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Saving For a Space Ship

Living In A Steel Box: Are Shipping Containers Really The Future Of Housing?

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Couple of recent articles on long established (Tempo Housing) container housing & transportable modular units .

Perhaps the Mods could move it to the self build forum in a few days

Living in a steel box: are shipping containers really the future of housing?

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/oct/09/living-steel-box-shipping-containers-future-housing

So what’s it like to actually live in one? Ader says his Amsterdam container is cosy: each one has a living space, bathroom and balcony. Insulated panels and radiators help keep the place warm in winter. Privacy has not been a problem. In fact, Ader found it too quiet. He helped organise block parties and “eat with your neighbour” events to make Wenckebachweg a little livelier.

It’s also cheap. Residents here pay €450 a month (£335) and also qualify for a €140 monthly housing subsidy, making it much less expensive than the €600 a month Ader says students often pay to share a flat in central Amsterdam.

“There aren’t many disadvantages,” Ader concludes. “I myself wouldn’t want to share with my girlfriend – the container is a bit too small for that, although we do have some couples living here and they’re happy. I think this kind of housing works best for single people who need something a little bit cheaper.”

Former dumpster dweller (academic) launches affordable smart homes

http://www.inhabitat.com/tiny-and-affordable-kasita-apartment-can-move-wherever-you-go/

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Shipping container architecture, seem a bit like marmite, with love or hate 'em views.

For the last yr or so I've been looking at low cost construction buildings, and unless you get the building materials at near bankrupt level costs for a wood / steel or sips building frame , I find a shipping container at £1200 + for a 40ft hi cube container hard to beat.

When stacked it gets even cheaper, comparing a steel framed building.

The cost of insulation would be similar for both types, though using a wood or steel sheet outer for a container with voids, then spraying in PIR rigid foam, would be cheaper

A container has large savings on foundations due to needing support only on corners

The problem is the cost of land, not the cost of construction.

Surely land cost is a problem with building any structure? I concede that banks may not lend so readily against a container house vs brick house.

However, if construction is cheaper, the cash saved can be used to subsidise the land cost .

The modularity and ability to relocate is a major advantage to containers

My self build preference is to rent the land on a 5 year temporary lease, then exploit the modular nature of containers & move it to a new site if a lease extension is not granted.

I have a cousin who used to sell and send old shipping containers out to Africa. Oh how we laughed when she told us they were being converted into homes.

But 10's -100,000's of people have been living in converted containers for many decades, was your cousin not aware of this?

To take the Dutch example in the article, it appears a success, rents are 25% less.

Perhaps its a brick fetish thing ? Is a metal sided building seen as a commercial building or a bit shanty town - esque. Simple solution - clad it.

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I actually bought a steel "anti vandal site office" that is some 7m x 3m which is in the garden as a home office. Cost £1200 and just required power connecting. Bit cold in the winter initially but a dehumidifier which dries and warms, and an oil radiator to boost the temperature means I can work in peace for 12 hours a day away from the kids effectively. I would love to do a self build but there are severe shortcomings in Britain's climate that require real consideration before using something such as these for long term residency. Not to mention the affect of mobile phone signals!

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I actually bought a steel "anti vandal site office" that is some 7m x 3m which is in the garden as a home office. Cost £1200 and just required power connecting. Bit cold in the winter initially but a dehumidifier which dries and warms, and an oil radiator to boost the temperature means I can work in peace for 12 hours a day away from the kids effectively. I would love to do a self build but there are severe shortcomings in Britain's climate that require real consideration before using something such as these for long term residency. Not to mention the affect of mobile phone signals!

There was talk on an hpc shipping container thread ( likely this one in the self build forum http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/197175-building-a-house-from-shipping-containers )

about these site office being poorly insulated with rockwall. If you put metal sided Kingspan/celotex on outside or plain Kingspan/celotex on inside it would help a lot.

I recommend http://www.actionclad.co.uk/as a v good supplier of second grade panels at low cost .

Quote from the article comments...

