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

Google – The New Creator of Container Architects

Building a container residence can be nice DIY project, especially for those who take building as a hobby or a way to relax. Still, one needs to keep in mind that building container houses is a long procedure and requires extremely professional attitude. Due to many challenges, container house projects might escalate into failures. Thereby it is a worthy option to get a professional manufacturer to build it for you. There used to be a huge challenge in that option as well.

In order to manufacture container houses, the provider need the houses’ drawings. Building a house without blueprints is impossible. The manufacturers are also unable to determine the price without really specific details about one’s dream house. Most of us lack the architectural skills for that. Luckily, today all you need is a sketch made with Google Sketchup software.

Try googling container houses designed with Google Sketchup and you’ll find many results. By sending your sketch to a provider, you’ll safe a lot of time in negotiating and explaining your vision. Sketchup is a tool for you to translate the idea of your dream house to an architectural language that the manufacturers understand.

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The prices of container houses can vary a lot. The prices are dependent of the number of floors, the amount of plumbing and electricity installations to name but a few. Use your sketches to inquire the prices. That’s how manufacturers can help you.

Container Castle 10k square feet

Container houses are advantageous related to conventional buildings in the sense that they can be built elsewhere than their final destination. For instance Shanghai Metal Corporation custom-manufactures numerous container houses every year and ships them worldwide. You can submit your inquiries and sketches in our Facebook page by sending a message. Check also our other social media platforms for future updates. See our container house service description here.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Eric Wichman’s blog, Victor Fernandez, Tin Can Cabin, Mister Swift, Land8, Google Sketchup

Container Houses – Hobbits in the Mordor of Architecture

Why do people want to build their homes out of shipping containers? Because of the benefits one can gain from containers and the promises related to successful shipping container architecture. Container houses indeed have many benefits that are superior compared to more conventional construction material. Still, there are numerous examples of how container house projects fail. Failure and challenges make some people question containers’ position as a reliable building material. Here we want to discuss some of that criticism.

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Modularity, eco-friendliness and excellent availability are indeed some of the many benefits of shipping containers. The ports of many import driven countries including the US have hundreds of thousands of containers that are never shipped back to their original destination. Therefore it is logical and environmentally friendly to find ways to reuse these building blocks. However like any building material, containers also need to be processed.

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Shipping containers should not be used in the condition that they are when first found in the docks. They have taken hits and transported goods with unknown origin. They might have shipped contaminants and they floors might be in bad condition. Refurbishing  the containers thoroughly is as important as with any construction material.

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Because of the numerous operations including flooring, plumbing, drywall etc., container house projects might become as expensive as ordinary building projects. Thereby it is an recommended option to buy prefabricated container homes from a reliable provider. For instance Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures and ships numerous prefabricated homes each year to many countries.

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Sometimes container homes get excessive critics. Some people say container homes are not suitable for areas that are either really cold or really hot. This is not true. There is even a huge inhabitable container house complex  in Antarctica!  In hot conditions the container houses can be built to direct the flow of air inside creating a natural ventilation and thus saving costs. Such examples include the container ship terminal in Seville and this container house created by Chinese university students.

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Some people say container houses are not bullet proof. It’s true that the light steel walls won’t stop a .38 Magnum but it will stop dynamite. That’s something, say, a wood house can’t do. Moreover container houses are hurricane and earthquake resistant. Isn’t that more important?

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The thing is that the shipping container architecture industry is really young and under development. In his book, Why A Students Work for C Students And Why C Students Work for the Government, a successful entrepreneur and author Robert Kiyosaki mentions that the construction industry is the slowest industry in adapting new concepts. He says that the time gap between when a new idea is proposed and its adoption is 60 years in the construction industry.

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People have built wood houses for ages, and learned from their mistakes. That’s why wood houses don’t have that much criticism anymore. The container house patent was filed in 1987. Therefore the expected time for flawless container architecture should be around the year 2047. Container housing needs just more time to develop – from hobbits to heroes. Luckily, the signs refer to faster development than 60 years.

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As in any construction industry it is important to do the right things. It is also important to do the things right. That’s what Shanghai Metal Corporation does by specializing in building container houses according to customers’ specification. A sketch of your dream house drawn with Google’s Sketch Up is what we need hear to realize your dreams. You may contact us first by this form. See our service description through this link. Check also our social media sites for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and more reading: Wikipedia, Survivopedia, Homedit, Apartment Therapy, Container Alliance, Arch Daily, Jets on Green, Tin Can Cabin, Baidu Image

Container Houses – Affordable Homes And A Lot More

As we all know, building a home out of shipping containers is cheaper and faster than conventionally built homes with same dimensions. Buying a prefabricated container home makes it even easier for average consumer since the majority of the construction is made off-site. Container homes are definitely becoming the mainstream of affordable housing, but since almost anything can be built out of these steel Lego blocks, why should one settle only for getting a living space?

