The use of shipping containers as the main building blocks of commercial and residential real estate is a very interesting trend, if not surprising. In fact, according to some estimates, by 2025 the domestic market for shipping containers could be over $73 billion!
While some container-based buildings can be an eyesore if done right, they can lead to some very colorful and interesting builds – as you’ll soon discover.
If you are interested in owning your own shipping container property, prices can vary greatly depending on the quality of construction you are looking for. Basic “no frills” options typically cost between $10,000 and $35,000 (not including land).
According to some sources, a multi-container structure can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $175,000 for a more luxurious container-based residence. Of course, when it comes to bigger things, the sky is the only limit.
This is especially true if the building is being built in prime locations around the world, especially near beaches.
Since shipping container buildings are made from shipping containers (often recycled), you might wonder if they are really safe? The basic building blocks of these buildings (the shipping containers themselves) are designed to be very strong, airtight, and virtually impervious containers for transporting goods around the world.
Thus, they are one of the most durable building components. However, once the basic container is modified to include windows, doors, etc., the safety of such structures depends entirely on the quality and safety of these weaker structural elements. Punching holes in walls can also affect their structural strength, especially for multi-storey buildings. For this reason, structural reinforcement is often required.
As far as structural integrity is concerned, this may vary depending on the age of the container, as well as new and old containers. Even older buildings can be very strong in places like corners, but their relatively thin walls, floors and ceilings can show signs of fatigue.
If you recycle them to build a house, you will need to add insulation and you may find that some sort of traditional roofing is also required. Used containers may also need to be decontaminated before use (and habituation), especially if they are used to transport hazardous materials.
In short, yes and no. While using and reusing items such as shipping containers can save raw materials and energy costs for the production of new building materials, they are not always green.
On the positive side, sea containers benefit from a well-established global logistics infrastructure that makes it easy to move them even around the world. They are also relatively easy to set up and modify, meaning that prefabricated container structures can be erected in half the time.
For purposes such as emergency housing after natural disasters, their usefulness is more or less unmatched.
The main reason is that the methods used to process them in homes vary greatly. Buildings made from so-called “disposable” containers are the most common, as containers tend to have minor damage, small dents, rust, or other structural problems. This makes them an ideal building material.
Others may use so-called “deactivated” containers. These are old containers that can have a very long lifespan. Salt water exposure and years of wear and tear can leave them in particularly poor condition.
While they can be used as building materials (with some repairs), it has also been argued that proper recycling of steel for new uses may be a better option. This happens for a number of reasons, but the main one is that they tend to contain more steel than most homes need.
For example, if the steel were melted down and turned into steel nails, an old shipping container could be used to build 14 more traditional houses instead of one (or only one) part of the container house.
Do you want to see interesting, and in some cases very beautiful buildings made of shipping containers? The following range from small residences to large student blocks and are located throughout the world.
Kitvonen was built in 2005 and is one of the largest container complexes in the world. It consists of 1034 shipping containers and is intended for temporary residence of students.
It was originally intended to remain in its current location for only 5 years, but the decision to demolish it was put on hold indefinitely.
California house Boucher Grygier House with an area of 251 square meters. m with three bedrooms built from three recycled refrigerated containers. Two of them were used for the kitchen and master bedroom, while the other was cut in half and stacked to make two additional bedrooms.
The Freitag Flagship Store in Zurich is the world’s tallest container building at 85 feet (26 meters). It was built by the Freitag Messenger Bag Company from 17 shipping containers.
The first four floors are designed for laying out shops, and the rest are storage rooms so that tourists can climb to the upper observation deck.
Slovenian architecture firm Arhitektura Jure Kotnik is passionate about designing buildings using shipping containers. A prime example is their Weekend Home 2+ project, specifically designed to provide housing using shipping containers. Each unit is prefabricated so no recycling containers are used and it is fully wired and connected to the water supply.
Thus, it is very quick to install, and thanks to its design, it also has a low environmental impact.
“Redondo Beach House”, built from eight shipping containers, is a two-story residence in California. The home sits on a $1 million waterfront overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a swimming pool, also made from shipping containers.
