Need Affordable Housing? Here’s why Shipping Containers are worthy…

7 Nov

Recently, we talked about a new ISBU (Intermodal Steel Building Unit) housing complex that we have in process, a University Housing Project built from shipping containers.

We were almost immediately buried in email by readers who don’t understand WHY ISBUs are a good solution for a project of this magnitude.

What many people envision when you say “shipping container housing” is the remembrance of news stories of refugees dying inside oven temperature shipping containers as they try to smuggle themselves into the United States.

They picture microscopic spaces – long and skinny – where claustrophobia runs rampant.

They picture “Apocalyptic” scenes where “graffiti covered steel slums are illuminated by rusty steel barrels filled with garbage burning in the front yards”…

They picture visions of “slow talking Cable TV Reality Show Rednecks armed with torches and welders hack steel boxes willy-nilly as they thumb their noses at modern society”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s all myth.

At RR our ISBU – shipping container – home and building designs and the structures that follow adhere to strict standardized  guide lines to produce exceptional and inspiring industry recognized spaces.

The benefits of Corten Steel container homes and buildings have been recognized worldwide. In Europe, ISBU (Shipping Container) housing is commonplace and has become a sustainable, affordable and efficient solution offering students and others  affordable housing and homes.

Many Internet blogs are buzzing with details about the blossoming global hotel industry as it explodes with container-based lodging and ISBU-based destinations.

While once scoffed at, these “container hotels” have found themselves recast as “media darlings” and they have found themselves cast in luxury top-end categories throughout the hotel industry.

In the case of our AgriDorm Project, each ISBU (Intermodal Steel Building Unit – commonly referred to as “shipping containers”) based apartment unit measures approximately 320 square feet and contains a living room, bedroom, bathroom, tub shower and kitchenette. Note that the bedroom uses standard queen sized storage pedestal beds and has full length Organizer Closets as well as a built in desk.

By using a pair of High Cube (because they are taller than standard shipping containers) 40′ × 8′ shipping containers, a 40′ × 16′ foot module is created in the production facility. All of the doors, windows, utilities, built in furnishings and finishings are applied during this process to create (2) 320 square foot  (approx.) finished apartment units.

Upon completion, the ISBU units are disassembled and the 40′ × 8′ foot modules are then shipped to the site (by truck or rail) where they are reassembled.

These ISBU modules can even be stacked onto other modules to make a finished single or multi-story housing complex.

Using these ISBU (shipping container) modules, this housing/dormitory/apartment building can be scaled to create virtually any size building required – from as little as 8 units to as many as 32 or more units.

Because of it’s modular nature, the housing building can also be added on to at anytime in the future.

If an 8 unit housing building finds that it has an increased demand for 24-32 units and the site has room to support it (extra parking areas, etc…), more units can easily be added onto the existing building or be added as separate buildings on the same lot.

There are many advantages to shipping container housing:

Because these modules are “factory created” on assembly lines, production time is decreased and quality control in increased. This process also increases worker safety and minimizes waste. This means that the “time to completion” can be a fraction of the time a traditional “brick and mortar building” will take. This also means that production delays are minimized.

Because the completed modules are transported (trucked) to site for assembly, fewer trades workers are required to complete/assemble the building. It also means that the construction site has much less “worker impact” on the surrounding neighborhood.

Because the building arrives as “modules”, the housing units are “weathered in” as the modules are assembled.

With the ability to set modules in as little as less than 15 minutes each, this means that your building is assembled and protected from Day One. This saves time and materials losses due to the impact of weather events on your site.

The modules origins as Corten Steel Shipping Containers means that the units are immediately secureable as they are assembled on-site.

Shipping containers are designed to be resistant to heavy weather on the high seas. The use of that same durable Corten Steel box ensures the safety of a container home.

In addition (contrary to popular belief) ISBUs (shipping containers) are actually simple to modify using plasma cutters, grinders, welders or torches. Cutting, reforming and modifying shipping containers has become a reasonably simple and inexpensive procedure.

The contents and materials are secure against loss or theft from Day One.

ROI (Return on Investment) times are decreased due to lower cost per square foot production costs and shortened build periods – which require less labor.

While the media casts “Container Homes” as the “new” GREEN, we sit at our desks and laugh.

You see… here at RR (since 1977) we knew it all along… in fact, when we first realized it, most of us still had hair… and hot rods… 🙂

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