Shipping Container Guest House

The simplest container living space can of course be done by using a one single container. There are numerous examples of these container micro homes that are also presented in our articles. People wanting to build larger homes use to spend more money by hiring an architect agency to make them do the drawings for a container house manufacturer. Today thanks to Google, we can avoid those service costs by using Google’s Sketch Up program to make them ourselves. That money can be spent perhaps for a container garage, sauna or even a swimming pool.

Container swimming pool could be a nice DIY project. Stefan Beese, An experimental architect set us an example by turning his New Orlean’s backyard into a luxurious swimming zone. He used a 30 cubic shipping container, added some pumps, filters, linings and did all the necessary operations. He only used about $5,000 to $7,000 to do that. You can read his whole story through this link.

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Saunas are a necessities in some countries. For example in Nordic countries a saunaless house will most likely not get sold. For now the container sauna market is not that large and there are only a few suppliers of prefabricated container sauna manufacturers. One of them is Canadian Castor whose 8 ft sauna containers have a really high-end price tag of $ 41,000.

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Luckily shipping container houses are modular and flexible in every way. They can be shipped and built in relatively short time frames. They can also be easily adjoined to existing buildings. Therefore for consumers it could be a reasonable option to buy a custom manufactured container house and save pools, saunas etc. later as DIY projects.

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In Shanghai Metal Corporation we custom-manufacture container houses according to customers’ requirements. We also offer various indoor kits that you can see on our web page. We also sell various kinds of shipping containers worldwide. If you have questions related product categories, you can send your questions through this form. We are also active on these social media platforms. Follow us to get future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Gizmag, Nola, my-container.co.uk, Inhabitat, Viralnova

Rock Climbing on The Containers of Bangalore

After reading the many articles of applications of shipping containers, even I still get amazed on how many there already are and how many there are still to come. It seems that whenever they discover a new way to modify containers’ structure the number of new applications starts to grow rapidly.

For instance, what if you flipped a 20 ft container on its head, what kind of structure would that be? Perhaps a clock tower like this?

Barneveld Noord by NL Architects

Well, an Indian company Mars Adventures has used this simple approach to build a rock climbing facility in Bangalore.

50ft High Artificial Climbing Wall - Mars Climbing Gym at PLAY

At Mars Climbing Gym at Play park Bangalore there are three different climbing facilities including 50 ft high climbing zone, 60 ft wide bouldering arena and a 20 ft high roof climbing setup.

50ft High Artificial Climbing Wall - Mars Climbing Gym at PLAY

The 50 ft container climbing wall lets three people climb at the same time under professional surveillance. The roof climbing setup is a facility where people can climb inside a 20 ft tall shipping container. They open this facility only for professional climbers.

20ft Long Roof Climbing Setup - Mars Climbing Gym at PLAY

What ever is the application, shipping containers won’t change always stay within industry standards. Shanghai Metal Corporation will also keep on shipping these building blocks to our customers worldwide. Our wide selection is worth seeing and maybe you’ll discover new  applications for them. Check our containers here. See also our social media channels for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original article: Mars Climbing

How Academia Changes What We Think About Shipping Containers

The new application possibilities of shipping containers have already managed to attract the attention of various communities including artists, designers and architects. Universities are also applying shipping containers in their research on engineering, arts and human sciences. Here we will present some examples.

Shanghai’s Tongji university’s students came up with an idea of a light-weight, solar-powered and self-sufficient house that could be built out of shipping containers. Their work, the Y container, is a structure that uses photovoltaic panels for heating floor and water. The six containers form wings that direct wind for natural ventilation. The Y container was built for a Chinese couple that could not afford independent housing. (via Inhabitat)

The students of Geneva University of Art and Design together with Bureau A built a container housing complex that helps to observe people’s living habits. The eight inhabitable shipping container pods all have different functions. For example one container is meant to study people’s engagement in communal decision making. (via BUREAU A)

As we can see through these examples, the academic communities worldwide contribute to finding new applications for shipping containers. New applications attract new stakeholders and create more demand.

 

The catch of this story is that no matter how many applications they come up with, the standardized shipping containers themselves will stay the same. They will also be provided by Shanghai Metal Corporation. You can visit our website to find more details about our shipping containers. Check also our social media platforms for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: BUREAU A, Inhabitat

The Container Shops of Alluring Asian Beauties

In our previous articles, we have discussed how shipping containers can be turned into convenient mobile pop-up stores. Container shops have already been applied all over the world. At least, this peculiar example from Taiwan gives some evidence to that theory.

In Taiwan there is a unique business concept of selling paans. They are betel nuts wrapped in a betel leaf that together make a powerful drug that gives energy boosts like caffeine. It is also a very dangerous drug that causes oral cancer. It is mostly used by truck drivers to stay awake during night shifts. Selling betel nuts is only allowed outside the capital Taipei.