Bonnifait + Giesen Atelierworkshop is a New Zealand-based architecture firm specializing in affordable holiday homes. Their Port-A-Bach shipping container is designed to stand alone, has foldable sides and is easy to transport. They are designed to be used in situations where the destination does not require electrical and plumbing connections.
The Chilean Manifesto House is built with 85% recycled materials, and you’ll be forgiven if you think it’s not made from shipping containers. The 524-square-foot (160-square-meter) house is actually made up of three shipping containers and wooden pallets, with cellulose made from unread newspapers used for insulation.
Architect Sebastian Irarrazaval decided to use 11 shipping containers to build a 1,148-square-foot (250-square-meter) house in Santiago, Chile. It’s called Caterpillar House, after the cargo container’s “legs” that protrude from the sides.
This particular container building is located in the Andes. Some of the containers sit on a slope, merging into the hill, and serve as access to the building.
Built by Trinity Bouy Wharf on the banks of the River Thames, Container City is one of the world’s most famous structures built using shipping containers. In our opinion, this is also a very attractive building. Container City apartments are very popular with artists, who can rent a studio for around £250 ($330) a month.
The phrase “size doesn’t matter” fits perfectly with this shipping container house. It is quite possible that this is one of the most beautiful interiors we have ever seen. Seeing pictures of this shipping container home, the beggar thought it was actually built from a shipping container.
Developer Citiq has converted an unused barn in Johannesburg to provide affordable housing for students. Moreover, shipping containers were placed on top and on the sides for additional accommodation.
The entire structure offers 375 self-contained apartments on 11 floors and has become a colorful and interesting addition to the city’s skyline.
Audi decided to create a scoreboard for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They decided to build it out of 28 Audi A8s and 45 shipping containers. The finished scoreboard offers a 40-foot-tall (12-metre) digital display made entirely from the car’s LED headlights.
The Hive-Inn is an interesting concept hotel designed by Hong Kong-based OVA Studio. The design will allow docking and undocking of containers at will.
The idea is to provide maximum flexibility and mobility with possible applications in residential or medical facilities.
GAD Architecture has created a “miniature master plan” using modular shipping containers and terraces atop Istanbul’s Trump Tower. The structure is divided into two floors and is traversed by a series of walkways of various sizes.
With twenty-five carefully selected commercial spaces and gardens, the building is said to be a modern Turkish bazaar.
Adam Culkin’s Grandma’s House is far from fancy grandma’s cottage. In fact, it is a masterpiece of modern design. This house is built from nine shipping containers and it’s amazing. The whole structure is designed in an appropriate industrial style, with concrete floors, sliding doors and lots of steel.
It was recently announced that Dallas could soon see a flood of affordable housing built from shipping containers. Called the Lomax Container Housing Project, the project was designed by Merriman Anderson Architects in collaboration with local Dallas firm CitySquare Housing.
When completed, the project will consist of 19 one-bedroom apartments made from recycled shipping containers.
This ultra-modern office building is located in the Israeli port of Ashdod (40 km south of Tel Aviv). The building, built from recycled shipping containers, is used to house the Port Authority’s offices and technical facilities.
Another interesting sea container project is a new residential complex in Utah. The six-story complex, located in Salt Lake City, is built entirely from shipping containers.
Design for the Box 500 apartments began in 2017 and is nearing completion at the time of writing (June 2021). According to its architects, the project was inspired by a similar project in Amsterdam, which aimed to provide affordable housing in the area.
Miami may soon have a new microbrewery built from shipping containers. Proposed by D. Manatee Holdings LLC, the City of Miami Virtual Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board recently reviewed plans for an 11,000-square-foot (3,352-square-meter) brewing center atop an addition to the historic DuPont building. Outdoor beer garden.
A brand new luxury hotel recently opened in Paso Robles, California. This may not sound like breaking news, pardon the pun, except it’s made entirely from shipping containers.
The hotel, called the Geneseo Inn, was designed by the architectural firm EcoTech Design. Inside, the containers are equipped with locally produced materials that are also recyclable or have zero or low environmental impact (according to the creators).
Lovers of shipping containers, today is your destiny. As you can imagine, this is just a selection of similar structures.
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Post time: Dec-30-2022