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Author Topic: Container homes  (Read 1565 times)
murraymint
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« on: April 04, 2012, 06:25:36 PM »

Has anyone on the site have any experience of using second hand shipping containers as part of a home or home extention? I'm certainly giving it some thought.
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biff
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 06:33:53 PM »

There is no reason why you could not adapt a container for living in.
                                   I bought a very clean 40ft container some years ago.It used to be a mobile washine machine repair workshop.It was wired for 230volt ac and 24 volt dc.It is very heavily insulated with a suspended ceiling with rooflights.During the really cold weather i could work away in there without a bother.It was the best 1500euros i ever spent.I still use it and store my toys in it despite building a new shed.
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clockmanFR
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 07:05:25 PM »

Here in France they use them for student accommodation, stacked up to 6 high. (they say its recyclable and Eco friendly).

They have an internall skin with insulation between the two, windows, shower, WC, and front door, what ever could a student want for more?
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Bodidly
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 08:03:39 PM »

I am in the process of turning an ISO container into a smart site office. Basically one side is being cut out and I am building what amounts to a lean to conservatory on the side. I know this is not the same as a home but I will happily report back how goes and what problems I have.
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M
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 08:50:01 PM »

Has anyone on the site have any experience of using second hand shipping containers as part of a home or home extention? I'm certainly giving it some thought.

Not sure if dragging strange 'stuff' from the back of my mind is of any use to you, but there was a TV series I seem to recall watching a few years back where Dick Strawbridge and another bod (Jem?) did a different 'green' project each week. One week they built some accommodation out of shipping containers. If you can find that programme, it may be worth watching for some tips. Hope I'm not making this up - it might be time for my medication!

Mart.

Edit: The medication worked, here are some links and short extracts from the programme, Planet Mechanics, and the other 'bod' was Jem Stansfield who currently appears on Bang Goes The Theory

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/videos/planet-mechanics/

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/planet-mechanics/episode-heavy-metal.html

M.
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Stochengberge
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 09:12:38 AM »

I remember that someone was going to build a block of flats with them on a small triangle of land between some existing buildings, a road and a railway line in Rochester / Chatham, Kent. It may have even been a very early Grand Design but it was certainly featured on the local BBC news as well. I've tried to Google, but can't seem to find anything, but this site may be of help-
http://containerhouse.info/container-home-construction-book-primary-building-blocks/

The plot of land featured is still an empty "brown field" site.

Using containers makes sense though - the biggest problem with them is making sure they don't sweat, plenty of ventilation & insulation required.

SB
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murraymint
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 10:16:57 AM »

I have also seen a hotel chain build a new hotel opposite my work entirely out of containers and looking at it you would never know.

heres a link http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-506794/The-new-Travelodge-hotel-shipping-containers.html
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biff
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 11:03:35 AM »

SB,
   You are correct.It was a long time ago,perhaps 94 or 95.I think they got it built or were in the process.The red tape in that part of the world is horrendous with an official for every word on the plan.I dont think they were being nasty or petty,it was just that they were so top heavy with suits and nobody could make a decision.A couple of hundred yards away at the bridge,they also had the floating resturant and that contravened some little law which dragged on for years keeping the owners in limbo till they had to give it away.They could neither sell it nor fix it.It was certainly not a good place to bring some unotherdox idea into the world.
  Intrestingly,overheads such as rates etc. were among the most expensive in britain and it was a deprived area.!!
                                                                        Biff
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stannn
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 12:10:02 PM »

http://www.masalatime.com/?p=524
I like no.3.
Stan
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Imintheshed
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 12:20:46 PM »

Insulate, insulate, insulate......in 1999 (you pull up the sandbag.....I'll swing the lamp) I was an aid worker in Kosovo. As the Serbs had burned out many of the houses in our region prior, reconstruction and emergency shelters were a priority. Cant remember who, but one aid agency brought in shipping containers and kitted them out for living. Result? Very happy villagers until the winter came in.......at which point they moved out of their refrigerators preferring the ruins of the houses and UNHCR plastic sheeting.
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RobNute
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 10:05:48 PM »

http://www.containersdirect.co.nz/container_housing
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 08:53:30 AM »

I'm not convinced that using containers is an easy/cheap way to build.  As already mentioned above 2 big problems are condensation on the steel skin and insulation.  So as I see it, you have 2 options:
- insulate internally then install a vapour barrier, and lose some internal space to insulation.  Cheapest solution since you can still use the waterproof shell as a ... waterproof shell.
- insulate externally to gain some more internal space, then you'd need to waterproof the insulation with cladding, = more work and cost.

Then there's there's the matter of working with steel, not very easy to cut and depending on how much you cut, you might need to re-inforce the structure with more steel.  The containers use the walls as structural support, so if you cut out an entire wall, you'll probably need to weld a beam in above it.

Putting up a normal timber frame structure might take a bit longer but is easier IMO and more approachable from a DIY perspective.  And might end up costing pretty much the same as using a container.  You can also build it to any size and height you fancy.

2p
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biff
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 10:14:01 AM »

ANd there is the elephant in the room,
                                 The wind factor.I have been inside a 40ft container lowering stacks of boxs to the floor because they were getting tumbled all over the place  sh*tfan and then the front of the container swung round into a large pine tree which i was gratefull for.Its not a pleasent experience.I did not have it anchored but after that night it stayed next to the pine tree to this day.
 The container i refer to is my present day workshop.I have to add that it is not steel but ply with a steel framework and very heavily insulated with a double clear ceiling,warm and comfy.
 Then again ,I suppose one could weld the multiple steel containers to steel stanchions driven into the ground with a digger as a precaution against the wind.
                       Biff
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