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Author Topic:   Shipping Container Houses
GaryR50
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posted 06-24-2003 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since the thread on using corrugated steel shipping containers for housing was a victim of the recent data loss on this board, here is a link to a "12-Container House." The author of the page is a bit of a prankster, as you'll discover in looking at these images:
http://www.architectureandhygiene.com/twelveContainerHouse.html

Gary

the_incubus_of_habit
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posted 06-24-2003 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the_incubus_of_habit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love the type of thinking he has going on there.

bearch
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posted 06-24-2003 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bearch   Click Here to Email bearch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Basically a prefab loft!

GaryR50
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posted 06-25-2003 03:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of sorts, yes. I wish I could find all the links I had here before the big mystery crash removed them. There is a message board where architects and others were discussing the use of these containers as housing. Now I don't know where it is.

Well, I guess I'll have to get off my ass and go them back, huh? Here are a few:
http://www.escapeartist.com/efam17/At_The_Edge.html
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/4834451.htm

A message board: http://www.geocities.com/x55u/

Extreme Houses: http://www.headmap.com/archives/000174.html
http://www.australiatrade.com.au/Housing/PackingForShipment/

Gary

[This message has been edited by GaryR50 (edited 06-25-2003).]

GaryR50
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posted 06-25-2003 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you haven't read the article I linked to above, about Lot/Ek's work with shipping containers, you might want to check it out. If you live in Minnesota, you'll be especially interested in seeing the exhibit of the prototype version of LOT/EK's Mobile Dwelling Unit, which is now being fabricated and is to be part of a traveling exhibition that starts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in June (i.e., right now?).

Gary

the_incubus_of_habit
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posted 06-25-2003 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the_incubus_of_habit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But the walker is way over across the river in Minneapolis. Ugh.

(Seriously, thanks for the heads up Gary! Must go see it...)

GaryR50
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posted 06-26-2003 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're welcome, Incubus. I couldn't recall who the Minnesotans are on the Dwell boards, but I knew there were at least a couple. If you go, be sure to take pictures and post them here when you get back.

Gary

modernlover
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posted 07-06-2003 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a discussion board at www.topica.com called Container Homes that y'all should look at, though lately it's been quiet (I suspect that the subject has been talked to death, and all the members are waiting for fresh blood....). www.containerliving.com is another interesting site.
There's also a house made of containers in (I believe) St. Kitts that could be seen on www.melondesign.com, but I don't know if the site is still up and running.
I've been toying with the idea of fitting out a 40 ft. container (w/solar panels, etc.) and shipping it off to wherever I settle next. What a fantastic idea.

GaryR50
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posted 07-07-2003 03:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Modernlover! I had a link to those sites here before the "crash," but couldn't remember them afterward.

Gary

modernlover
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posted 07-07-2003 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're welcome, Gary. I am truly fascinated by the idea of using containers as living spaces. Another idea I had was to mount a container on a flat barge as a houseboat with a deck on the roof. I posted that idea on the Topica website, and got enthusiastic responses. I live in South Florida, so I have access to containers and the water. As soon as I get a few bucks extra, I think I'll try it. I'm totally blown away by Wes Jones' work, although speaking for myself, the cost is outrageous. Of course, I'm a carpenter and a total DIY'er, so I guess I'm biased
Justin

lavardera
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posted 07-07-2003 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lavardera   Click Here to Email lavardera     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where did you get some idea of the cost of what Wes Jones was proposing. Or is it just that the container house he proposed for the dwell home cost as much as the others!

isaac
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posted 07-07-2003 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for isaac   Click Here to Email isaac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello,
New to the Dwell forum. Some very cool subjects and links provided at this site. I also read the Magazine every month. I have a site which might be of some help.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/england/1979151.stm

GaryR50
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posted 07-07-2003 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Isaac. Pretty cool house, there.

Gary

mbr
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posted 07-07-2003 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mbr   Click Here to Email mbr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might want to check out the work of Wes Jones (one of the Dwell home contributors, also a former professor), he's done a lot with shipping containers. http://www.jonespartners.com/

Also take a look at Pugh + Scarpa (fellow UF alumni). They made a beautiful conference room in Santa Monica out of a container. http://www.pugh+scarpa.com/

modernlover
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posted 07-07-2003 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lavardera:
Where did you get some idea of the cost of what Wes Jones was proposing. Or is it just that the container house he proposed for the dwell home cost as much as the others!

