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Container Housing Research Project

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posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 06:57 AM
Hi Guys,
Recently I have been really thinking about building a home out of shipping containers. The feeling of being able to build your own home that stands out from the crowd and without being in (as much) debt as building a conventional home, will be an amazing one in my humble opinion.

After sharing my idea with a few friends and cooleagues, you guessed it, I was ridiculed! But this didn't put me off and i started to do some research. I found a few websites and articles but they were all out-dated and last contributed to over 4 years ago.

I respect the opinions and ideas from ATS users and want to start a discussion and see if other people think it would be feasible and get witness testimonies from people who have done it allready.

The ultimate goal for me would be to build up a vast wealth of information enabling me and many others who think along the same lines to achieve their dreams and goals.

I would just like to say first off thank you to everyone who contributes and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is welcomed!

Thanks Again People of ATS!

(Sorry if this is the wrong place, I original meant to post in the research forum but don't have permission, and this seemed the next best place to put it!)

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 07:01 AM
Just as a starter here are a few sites I have already found and were very helpful:

Some Very Interesting Ideas and from what I gather people have been thinking about this for quite a while, so the idea can't be that outlandish can it!?

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 07:09 AM
so if you want a two story you just stack the one on top of theother, cut a hole between em, and make stairs made out of egg crates maybe?
ohh, and as a coffee table, you might want to think about using an old satelite dish .
I dont know what you will do for a bed, maybe a bail of hay?

I know the economic times are hard, but I didnt think that they were that hard.
But I do applaud your willingness to adapt.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:10 AM
reply to post by carlitomoore

I'd cover it in earth to provide some insulation and make it look a little more pleasing... I've always wanted my own hobbit hole.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:16 AM
Im so glad the first reply was full of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism!
Thats realy filled me with hope for a thread full of vast information.
I accept allot of people won't follow my way of thinking and when you say it like that it does seem slightly silly but my main reason behind it is...

Stand out from the crowd.
Have a home that i want and not having one i don't but having to settle for what I can afford.
I have always been into 'Grand Designs' as it were and this is kinda quirky.

There are other reasons too. I don't see why people are so quick to shoot the idea down though..

There strong.
There Waterprrof.
Easy to put together.
Relatively Cheap.

Again theres others.
When the first houses were being built out of wood instead of mud ans stone instead of wood, Im sure people laughed the exact same. But then everone wanted to jump on the bandwagon and be like everone else and it kicked off.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by spitefulgod

Again my sarcasm radar's bleeping....

But i actually was thinking about placing a floor underground but was gonna save that idea for if/when the thread kicked off!

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:22 AM
It's not as uncommon as you may think.

Here's one for sale on ebay:


An article on sea containers as houses plus a few other cheap alternatives:

I've also seen two 40 foot containers joined side by side to make a fair sized house.

You'd never know it was a container.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 08:59 AM
i seen a documentary a while back that was showing shipping containers that were assembled like multiple large lego blocks to form a multi story, multi room home and then were taken apart and sent out to site where they were assembled permanently.

kinda like the way they pre-make and assemble a transportable home.

they actually had some very nice looking homes considering how very little they paid.

adding another room was as simple as lifting another container on top or beside an existing one.

some had stairs out side the building with a door on the upper room. it makes better use of the space rather than hacking a hole through the floor and roof of the containers and sticking stairs or a ladder between them.

here you go, someone beat you to the redneck mansion idea.
the windmill on a pallet is a nice touch LOL

click on the image to see the full thing, ATS seems to chop the sides off.

[edit on 10/1/09 by Obliv_au]

[edit on 10/1/09 by Obliv_au]

Mod Note: Forum Image Linking Policy – Please Review This Link.

[edit on Fri Jan 23 2009 by Jbird]

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 12:36 PM
There was a programme on UK TV recently by two British Engineer/Inventors who did this very thing using three containers (single storey) and help from a group of architecture design students from a University.

The problems they at first found was the heat loss problem because of the metal sides and ceilings and of the loss of strength when large holes are cut in them to join them up. They did eventually overcome them by lots of wall insulation and of bracing/framing the holes that were cut.

The idea was to make the cheapest eco friendly house as they could - I beleive they came into budget on about £10,000 for the project.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 06:44 AM
reply to post by Wotan

Thanks for your post Wotan. Can you remember what the programe was called? I don't remember seeing it and i always look for them kind of things.
I wondered about the strength problem putting two together, but if they have done it im a little more optimistic.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 08:40 AM
I cant remember the name of the TV programme. Its the one with 2 guys who go to different parts of the world making eco friendly gadgets, eg: solar powered gondola, solar powered piealla maker, wind driven water pump, etc etc.

