With regard to the increasing number of shipping containers, some people see a problem, while innovative architects see an opportunity to be eco-friendly. Since the mid-2000s, designers have been repurposing containers for all kinds of buildings. Some structures may be simple - a compact container for a home - while others are complex designs that use multiple containers merged with other structural components.
Is building a container home as economical, sustainable and liveable as claimed? We've broken down what you need to know below.
Customized New Shipping Container House
A container home is any home built from shipping containers, but the resulting structures can be very diverse. Many builders or homeowners combine containers to build larger homes. If you are buying a brand new empty container, it is likely to come from a Chinese manufacturer; the Chinese company CIMC produces around 82% of the world's steel containers.
Containers are a more environmentally friendly and budget-friendly option, but you need to check their condition carefully. Look out for different certifications. WEIZHENGHENG is offering container homes that are available for purchase. They offer a one-stop shop for anyone who wants a container house but does not want to build it themselves and you are welcome to visit.
The most important thing to do before you start building is to research your local laws and regulations. You need to ensure two things: firstly, that your container building is suitable for the land, and secondly, that it complies with existing building codes and zoning restrictions.
Some codes and regulations specify whether container homes are allowed. More remote or less accessible areas are more likely to allow shipping container houses, but you do need to consult your city or county planner for specifics.
By most estimates, there are millions of unused containers in the world. It is often cheaper to receive new containers than to send them back to the supplier, which means that some containers are discarded after just one trip.
Container housing can also encourage a smaller footprint and reduce the use of other building materials such as timber and masonry. Homeowners who are open to alternative living spaces such as container homes often adopt other environmentally friendly elements such as solar panels, wind power, water recycling systems and rainwater harvesting systems.
Shipping container homes are not always cheaper to build than traditional timber frame homes, but they can certainly be. There are many variables that affect the cost of a project, such as location, size, design and interior decoration.
The cost of purchasing the container itself can range from a thousand dollars for a smaller container to six thousand dollars for a larger, brand new, larger size container. Newer containers will cost more than older ones.
A container comes with a flat metal roof, exterior walls and a metal frame that doubles as a foundation - elements that are often referred to as cost savings. But you will still need to spend money on transporting the container to your site, insulation and upholstery.
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