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/oct/09/living-steel-box-shipping-containers-future-housing

I left Australia 3 months back because there was no work, now I'm in the west midlands.

found a job on line, Skype interview, booked flights over the net, but the one thing that couldn't be done was getting accommodation.

estate agents all offered 2 bedroom unfurnished and total unacceptable fixed term rental crap, no use for a single person coming to start a job.

thought I would have to face the horror of renting a spare bedroom and sharing a toilet with some family.

by sheer luck stumbled onto a builder who had renovated a factory turning it into 30-40 single furnished rooms each with toilet and shower, every 8 or so rooms sharing a kitchen and laundry.

325 a month inc all bills, so no monthly paperwork or meter reading at the end of lease, no fixed lease.

so when I finish my job, just pick up deposit and walk out the door no worries.

in principal just like these boxes, would have had one if they were available.

needs to be understood we're not all looking for a two bedroom semi with a garden for the kid and a mortgage , lots of workers, students and singles just want simple accommodation for a year or so.

here's fully occupied they can't find enough single accommodation for people that want them.

worked all round the world but its just the UK that can't seem to get its head around accommodation for singles.

most of the people here are from eastern Europe, not getting welfare or loading down the NHS or any of the crap you read, they have jobs, some are students with part time work, paying taxes and just saving to take money home like me.

if the gov wanted to reduce unemployment they would get councils to build these boxes so people can move to find work.

they will not be housing estates for long term but instead they would give people the chance to be flexible and move to where the work is.

too many people don't get that its not just people coming to UK it should be people from UK going to Europe, we need to be more flexible more adventures and flexible accommodation is the first place to start.

in case your wondering I'm 58 with a wife and two grown sons in Aus (glad I kept my British passport give me the whole EU to work in)

work at home when I can, away when I must, Malaysia, Singapore all over Australia and UK for the last 20 years.

and its available, flexible and inexpensive accommodation that can make or brake a contract, Britain needs to get smarter if it wants things to improve for people starting out.

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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No.

What he said.

You could always insulate the inside, but you would wave bye-bye to your generous 2.4m wide living space. Perhaps inhabitants shouldn't be allowed double beds anyway.

Or you could insulate the outside. But then you wouldn't be able to rationalise living a horribly proportioned home to your friends, as you've hidden your industrial show piece.

I believe these kind of projects usually end up sourcing new containers too so the cost argument becomes a bit flawed, especially when compared side by side the cost of a basic timber frame structure for a whole 2/3 bed house...

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However, if construction is cheaper, the cash saved can be used to subsidise the land cost .

Well, quite. So everybody decides to start living in poorly insulated steel boxes with lower construction costs than brick and timber, so everybody has the same amount of spare cash in their pocket when they come to buy, so land prices rise to absorb that spare cash. Net result is worse housing and more wealth transferred to existing landowners.

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Well, quite. So everybody decides to start living in poorly insulated steel boxes with lower construction costs than brick and timber, so everybody has the same amount of spare cash in their pocket when they come to buy, so land prices rise to absorb that spare cash. Net result is worse housing and more wealth transferred to existing landowners.

Personally I would clad with rigid PIR insulation on outside, so they are better insulated, sod the shipping container look. But it's more expense.

There's are no easy answers re: the land prob, as often discussed here.

I just feel if low cost housing such as container housing can be built on rented land at fair cost from a council or H.A. etc, it's an escape from mortgage madness or a price gouging middle man private landlord.

What he said.

You could always insulate the inside, but you would wave bye-bye to your generous 2.4m wide living space. Perhaps inhabitants shouldn't be allowed double beds anyway.

Or you could insulate the outside. But then you wouldn't be able to rationalise living a horribly proportioned home to your friends, as you've hidden your industrial show piece.

I believe these kind of projects usually end up sourcing new containers too so the cost argument becomes a bit flawed, especially when compared side by side the cost of a basic timber frame structure for a whole 2/3 bed house...

