Container Homes – The Illegal Saviors of Economies And the Environment

The ports of many import-driven countries including the USA are filled with used shipping containers that are never shipped back to their original destinations.  Therefore considering the well-being of the environment, getting new ways of use for them is crucial. Building affordable homes for many families is the best option, but how to influence the local decision makers to offer building permits.

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The valuable resources of used shipping containers will remain as an unused asset if the decision makers do not allow the installation of shipping container houses. The roots of the problem are not on the operational level, in other words,  in the daily application and inspection processes. In many countries there are protocols on how large, what colour or which material the houses in a specific suburb should be made of. The problem is that the standards do not say much about special building materials, let alone shipping containers.

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The inspectors can only follow the protocol, that’s a fact. Therefore people should work on influencing the upper level authorities, unions and city councils.

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Social media offers great tools for that. It is important that people keep on writing blogs about the benefits of shipping container architecture. It is also equally important to share other people’s work on social media. The optimum use of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, WordPress  etc. enables the maximum reach of one’s work. Maximum reach implies that the content will eventually reach the decision makers or the people who influence them. Moreover, as we already analyzed in our former article, this industry develops really slowly, so all the counter measures should be designed for a long run.

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Besides quality, quantity also counts. The decision makers also suffer from bounded rationality. Instead of only few experts, by social media they can be influences of thousands of experts, those who want to build affordable homes and to help to save the environment and the economy. Even though it sounds like a long shot but it’s still an implementable way.

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Shanghai Metal Corporation also contributes to this good cause by creating content related to container architecture and sharing others’ work. SMC is a pioneer in providing shipping containers and container buildings for many countries. You can also join our social media communities.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and more reading in: Containerist, Biz Journals, Wikipedia, Baidu Image, Baco Enterprises

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How to Conquer the Challenges of Shipping Container Architecture?

In our previous articles about shipping containers and shipping container architecture, we have highlighted the benefits of container constructions and explained why they are a superior building material. Of course there are also disadvantages, but luckily, they can be conquered easily.

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Shipping containers are a modular construction material that gives architects only  a limited number of restrictions. One of the questions many builders ask is “how to do proper roofing on shipping container houses?”. Shipping containers are designed to hold heavy loads on their four pillars so the roof itself cannot hold much weight. Fortunately, the modularity also implies that shipping containers can be combined other building materials such as roofing sheets and metal tubes. Roofing is an easy task as described in the article of container shelters.

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Another thing people are worried is how shipping container houses can resist humidity. Again, there are examples of shipping containers with great ventilation and insulation systems. They even make saunas out of shipping containers! Shipping containers are made of steel that absorbs heat. Still, for instance the shipping container cruise terminal in Seville maintains cool temperatures even during extremely hot summers. The natural ventilation system can be easily done by welding which is a relatively cheap procedure.

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Even insulation is not a problem. As mentioned in our article about container winter housing, shipping containers do fit in cold areas as well. The insulation can be done by glass wool or preferably by using insulating spray foam. Also the pillars in each corner allow builders to design a  platform that prevents the building from touching the ground.

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Some people prefer using recycled shipping containers because they are lower priced and have a higher supply compared to new ones. However, shipping containers might take some damage and get some cargo spillages. Therefore each time the containers should be checked and perhaps painted with nontoxic paint. Also the their indoor hygiene should be assured before implementing interial design.

In some areas, getting building permits for shipping container houses might be troublesome. However, due to containers’ massive media exposure and their brand as an eco-friendly solution for affordable housing, the municipalities and decision makers will eventually be forced to accept the utilization of this superior construction material.

This super material can be easily purchased from Shanghai Metal Corporation. Just send us an inquiry and our English speaking experienced staff will guide you through the process. We ship containers and prefabricated container buildings worldwide. You may check our offering in our website. Check also our social media platforms for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

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Pictures and original articles: Wikipedia on Shipping Container Architecture, Shipping Container House Design, House Decor Design