Now we are going talk about shipping container housing.
Shipping container housing, also known as ISO container homes, are created out of any type of shipping container usually used for transporting goods across the globe.
Why Shipping Container Housing is a Super-Hot Trend
Whether you’re looking for an intimate beachfront getaway, a compact urban abode or a larger, sprawling home on the open range, you may be able to find the perfect fit with shipping container housing. Once considered undesirable housing units for those who simply couldn’t afford the traditional brick and mortar option, storage container houses have become the hot new trend for, well, just about anyone.
ISO Container Homes Explained
While shipping containers are constructed to be used again and again, many eventually fall into disuse and end up sitting around the ports in China, northern Europe and the United States.
It is reported that an estimated 17 to 20 million of these ISO containers are peppered across the globe at any given time, with as many as 1 million of them simply sitting around taking up space.
Names to Know in Shipping Container Housing
Shipping containers have a host of other names, both officially and unofficial, depending on their use. When they’re used solely for shipping, they may be called:
- ISO Container, with ISO standing for International Standards Organization
- Cargo container
- Conex box
- Ship container
- Sea container
- Shipping crate
- Steel container
- Storage container
When the containers are used for building, you may hear references such as:
- ISBU, or Intermodal Steel Building Unit
- ISBU module
While many of these terms are used interchangeably, it is rare to hear houses built from shipping containers called shipping crate homes, but you would not be incorrect using the term. Throughout this site the terms are used interchangeably.
Instead of letting the containers continue to clog up the environment, creative folks and firms have taken to repurposing the containers into eye-catching, economical shipping container housing. We’ve been online following sea container houses since 2004 and we can tell you the trend has been growing heavily since at least 2010.
Countries across the globe are embracing the container home movement, with container conversion projects in regions that include the US, the UK, New Zealand, Chili, Canada, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Norway, Switzerland and Australia – just to name a few.
Shipping Container Housing Benefits
- Repurposes the thousands of unused containers scattered around global shores
- Economical, with empty shipping containers costing anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 each
- Strong, durable and made from galvanized steel, shipping containers are typically stronger than wooden frames
- Easy design plans stem from the modular design, with the ability to place containers side-by-side or up to 12 empty containers on top of each other
- Reinforced and ready for action, people have assembled pre-built homes in as few as three days
- Resistant to mold, fire and termites
- Can be converted into homes wherever is most convenient, and then easily transported and assembled at final destination
- Materials age well and require very little maintenance
- When building a house with shipping containers homes can be modified later on to include new modules
Shipping Container Home Drawbacks
With the popularity of shipping container housing on the rise, more information about ship crate homes is available for consumers.
We won’t lie and say there aren’t a few disadvantages of living in sea container homes – but they may be easily outweighed by the benefits and creative flair.
- Boxy design that’s typically long and narrow, ending up 20 to 40 feet long but only about 8 feet wide and 8 feet high after insulation and interior walls are added
- Used containers may contain traces of pesticides and other chemicals used to protect cargo during transport, usually requiring a removal of the container floors before it is deemed habitable
- Solvents used in shipping container construction may be harmful since the containers were not initially designed as living quarters
- Cargo spills could have further tainted the interior, requiring a full stripping and refinishing
- Steel is a phenomenal heat conductor, which means you’ll need far more insulation than traditional homes to stay cool
- Building permits for a shipping container home may be tough to come by, or not allowed in every area or municipality
- Post construction issues such as container sweat
Have you known more about shipping container housing?