The vendors of betel nuts are young local girls that sell them from small glazed kiosks. In order to attract drivers along the road, the girls wear revealing clothes. The transactions take place outside the kiosk letting the drivers stay in their cars.

A Polish architectural photographer Magda Biernat discovered a set of scattered shipping container betel nut stores when she visited Taiwan with his husband. During her journey she compiled a set of images that were displayed in her exhibition, “The Betel Nut Beauties”. (via Inhabitat)

Even though we might have negative opinions about the ethics of this business, it won’t deny the fact how shipping containers success in constantly defining new business concepts. This story also shows how fully operational real estate can be built in an environmentally friendly way by using abandoned materials.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is experienced provider of shipping containers. Our large variety of containers ensures that you will find the best product for you. We also offer prefabricated container buildings for office spaces and housing. Check our websites for detailed specifications or send us questions through this form. Visit also our social media platforms.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Inhabitat, CNN, Wikipedia

This Solar-Powered House Produces 50% More Energy Than It Consumes!

A French architect Philippe Starck has developed a prefabricated wooden house that takes advantage of solar power and other sustainable power sources to produce energy.

PATH homes by Philippe Starck and Riko

The house is under construction and will be placed outside Paris for Starck’s personal use. It is produced together with one of Europe’s leading prefab manufacturers Riko. This house is also called a PATH house (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) that is designed to consume a third of the energy of a traditional house.

PATH homes by Philippe Starck and Riko

The house has glazed with with rows of aluminum panels running in between. The energy-producing system is placed under the fluted parapet that lines the edge of the roof.

PATH homes by Philippe Starck and Riko

The PATH homes can have at maximum eight rooms in an area between 140 and 350 square meters. The house is priced around 2,500 and 4,500 euros per square meter. The delivery takes approximately 6 months. Assembling is usually done in 2 weeks.

PATH homes by Philippe Starck and Riko

Shanghai Metal Corporation is also a provider of customized prefabricated houses that are environmentally friendly and can be build with low costs. They can be empowered with our solar power system. Check our website for more details. Follow us also in our social media platforms for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

via Dezeen

Container Towers of Deep Dives And High Flies

A Polish design studio MOKO Architects an extreme sports venue that will be built on two abandoned concrete silos and a series of shipping containers. A 25 meter twin tower in 12 km from Warsaw’s nucleus will be built during 2015.

Diving and Indoor Skydiving Centre by Moko Architects

One the 25 meter towers will be completely filled with water. On the top people can dress their scuba wear and dive into the depths. In the bottom there is a cave that takes to the other tower. The rest of the other tower will be built for exercising skydiving.

Diving and Indoor Skydiving Centre by Moko Architects

Shipping containers will be used to build additional facilities to support the visiting extreme sportsmen. The containers will be turned into offices, kitchens, hostels, changing rooms, reading rooms, exhibition centers and cafeterias.

Diving and Indoor Skydiving Centre by Moko Architects

This a great example on how environmental conditions can be enhanced by putting used material into reuse. It also shows how already existing structures, in this case silos and shipping containers, can have new applications that many people have never thought before.

Diving and Indoor Skydiving Centre by Moko Architects

A same kind of sports venue could also be built by replacing the silos with oil tanks making the diving section wider. We sell high-quality oil tanks and shipping containers in Shanghai Metal Corporation. You can see details in our webpages. For any inquiries and questions, please use this form. Check also our social media platforms for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

via Dezeen and Inhabitat

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Shipping Container Beer Garden – Sacramento’s Little Germany

Thanks to the trade deficit with China, the ports of the USA are filled used shipping containers that are rarely sent back to their original destinations. Luckily people have found a way to use them in, say, housing, retailing and restaurant business. One instance is a container beer garden in Sacramento.

The German style Biergarten is built out of two shipping containers that are welded together. A 40 ft container operates as a kitchen, bar, storage and an ordering station. Another 20 ft container is attached to operate as a restroom.

Der Biergarten is at K and 24th streets. The outdoor watering hole will serve 32 draft beers, but not mass-market beer. It also will offer a light menu of traditional German food.

The construction needed also some reinforcement materials. Paneling was done with stainless steel and diamond plate aluminum was used in flooring. They used 6-inch tiles to cover the space between the walls and the floor.

The Biergarten sells 32 different draft beers and and traditional German food including German sausage that in procured from Sacramento’s German butcher. This open-air beer garden closes at 9 pm from Sundays to Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays they close an hour later. They are closed on rainy days.

 

Shipping containers accompanied with appropriate building materials lets people start new business with relatively low costs. We sell a large variety of containers and building materials in Shanghai Metal corporation. Visit our websites for detailed descriptions or send us your inquiries through this form. Check also our social media channels for future updates.

    

Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: The Sacramento Bee, The Biergarten, Sacramento Local,

Please use the the social media boxes below to SHARE this article to reach all the people interested in container-based business.