The main guys name is Dick, he is an ex-Royal Engineer Officer and rides around on a eco-friendly motorbike - He used to be in Scrapyard Challenge. They have a truck which is their mobile workshop.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 09:40 AM
Hi there great idea, we looked at the very same for a Waldorf School.

we contacted a company called container city

the same company designed cover park

have a look here also
container ideas

I have however now opted for a cob home, made from earth.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by Wotan

I know who you mean by him being on scrapheap challenge, but am not aware of the program. Im going to have a search for it see what i can find. Thanks for the tip!

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 03:21 PM
reply to post by ladysharrowandherbarrow

Thank you for the containercity link so much! Some of their projects are amazing, the variety is great. Im going to try and get in touch with someone through the site for some information, but im holsing my breath!

I looked at a few sites for container costs and got the impression that a 40 foot would set me back about £1000. I looked on ebay yesterday though and saw two for £600! It was less than 30mile away as well.

Their reason for selling was that their work site was closing down, and with the current economic downturn more opportunities might come up.

I feel bad for saying it, but one mans loss is another mans gain......

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 03:53 PM
If you have the land or a plot go for it, there are lots of self build websites on how to get off grid etc.

container city are very expensive
but they tend to kit it out as well with fittings.

Look at welding courses in your local college.. i did weld at art college and it was fun ;]

lots of eco builds and websites are popping up..not so crazy as it sounds anymore and as you say the house is yours.

best wishes..let me know how you get on

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 03:59 PM
Damned things don't "bury" well though.... I had researched these as possible use as an underground shelter but they are not designed for the pressure of being buried and only have "pressure points" for stacking.

These things are between 2k to 4k delivered in most parts of the country, much more economical than a steal building for storage and such.

I am not a builder or welder or any kind of handyman for that matter so that is really why I am having trouble adapting the use of these for anything but above ground storage.

Now, with a bit of reinforcement, I may be able to adapt one of the "insulated" containers used to ship refrigerated goods into a root cellar but the cost of reinforcement may outweigh the effectiveness of the design.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by ladysharrowandherbarrow

I am studying engineering at college now, albeit electrical but i work at a train refurbishment depot with a lot of welders who will be willing to teach me the basics and even for the right money help me out with it. I recently saw an acre of land for sale for £5000 a couple miles out from me, but i don't know what sort of planning permission was available on the plot or if it was just for farming.

It would be amazing to go off grid completely, I recently saw an article in new scientist about it, il post the link online if its available for anyone whos interested!

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:33 AM
reply to post by infolurker

I would have thought burying them would be ok, but what you say about pressure points and from my basic mechanical knowledge it makes sense. Shame.

I saw the 'Grand Designs' show on C4 with a couple who built a home into a hillside using breezeblocks, and they had to be reinforced with steel rods and concrete to withstand the pressure of the surrounding soil. Then they had to paint it with a special sealant, surrround it with special insulation, add a waterproof breathable membrane and compact the soil around it.

Thats what gave me the idea of using the containers because i thought it would elimanate all the problems, but apparantly not. It seems to me that the beurocracy side of things is whats going to cost the most, and that to me is really demoralising because your money just seems to go into thin air.

Oh, Heres the link for going off grid if anyones interested:

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 01:05 PM
I'd seen these mentioned before. I had thought about the burying of them for a bunker of sorts. My concern was rusting out. But good point on the lack of support on most of the structure. Above ground, the points that touch when stacked are the only place that is very strong.

I may still look into one of these once we are able to move to a bit more land.

posted on Jan, 17 2009 @ 10:59 AM
Wanted to make another post with the hope of injecting some life into this thread. I Have just been in contact with someone through ebay who is selling four 40' containers all welded together and with doorways cut into the internal walls. i Will post the pictures he sent me if i figure out how to post them, they are on my hard-drive can only see the option to post from a hyperlink.

The Selling Price is £3,400 which puts it at £850 each. I have to say i am pleasently suprised with how spacious it looks. I have just replied to him asking how easy the walls were to cut and weld and how that effects the strength. If He gets back to me i will let whoevers interested know.

I Don't Wanna Give Up On This Project!

[edit on 17-1-2009 by carlitomoore]

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