The ordinary shipping container is used across the world every single day; however many people don't realise just how practical and flexible they can be. Shipping containers can have a variety of uses, apart from the basic requirement for storing and transporting goods.
One of the most cost effective and fascinating uses for shipping containers is that they serve as great home-building materials. With each decent size shipping container costing under £1,000 each, they make for inexpensive, unique homes - and spacious too!
Each container is approximately 20-30 feet long and completely flood and fire proof; they can be easily modified by installing sliding doors or bi-folding cedar shutters to allow in natural light and for ventilation, serving as an open planned and eco-friendly structure.
Shipping container homes utilise some of the most sustainable materials to accompany its initial steel structure; such as post-consumer recycled fibre, bamboo, and wood palettes or straw canopy to act as a shading device. Many efficient homes also run primarily on solar energy, and feature a water harvesting system that collects natural rainwater.
There are endless amounts of intelligent architectural designs for shipping container homes. They can be stacked on top of each other and fitted with stairs for extra space, which also results in a quirky visual design; others may feature a cantilevered balcony on the upper floor, or even a rooftop terrace; a slanted roof to let in sunlight and for hot air to escape, or completely open air, although not recommended for in England!
In one case, a Canadian architect retrofitted eight 20 foot cargo units to build his shipping container home, supposedly saving 70 trees by using recycled materials; not to mention, he went on to sell his ultra cost efficient house for $728,000 just six years after completion.
Shipping container homes is just one example of the many countless different ways in which these containers can be used. They are crucial to saving a large amount of time and money to any building project, and create a unique and eco-friendly living space.