The world of prefab and modular homes.
  October 2007
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All about containers

Making Light has a link-filled post about shipping container architecture.

The post sparked some good comments. Randolph Fritz:

"Um, folks, don't let the coolness factor blind you to some real design problems.

  1. Unless some serious tying-down and welding is done, these things aren't remotely earthquake safe.

  2. They conduct heat (and cold).

  3. Water accumulates on flat roofs. Steel rusts. Water will also accumulate between the levels of stacked containers and on the floor kitchens and bathrooms. Ventilation and control of water is a big deal with unprotected metal structures, just as it it with wood.

  4. Hmmmm, wonder what the neighbors are doing up there? Pounding on steel drums?

  5. The wall is the structure; you have to be careful when making holes.

Which doesn't mean this is a Bad Idea. It means you've still got to do design, if you want a liveable result."

Liz D:
"I lived in a converted shipping container in 1982-1984, in California. It had some upsides (cheap) and some downsides. The biggest downside was the width -- a standard container's interior dimension is 7'8". My living quarters had interior drywall added, leaving an interior width of 88 inches.

Given the configuration of my space, I had to put the bed on the long wall, instead of across the short wall. I had a queen bed (75 inches wide) -- leaving only 15 inches of space between bed and wall.

The next episode of shipping-container architecture was at a friend's, who arrange 3 in a u-shape, with a covered patio between them. Much more satisfactory."

(Hat tip: Boing Boing)

Related Posts:
   1. Container Cities (Jun 13, 2007)
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