Appetite for History? … 3 Facts on Origin of Container Homes

It’s hard to determine who exactly was the first to engage in the idea of transforming shipping containers into homes and offices. However, there are some historical cornerstones, worth noticing upon:

1. During the Vietnam War, starting at the same year when McLean invented the shipping container (1956), the US military started using containers to ship supplies to troops and bases overseas. Undoubtedly this helped the shipping container take root as the transportation standard. And due to their ease of movement and potential for protection, containers were quickly applied for emergency shelters and houses.

2. On the 8th of August 1989, Phillip C. Clarck was granted with a patent (#4854094) for his invention, labeled as a “method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building, at a building site and the product thereof”. This was the first container house related patent ever.

3. In 2006, Peter DeMaria, a renowned Southern California architect, managed to design the first two-story shipping container home in the U.S. as an approved structural system under the strict guidelines of the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code. This proved to be a huge opener for official living in containers, boosting its popularity.

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