Just from bits and pieces I've picked up from brief articles scattered around. I think Jones' work is fantastic, but I lean toward work by the likes of Sean Godsell, who designed FutureShack (seen that?). Simplicity itself. Shipping containers are cheap and plentiful, man!

modernlover
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posted 07-07-2003 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like I said before, though, I'm a carpenter and total DIYer, so I'm biased. My mom was trained as an architect and interior designer, so I grew up around all of this. I could take two shipping containers (40 ft. each) and build a two bedroom, 1 1/2 bath house, with kitchen, dining and living, all vital systems included, for less than $50,000 (already did the research). It just seems crazy to me that most people can't afford their dream home, ya know? They can have the dream home, but the bank owns it!!!! That's why I love stuff like Rocio Romero's house. I'd love to meet her and bandy ideas back and forth! Prefab all the way!
However, I don't really like to get into debates about design and architecture, since every person has his or her own idea of their ideal space. It's all relative, right? However, I do have to say that this bulletin board is the best place I've been on the subject. Amazing, the exchange of ideas!
More web sites: www.mmw.no (Fhiltex House) www.m-house.org
There's more, but I can't find 'em at the moment

the_incubus_of_habit
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posted 07-07-2003 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the_incubus_of_habit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. That Jones site is incredibly annoying.

So...anyone have any info on how these are actually used as housing? How do they insulate them? Are they water proof? It is just steel?

I really think these have great potential. I'd love to live in a house made out of them...ESPECIALLY if it made things more affordable.

That m-house is wonderful. Any idea on cost?

modernlover
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posted 07-07-2003 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Incubus - shipping containers are completely waterproof, to withstand overseas shipping, and are incredibly strong, too. If you look closely at them, you'll see where they connect at the corners with a thingamajingy called a TandemLoc. Some are insulated, some have generators, whatever.
Check out www.seabox.com , www.shippingcontainers.com There's many more. Some companies customise them to your needs, too.
Containers are sold in varying degrees of repair/age, priced accordingly. For a new 20 ft. expect to pay 5 -8000 bucks....used, anywhere from 500 - 5000 bucks. They also come in aluminum! So cool.

modernlover
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posted 07-07-2003 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the m-house is somewhere around 100,000 pounds / 150,000 dollars

GaryR50
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posted 07-08-2003 03:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Incubus re: the Jones site. Any website that requires a user manual to navigate should be shut down and redesigned. Other than that, it's okay.

The Sea Box site, on the other hand, is very well designed. I love the voice-over that tells you everything you want to know while you look at the front page. Cool.

One thing about using shipping containers that I find very interesting is that you can get a very good idea about the construction costs of a house because you can know what the shell is going to cost you, right up front. The only guesswork involved is in determining the costs to finish out the interiors, add doors and windows, etc. But, at least you have a good base figure to work from. Of course, the costs of transport to the site have to be added in, also. But, the really cool thing is, an architect can design such a house with particular standard size containers in mind, and when it comes time to build, you just find the cheapest deal you can arrange for the containers.

Gary

lavardera
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posted 07-08-2003 06:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lavardera   Click Here to Email lavardera     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Holy Cow! Seabox is about 4 miles from me! I did'nt even know they were there.

I suppose I should give them a call.

GaryR50
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posted 07-08-2003 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might even drop in them, Greg, and let us all know what you find out.

Gary

joe b
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posted 07-08-2003 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joe b   Click Here to Email joe b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
the_incubus_of_habit: Wow. That Jones site is incredibly annoying.

I disagree. I like it because it's outside the norm for web design. It's graphically pleasing. While it takes a while to load, it pretty easy to navigate.

Yes, I know it's missing your ALT TAGS, but that's another discussion for another board.

I really like Jones' work. His images for the Dwell Home contest presented a simple modern space. I like his attitude as well.

the_incubus_of_habit
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posted 07-08-2003 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for the_incubus_of_habit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. The SeaBoxes are approved for Class B Explosive storage. No idea what that means, but it makes them sound sturdy! ;o)

GaryR50
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posted 07-08-2003 06:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep. I would imagine that rating becomes nullified as soon as you go cutting any openings in one, though. Still, I'd expect it's pretty sound.

Gary

lavardera
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posted 07-08-2003 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lavardera   Click Here to Email lavardera     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, what a trip this is starting out to become!

Well, I spoke with the president of Seabox for about a half hour! They do a lot of containers modified to be shelters for various industrial and military uses. They have done several buildings, including their office at one of their locations, but they dolled up the outside with siding!

I explained that the appeal to people who like modern homes is the industrial look of the container. He understood, and told me about a half dozen designers and architects they have dealt with that did just that.

I was not sure where to go with it, so this is what I did. I told him I would gather some info and get together with him to show him the kind of stuff we were thinking about. He said he will show me the variety of things they have done in the past. I am going to try and come away with enough technical info so that we could develop a house design based on containers. I'll share the info here so any designers who might like to have a go at this will have a baseline of information. In the meantime, email me images, or links to images of cool container architecture, and I will print all this stuff to bring to the meeting. When I have this I'll call hiim for an appointment.

I want to bring messages from interested people, so if you email me anything, write a short note to Jim, the president, and tell him why your are interested. ie I'm a designer and I want to design container houses, or I would like to make a vacation house from a container, or whatever your interest is.

