Shipping container architecture: Pros & Cons

08 Nov, 2017

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Shipping container structures or better said the architecture with metal shipping containers it’s rising up. For this time of crisis risky proposals, isolated single family home spaces, based on shipping container modules are not only relatively cheap but also a fast way to build a house, and after being tested for many years in various countries around the world, the shipping container house can be a really valid option.

It’s funny how in countries from northern europe with more extreme weather conditions the shipping container houses are a valid option for construction, whilst in a country like spain with a warmer weather it is rejected, possibly because of the long established tradition of using bricks for buildings. Although we need to acknowledge that in the face of a crisis, a shipping container house is a possibility that a lot of clients would have rejected before, but nowadays it is an alternative that’s getting stronger.

 


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We have to understand that the shipping containers have been designed for storing and shipping merch to long distances, in an independent, cheap and secure way. However, these shipping spaces that are designed for the storing and transportation of merchandising happen to have enough room to offer a comfortable space at the right human scale, which turns them into a feasible alternative for the building of habitable spaces.

 

But which materials are these shipping containers made of?

Essentially the shipping container core materials are made from rebar, although a lot of them are made in other different materials like aluminum and plywood and at the same time can be reinforced with glass fiber.

 

What you need to know when buying a shipping container for an architecture project

After finding out the price, you should look up for what kind of container fits for the kind of house you want to build. In the first place, you should look at your local shipping container normative, and since this kind of constructions it’s not specified from the ground, in the normative -although norms about general concepts of structure are featured– sometimes thermic and sound isolation can also be applied to any kind of construction.

You need to take in mind that these shipping container houses have to be treated and adapted to the basic standards, lighting, ventilation, insulation, reinforcement, etc. just like any other house.

 

What kind of shipping container do you need to use for the construction of a house

If it is just a one story building, new or second hand shipping containers would do the trick, but if you are going to add more floors to the building you should use brand new containers for the base and second hand containers for the top floors.

The living height is a point you should take into count, that’s why we are looking for 6.8 Ft. to have a living height of 2.40 and 2.50 mts. For corridors and wet zones we can find smaller and more standard sized containers.

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