The last article got me thinking about the issues we have getting our hands on good containers here in the Philippines. In reality it looks like fabricating a container is cheaper than buying a second hand one.
So why not start to think about the external dimensions and look to fabricate instead of buying a shipping container in the first place. Because believe it or not getting fabricated steel sheeting is extremely easy in the Philippines as its primarily used for roofing. The wall cladding is just as easy to get hold of which just leaves the issue of the framing. Can it be done cheaper than buying second hand containers? I am thinking its pretty close the only real difference being with a bit of luck the shipping container is guaranteed on its steel quality. Seeing how quickly things can deteriate here if not maintained properly as well as the fact many things are sub standard does make me worry about the steel. Can it be guaranteed to last?
I think the only people who can answer that is taking a visit to a fabrication plant and discussing it directly. Ignore sales people! you need to talk to the owners and see what guarantees they can offer. So why go with steel cladding instead of concrete?
- Rapid installation.
- Frame can be pre-fabricated offsite.
- Internal walls can be thinner.
- Exterior is easier to maintain and nicer finish than concrete.
- Wiring and pipework can be installed internally behind partition walling.
They are but a few things I can think of right now but there many more such as they don’t crack the way concrete does and do the insulation right you’ve got a better property for all weathers.
I am very keen on pre-fabricated houses that are dropped into place but also bearing in mind what if like many homes you drop the concrete slab on for a second floor to build later? This could actually be an easy solution as you can build the place on site if needed with basic hand tools. If there is no concrete floor for the 2nd level you could even remove the roof and drop a premade second floor straight on the support walls from below and having steel joists to support the floor.
A whole new angle here in the Philippines away from the original idea of shipping container housing. But it doesn’t mean we have given up but simply looking at what is most cost affective for our next project.