And we'll see where we can go with this. I would be perfectly willing to work up a container based design that somebody like Seabox could fabricate. I'm not sure if they are geared up to get the state certifications required for prefabbed homes the way a modular housing manuf does - I'm just not sure it would ever be a big enough part of their business to justify all the leg work that would take. Most of the shelter type containers they do never get anchored down so they never have a building permit. A house would be a different story. One approach may be "container kits" where they fab the exoskeleton - the container with windows and doors, and then you finish the interior on site, including all the wiring and plumbing that usually requires on site inspection.

modernlover
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posted 07-08-2003 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another web site that I got off Topica www.container.50megs.com
also check the links at the bottom of the page.
Lavardera, go for it!
Justin

joe b
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posted 07-08-2003 11:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joe b   Click Here to Email joe b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lav: I like your motivation!

One thought I had was to purchase an 8x10 container; replace one 10 ft side with two sliders; cut the roof off, place three 10 inch x 12 ft I-beams running across the top-spaced evenly; glaze between the i-beams for celestory windows; put down a 12'x14' metal flat roof deck on top of the i-beams. Wall-ah, instant back yard art studio.

Actually, I saw people living in containers in Jamaica several months ago. They cut out holes for standard doors and windows and put on a pitched roof. Simple structures.

You can really see the idea of a container structure in Jones' images of his entry to Dwell Home. They remind me of A. Quincy Jones' steel house from 1954 (no relation-I asked him already!).

GaryR50
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posted 07-09-2003 03:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go for it, Greg!

Meanwhile, does anyone know where I could find any existing 3D models of shipping containers? This would make the job of design a lot easier and quicker.

About designing container homes, I think it would be a good idea to do some spec designs that we could show on our respective websites, as a side line. Then, anyone interested in them could query us about them, and we could either provide stock plans for the existing spec designs, or we could custom design a house using containers. The harder part would be coordinating with the container suppliers and fabricators so as to reduce the amount of work the clients would have to do.

Gary

GaryR50
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posted 07-09-2003 03:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I didn't find any 3D models, yet, but I did find this: a 40-ft. container that has four roll-up doors already installed! http://www.azteccontainer.com/40ft.htm

I figure the more work that is already done for you, the better. You could leave the doors intact, to be used as doors, or you could remove the doors and use the openings to mount windows in.

Gary

[This message has been edited by GaryR50 (edited 07-09-2003).]

modernlover
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posted 07-09-2003 04:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary, if you go to the Topica web site, someone in the last 100 posts found a model of a shipping container. I'm running late at the moment, so you'll have to fish for it... It's in the Container Homes section.
Justin

alistair
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posted 07-09-2003 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alistair   Click Here to Email alistair     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been obsessed with the idea of a shipping container house for some time now. I saw one in an old Hong Kong martial arts film and was intrigued. I only started looking into it seriously recently, though. I have several concepts that I'm working out. Currently, my grand idea is to lay out containers so that the negative space between them defines the main rooms. The containers themselves become the structure for the house, and the small rooms and storage areas. The roofs would be ordered from one of those manufacturers of steel roof systems for warehouses and such. The problem with building rooms inside the containers themselves is that they are very narrow.

A lot of used container dealers will make modifications to your specs, so you don't have to make all the cutouts on site. Just crane the containers onto the foundation in the right order, then get to work finishing the thing.

I do have a few thoughts, though. What about code? Is this something that is likely to successfully get permitted? How can one figure out how much the structural integrity will be compromised by making modifications? Also, insulation will become rather important with a steel house.

joe b
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posted 07-09-2003 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for joe b   Click Here to Email joe b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
anyone have any average price estimates for a 10 ft, 20 ft, 40 ft container?

GaryR50
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posted 07-09-2003 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did a search of the list there, Modernlover, but couldn't find any mention of any 3D models. Thanks, though. Maybe I'll just model one, myself. It's fairly simple.

Gary

modernlover
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posted 07-09-2003 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry about that.....Hmmmm, I could've sworn I saw it there, too. An exact, but tiny, replica of a twenty foot container. I shall search for it anyway, and if I find it, I'll post it.
Justin

modernlover
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posted 07-09-2003 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I forgot to include a really good container site - www.isocontainers.com - they have specs and a container locater feature that should prove useful. You have to contact the companies for pricing, but the containers are cheap!

Kevin_in_Denver
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posted 07-09-2003 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin_in_Denver   Click Here to Email Kevin_in_Denver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gary,
When you say "model" do you mean some sort of 3D drawing file or solids modeling file?

GaryR50
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posted 07-09-2003 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, Kevin, a 3D model, as in DXF or 3DS format.


Gary

modernlover
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posted 07-09-2003 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for modernlover   Click Here to Email modernlover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought you meant an actual model that you could hold in your hands.......

GaryR50
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posted 07-10-2003 03:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GaryR50   Click Here to Email GaryR50     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nope, but, if I feel the need to do one, I could use a pre-built or kit model. Model railroad enthusiasts have all kinds of stuff available for their hobby, including scale models of steel shipping containers. You can find them at hobby shops that specialize in model railroad gear. They'd most likely be available in HO and O gauge scales.

Gary


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