you add upper floors) which means its easier to maintain and renovate although will need less maintenance than hollow block or metal sheet roofing.
The blog has been a little quiet lately but its not doing to a lack of things going on but the reverse. Several interested parties has stepped forward for various construction projects all of which I am now knocking up drawings and ideas for how far the projects will go we will have to wait and see currently its just in the early stages but can see it developing well if it gets taken seriously especially by local government as a housing solution. There are several reasons I am keen to do low cost housing including giving people dignity and pride in their home which should hopefully tie in with other projects to make a sustainable higher standard of living possible. On top of that shipping container class rooms are also on the cards as well as an interesting swimming pool idea so all in all its getting pretty busy. I will share some of the 3D images once I have finished the designs but I would request donations if you decide to use any of the sketches or drawings purely towards building the beach house container house here which will be fully online from start to finish to show you how to build it yourself. Currently we are looking at an initial budget of P100,000 for the unit and construction.
Just wanted to post an update on ongoing things as people may wonder where I disappeared to.
These car showrooms are a practical example of how a shipping container module can be used. I have also worked with a company in the UK previously that use the outer steel frames you see here that form an open sided shell that slot walls drop into. This is probably based on the same technology but still using the shipping container size and weights for transportation. A small 7.5 ton truck with attached crane can move these and deliver one at a time. Making it not only cost affective for construction but also transportation.
Vita Espacios is taking shipping container homes very seriously and utilizing shipping containers in many forms to suit peoples needs at very low cost.
Our solutions include: • Homes • Schools and Classrooms • Doctor’s Offices and Clinics • Shelters and Refuges • Small Businesses • Intelligence and Police Centers • Army and Communication Centers • Attention Centers • Dressing Rooms and Restrooms • Eating Areas • Offices
Previously working with a modular company in the UK it became very apparent how adaptable using containers were. We built everything from morgues and hospitals to washrooms depending on the needs and specifications of the clients. Some wanted cheap and cheerful while the Ministry Of Defence had very strict guidelines and quality controls to adhere to. The important thing here though with the developments in Mexico is that they are looking at the cost as a priority. The shipping containers themselves by design are structurally sound if utilized correctly which does mean you have a great unit to adapt to all sorts of projects.
Consorcio Vita Espacios Insurgentes Sur 1677-202 Guadalupe Inn, 01020 México, D.F. t. 5662-6005 5662-7130 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vitaespacios.com