I see where you're coming from ;)
However, I don't know what insulation inside the containers they use in Holland. There have been some major advances in thin insulation recently, so thinner stuff becomes more insulative.
Obviously metal is a thermal bridge, but bricks touching the cold ground ain't doing us any favours
Kingspan have invented a new quad core insulation with claimed 20% more insulation value , Cell structure looks stronger as well.
Brunel Uni volcanic insulation
Volcanic popcorn is key to insulating wallpaper
I think a lot of folks use "one trip" (like new) containers as its recommended to remove & replace floors on used ones. This is because chemicals could have been spilt in the floor over its avg 10-15 yr life span.
I've seen "one trip" 20 ft containers for £1700, which is pretty cheap imo.
Ideally, it's better to have 2 x 20 or 2 x 40's side by side to make a squarer space.
I've found http://www.containerhome.info/ a great source of info
Considering expensive city house shares have become like bedsits after losing the communal living room, they are not much different in size to container living imo.
Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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Having lived in a container, they are most certainly NOT the solution.

Dorkin's nails it. The benefit from cheaper housing merely transfers to the landowner because that is what happens under rentier crapitalism. Quite easily fixable my socialising the economic rent (ie LVT).

Edited by RentierParadisio

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As has been said the real issue is the cost of land.

Having looked at self build, I think factory manufactured wooden framed and/or SIP houses are another way forward. Go to eastern europe and a 110sqm modern looking house, with insulation and basic plumbing/electrics can be yours for around £40-50,000 http://www.en.sendom.pl/wooden-houses/modern-houses/modern-i.html

If you're prepared to put up with something rather twee 80sqm for £20,000 http://www.en.sendom.pl/wooden-houses/ready-projects/agnieszka/agnieszka-iv.html

These places aren't going to be the cheapest either as they have websites in English, get a fixer who speaks the local lingo and you'll probably find you can get them manufactured and built for less.

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Personally I would clad with rigid PIR insulation on outside, so they are better insulated, sod the shipping container look. But it's more expense.

There's are no easy answers re: the land prob, as often discussed here.

I just feel if low cost housing such as container housing can be built on rented land at fair cost from a council or H.A. etc, it's an escape from mortgage madness or a price gouging middle man private landlord.

I see where you're coming from ;)
However, I don't know what insulation inside the containers they use in Holland. There have been some major advances in thin insulation recently, so thinner stuff becomes more insulative.
Obviously metal is a thermal bridge, but bricks touching the cold ground ain't doing us any favours
Kingspan have invented a new quad core insulation with claimed 20% more insulation value , Cell structure looks stronger as well.
Brunel Uni volcanic insulation
Volcanic popcorn is key to insulating wallpaper
I think a lot of folks use "one trip" (like new) containers as its recommended to remove & replace floors on used ones. This is because chemicals could have been spilt in the floor over its avg 10-15 yr life span.
I've seen "one trip" 20 ft containers for £1700, which is pretty cheap imo.
Ideally, it's better to have 2 x 20 or 2 x 40's side by side to make a squarer space.
I've found http://www.containerhome.info/ a great source of info
Considering expensive city house shares have become like bedsits after losing the communal living room, they are not much different in size to container living imo.

XPS gives about the best R value for the £

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I saw this thread a few days ago and was eager to get back to it, and I thought it wou;ld have far more legs as it highlights the whole nafffing mess the UK housing market is in.

I come upon this idea a few years ago now, along with other previous ideas such as buying a wide beamed boat, living anything up to 150 miles away from my present customer base including Normandy and buying a prefab home which I could even expand over the years, and there was a few other ideas.

Just coming back to the container your idea, if anyone is like me your thoughts are, ok it's not perfect, but if I rolled my sleeves up I could

1. work my socks off and keep expanding(and I would add find it enjoyable along with being ceative)

2. I could get this amount of money from £xyz

3. I have good contacts, such as an expert welder and a few good tradesmen etc etc

4. I have a huge drive once motivated

5. You start to dream again of having your own place

In the end you are only too aware that you in yourself have no problem with putting in the blood sweat and tears and what money you have have and will have in the future, and even though you maybe earn more than the national average(though by no means rich) as a self employed person with drive and aspirations the deliberate government policies in this f*****g country keep you down.

It comes back to over population and expensive land.

And then when you yet again tell yourself that this is not a feasible idea and you get a little angry, you then tell yourself why the f*** am i looking at second best ideas and solutions when I am good enough and give enough to society to own my own home.

Why do you think a container home is a "second best idea" ?

I just cant understand why so many people think this way even people like yourself who have looked at the possibilities ,would anyone think they were going on a second best holiday if their luxury cruise liner was not made from concrete/bricks

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