In the past decade, more and more news stories have appeared online and in print news publications about cargo container homes, and this unique housing trend appears to be capturing the imaginations of environmental advocates, do-it-yourselfers and sustainable living enthusiasts around the world.
Containing The Empty Container Explosion
Container homes are constructed from shipping containers used to store cargo on ships sent all over the world. In recent years, because of a huge trade imbalance between China and the U.S. shippers have found it less expensive to purchase new containers than to ship empty containers back to their port of origin, leading to a large number of shipping containers being abandoned.
Shipping containers are made of highly durable materials, making it extremely wasteful for them to be simply dumped in landfills. Finding a way to recycle them would be a better and more efficient solution.
That’s why building cargo container homes from shipping containers has caught the imagination of so many environmentally responsible building enthusiasts. Cargo containers are built to withstand bumping, dropping and dragging on ships, as well as severe weather conditions that may occur as they make their crossing over the world’s oceans. In short, they’re tough.
Here’s the basic specs of your average cargo container:
- Twenty to 40 feet long, eight feet wide and eight feet, six inches tall.
- Steel components made of Corten steel, a rust and corrosion-resistant substance.
- Resistant to mold.
- Plywood or hardwood components with teak, birch or keruing laminates to help the container maintain its structural integrity even when its full of heavy objects.
Building A New Solution
The problems posed by cargo container proliferation and the advantages offered by their durable construction make them attractive to inventive builders and do-it-yourselfers who want to make a statement and a difference.
Since 2005, many builders in the U.S. and Europe have been constructing homes from cargo containers. Cargo container houses have been proven to be safe, durable and a great option for taking material that would otherwise be wasted to make something built to last. Celebrity builders such as Bob Villa have gotten in on the container home trend, teaching millions of do-it-yourself builders how to make their own shipping container homes.
As economic concerns continue to drag on the construction and housing industry, and worries about mankind’s impact on the environment increasingly intrude into the public consciousness, building homes from shipping containers provides a unique answer to many of these issues.