Old Shipping Containers to Build Homes

These hefty steel boxes are piling up in ports around the country and posing a storage problem.
Mar 26, 2010 5:05 PM ET

Old Shipping Containers to Build Homes

Homes built from old shipping containers? This is not an idea but a reality. Bill Hinchliff President and founder of Kat5 is taking old containers and recycling them into homes. These hefty steel boxes are piling up in ports around the country and posing a storage problem. After they are used they become used shipping containers and nobody wants them. Used shipping containers take a lot of space and represent a potential source of pollution Twenty-one thousand containers hit American shores every day and have a life span of about 20 years. Several architects and builders are taking advantage of this surplus to recycle the containers. The containers are a great foundation for homes due to their strength. The units are stronger than conventional house framing because of their resistance to "lateral loads", those seen in hurricanes and earthquakes. And the roof is strong enough to support the extra weight of a green roof if the owner should want it. Shipping containers are self-supporting with beams and stout, marine-grade plywood flooring already in place, thereby eliminating time and labor during the home-building process. Construction costs are comparable to those in conventional building. Four to seven units are used in a typical home. Shipping container housing can represent a real solution to social and ecological problems and showcase true recycling!

Learn more in a post we brought you last year: Home Sweet Cargo Container Home

Greenopolis.com is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


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