How the Housing Shortage Can Be Addressed With Repurposed Shipping Containers

Written by Small Business Magazine on November 10, 2017. Posted in Conex containers, Modular housing solutions

Modular housing solutions

While there is a definite housing shortage within the United States, there is a specific need for more affordable housing. When this is combined with the pressing need to construct homes in areas ravaged by natural disasters, shipping containers can provide a viable and welcome solution for this issue.

Currently, there are over 17 million people in the United States that live in manufactured homes. This includes modified shipping containers. In addition to being eco-green, these containers are constructed out of 85% recycled steel. Furthermore, they are fully recyclable when demolished. When these containers are repurposed, it saves considerably on new building materials.

When manufactured housing is produced within a controlled factory environment, it takes one-fifth of the time to construct than a traditional site-built house. It also takes fewer materials to repurpose a shipping container, and as a result, there is 35% to 40% less waste produced than its site-built counterparts. In some cases, modular homes can be constructed in just one to two weeks. While it takes about four to six months or even longer to construct a typical brick and mortar structure, housing constructed out of shipping containers takes roughly 2-3 weeks.

It will usually cost between 40% to 50% less to build a home out of a shipping container as well. This is due to the fact that many of the traditional building materials won’t be needed. The cost will also vary depending on the type of modifications being made, and whether or not several shipping containers will be stacked or arranged side-by-side to create a larger house.

Most of the homes constructed out of shipping containers are the standard 40-foot units. These are eight feet wide and 8.5 feet high, and can provide someone with around 300 feet of living space. When someone wants to have a three-bedroom house, these containers can be situated side-by-side to create approximately 1,200 square feet of living space.

In general, container homes don’t require a foundation. However, when they are transported to areas with inclement weather, foundations or pylons are recommended. When single or multiple connected units are rooted on a foundation, they can handle up to 100 mile per hour winds. When they’re anchored with pylons, they can withstand 175 mile per hour winds, which makes them a good choice for regions that experience tornadoes and hurricanes.

When container homes are painted and otherwise well-maintained, they will usually have a 20 to 25-year lifespan. They are also mobile, stackable, durable, and weather-resistant, as previously mentioned. Given the need for housing, repurposed shipping containers can be an excellent alternative to constructing traditional site-built homes.

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