Folger Steel Framed Offices In Berkeley.

Forger Steel Framed Office building

WA Design set otu to create a modern energy efficient office space that would blend in with its industrial neighbourhood. The three storey building is constructed using steel frames and timber. The new offices stand our and give a refreshing modern touch to the rather dated industrial area between Emeryville and Berkeley. Although brighter than its neighbours its design slips into the location rather well. The facade clad with checkerboard pattern of green and pale blue cement boarding however makes you well aware “this is the building” If driving past. the design rather fits well with shipping container architecture even if there is a lack of shipping containers. The shape of the building and its use of steel could easily see this being a shipping container building. At the same time the industrial feel was no doubt done for that reason as well as the wood in replication of old pallets.

They have also added weathered steel to the northern wall section in keeping with the rusted artifacts located at the Berkeley waterfront. They really have done their homework in keeping with the area while still introducing modern designs and features.

The interior carries on with the feel with exposed steel beams and the use of mixed materials and finishes. Resin panels filled with seawood also allow light to travel while keeping with the seaport idea. A ceiling skylight allows heat to leave the building via the roof at the same time allowing light to pass through it. There is also a motorised sunshade to help keep the building cool throughout the day. Energy wise the use of “free” artificial lighting helps reduce electrical use at the same time tere are other energy power reduction systems used throughout the building.

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Finding Shipping Container Home Plans

Finding Shipping Container House Plans

shipping container home plan

When considering building a shipping container home you should initially start to look for existing shipping container home plans online as many of the issues of construction would have already been covered but also due to the unique modular construction method you can find many designs to suit your needs and space.

Reasons why you should consider building your home from shipping containers are :-

  • As a structural building block they are readily available anywhere in the world and it doesn’t take much searching around on the internet for “shipping container for sale” to start seeing results on the costs involved with buying shipping containers to make it more viable.
  • Inexpensive and readily available its not hard to come across second hand units commonly called within the trade ISBU (intermodal steel building unit) and prices vary from $1000 upwards although in some locations I have seen them much cheaper (including the UK) but costs will vary due to the size,age and condition of th eshipping container as well as the additional cost of delivery. The added value also of using shipping containers is that your gaining a large working spce of 320sqft per 40ft container which in reality means you have a lockable workspace while construction is ongoing.
  • Shipping containers also reduce construction costs on average somewhere around 20% and 50% depending on location.
  • Construction time is also heavily reduced as the initial blocks can be placed in a day and from start to finish within a couple of months as much of the pre-cutting can be done before they reach site. E.g the doors,windows,first fix electrics, painting and insulation can be added to the unit before it even arrives speeding up the whole construction process.
  • Its environmental to reuse a shipping container as a home as it leaves a smaller carbon footprint than melting down and reforming into another steel object.
  • Keeping the sizes and supply within standard ISO shipping containers also means you can design and construct a house easily by connecting and interconnecting the shipping containers.

There are a few disadvantages to using shipping containers for building a home :-

  • Always buy with Corten steel or even aluminium as older containers may be suffering from rust issues that may take more work to repair than its worth. But most suppliers will tell you if its grade A – D which gives you an idea of condition before you even visit to view.
  • Space issues can be a problem when putting containers into position or pre-working/delivery as well as needing machinery for unloading and positioning.
  • The shipping container home design plans should also be in suiting with the existing neighbourhood which is why its worth canvassing your neighbours in advance to get some feedback about the project in case of any objections.

There are many sites on the web now offer shipping container house plans, I would go for something utilizing standard dimensions using the ISO standards and then modify and adjust to your housing needs. E.g adding a porch and landscaping. Also make sure the designs are practical and workable, many I have come across on the internet go to the extreme on design yet your looking for something useable not to win awards for the architect.

shipping Container Home Plans And Construction Companies can be easily found here at this link where shipping container home companies are being added into a directory.

The Myth of Ceramic coatings for Shipping containers and what does ISBU stand for?

When companies realised that a new market was emerging a quick fix was found and marketed in the Ceramic coating markets to insulate shipping container homes in reality it was fake. In fact the information they used to justify the Ceramic coatings being used couldn’t be replicated and on top of that you could pretty much get the same result using white paint which is a lot cheaper and easier to find. In reality the best method is SPF insulation (Spray Polyurethane Foam) which is a sticky mixture that fills the voids easily creating a solid wall of foam. I would recommend using this internally with stud partition that you panel over once insulated. Another issue people are overlooking is condensation which causes rust although its not as bad as people often make out due to the design of the ISBU which stands for “Intermodal Steel Building Unit.”   It doesn’t rust easily its designed for some of the harshest environments on the planet and has not only got to deal with what the weather throws at it but also being thrown around. Its a solid piece of equipment and if treated properly is going to probably out last most people who convert over to the new modular way of living.

Shipping container jail cells – New Zealand

shipping container jail cells - New Zealand

A debate sprung up regarding the usage of containers as jail cells as New Zealand is looking to use its inmates to build them. Primarily because part of breaking the cycle of crime is gaining skills and self worth. Teaching the prisoners how to construct will also give them a level of satisfaction. You can read more about it here.

Now I want to continue with the jail concept for another reason though as I spent some time in Brixton Prison in the UK. Nope not as an inmate! but there doing an evaluation on the structure and infrastructure of the buildings. There has been major problems there due to a high suicide rate and living conditions being very poor. The main reasons for the problems within the prison walls is firstly some of the buildings are 200 years old and on top of that the capacity of prisoners is doubled compared to its original capacity. This normally means a single toilet and cell shared between 2 – 3 prisoners which if you imagine a bunk bed with a toilet pan next to it besides that you have less than 1 1/2mtrs of space left to move around.

Shipping containers could offer a cheap solution in the UK as well as many other countries as well as being cost affective in the long run as there isn’t a lot to repair or replace in a steel building.