Over the next week Coming Unmoored will be featuring a series of articles focused on shipping container homes…
There are a lot of architects and builders that are beginning to wake up to the idea of using cargo containers for building. There are a lot of reasons that this idea’s time has come. I thought I would take a moment and outline why I like cargo container construction. Sure, I don’t exactly feel “girly” discussing this topic, but the more I learn about cargo container construction, the more I like it!
First, due to the current economic slowdown, there are a lot of cargo containers piling up. By a lot, we are talking about tens of thousands of them just sitting at docks all across the world. A very large percentage of them are in Asian ports. It may now be possible to get a better deal than ever on a cargo container.
In terms of prices, cargo containers can be found as cheaply as $1,000, or may cost as much as $6,000 or more. Using a cargo container that has already been manufactured and is currently on a dock somewhere getting rusty, seems like a great eco-friendly idea.
The second reason to consider building with cargo containers is that they are very strong and durable. After all, these containers are designed to be stacked on top of one another, while full of goods. This fact speaks volumes about the strength of these containers.
This durability translates into other benefits as well. Insects, vermin and mold have a tough time with steel. There are few insects that find steel worth the time. Therefore, if you live in a termite populated area, your termite problem is basically solved.
Safety is another major point in favor of using cargo containers. Due to the material from which they are constructed, cargo containers are going to be very safe. Since the cargo container is built out of steel, it gives a homeowner an additional layer of physical safety from storms (and potentially intrusions as well). Replacing wood and brick with metal also makes container homes resistant to fire.
Transportation is a big plus in favor of cargo container construction. The largest piece of your housing puzzle can be delivered on a truck directly to your housing site. This compares nicely to having to bring out every single piece of wood and brick that you will use for your project.
If building with cargo containers sounds like something you might be interested in doing, we recommend that you find an architect that has already tackled a project in your area. Every year more and more architects are “taking the plunge,” and building with this strong yet flexible building option.