15 years

Building with Shipping Containers - Part 2


Instead of nailing the siding Super Therm is used, a ceramic paint made by several manufacturers; it can be used as a paint, an adhesive, an insulator, a fireproofing material and an acoustic barrier. With this ceramic paint, the insulation capacity is equal to a conventional house, or even better!

The cargo containers, with a life span of about 20 years when used for their original purpose, have an "infinite life span" when stationary and properly maintained, they are like a treasured antique: they may not be inherently valuable, but the history and the storytelling add value.!

Environmentalists have embraced the design, applauding the recycling inherent to several designs. And advocates for affordable-housing like the design, since the total cost of a houseóbetween $150,000 and $175,000 after the buyer settles upon the various optionsóworks out to be between $73 and $90 per square foot, about half the cost of the conventional $200 per square foot for reasonable quality.

Some developers have recently opened several factories to manufacture such Quik Houses. There are a lot of elbows flying in this process, and this is the best way to protect the quality of the house, to keep the accounting transparent, and to make sure developers are not unwittingly responsible for heinous crimes to the built environment. Once these factories become fully functional, developers plan to export many of their products, commenting that "the possibilities of working on a world scale are very exciting".

Over two hundred thousand containers hit shores worldwide every day of the year. Containers can be shipped to the interior of any country via trains and trucks. Shipping containers are like Lego toys and the modules can be assembled in thousands of ways.

In general it is a good thing to recycle materials that otherwise have no further use for their intended purpose, and this is true here. As for whether one can make a comfortable house out of these metal boxes, the biggest question is: insulation...it is essential, but there are many ways to insulate these containers, so this is not a big concern. Another concern that many people would have is whether a metal box would have adverse health effects because of EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies) generation or propagation. Some people are sensitive to these while others are not.

According to the tags on the doors, the timber component (the floor) almost invariably is treated with serious pesticide. There are multiple purposes to the pesticide treatments: a) to prevent transplantation of harmful insects around the world b) to protect the structure of the floor c) to protect the contents from infestation and damage. So care should be taken to either remove the flooring (if pesticide has been used) or protect it from affecting the contents of the container.

There is no doubt that these containers can be used to fabricate very strong shells that would withstand substantial abuse from the ravages of nature.

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