The re-use of shipping containers to create the structure of a building surely counts among the more niche trends in sustainable design in recent years.
Shipping containers are well-suited for several uses due to their convenient size and apparent simplicity. Not only do you get a room delivered in one piece if you find shipping containers for sale, you can also stack them together to create a building with multiple rooms or join them up to get larger rooms.
Modified shipping containers offer several advantages for businesses, municipalities, governments, the military, and any organisation looking for secure storage, flexible workspace, or comfortable and portable living space. Among these advantages are durability, mobility, and flexibility.
The strong steel walls of shipping container structures protect any asset against theft, rodents and weather and the built-in forklift pockets and crane-ready corner castings make relocation easy and quick. Thanks to their steel frames, container structures seldom require a separate foundation.
Add extensive customisation opportunities to these features, and you get a low-maintenance, cost-effective option for storage, offices, workforce housing, industrial equipment shelters, and dozens of other residential and commercial uses. Being able to withstand severe weather and even fires, containers are ideal to keep assets safe year-round, even if it needs to be transported to another location.
Shipping containers offer a creative, cost-effective option for homeowners and businesses looking for a portable storage or housing solution. They are easy to set up fast and affordable, which makes storage shipping containers a great alternative to setting up concrete or wooden structures.
Before purchasing a shipping container though, there are a few things to consider:
- May you legally erect the container for the purpose you need it
Usually, no building permit is needed for a structure that does not have a permanent foundation like when one sets up the container onto concrete footings or railroad ties. If you plan on using it for a shed or dwelling, you may be required to get a permit. To maximize the life of a storage container, one should prepare some kind of foundation for it to sit on, since setting it up directly on the ground will affect moisture drainage and ventilation, which may lead to corrosion and decay on the underside.
Common low-cost foundation options include concrete plinths, railroad ties or slab-on-grade on which the container can be secured with bolts or fixtures.
- How can the container be delivered?
Shipping containers are usually delivered by a truck fitted with a crane or a roll-off truck or a flatbed truck. Flatbed trucks are usually the most effective, but you will need a forklift or mobile crane on site to place the container. If the total cost is extremely high, using a roll-off truck may eliminate the logistical hassles and be more cost-effective in the end.
- Compare the setup and maintenance costs
While buying a shipping container may be more expensive than building a concrete or wood-frame structure, the total costs of building a structure including the time taken, might exceed the cost of simply buying and setting up a container. One needs to compare construction costs, transporting materials, and labour expenses as well as consider whether a built structure would be as durable as a shipping container that can withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
- To stack or not to stack
If you are going to need several shipping containers, stacking them might save on space. Generally, no more than 7 containers should be stacked on top of each other though.
- Ventilation is important
Condensation building up inside a container can damage any valuables stored inside, hence you should install a ventilation system that will facilitate proper air circulation.
- Choose the right type of container
It is important to choose a container in good condition, as well as the right type for your purpose. Find a reliable supplier who can guide you to the best container for your needs.
You might also be interested in: Complete Guide To Long Distance Furniture Removals in South Africa