Even though shipping container architecture is the new kid on the block, the impact it has made is massive. Initially, shipping containers were used by the military to create emergency housing. Today, they are popular around the world for a variety of reasons.
From temporary offices at construction sites in the US to student houses in the Netherlands to retail container shops in Dubai, recycled containers are all the rage. To help all those new to the world of shipping containers, we give you the answers to the most frequently asked questions on recycling containers.
What are shipping container homes?
A residence built using steel shipping container is called a shipping container home. Ideally, the house is built using old shipping containers that are no longer used for sea transport, but a new container can also be utilised. These residences can be made:
- From a single repurposed container
- From many containers welded together to create a larger area
From homes for individual families to bigger apartment buildings, there is no limit to how shipping container homes are built.
What benefits do shipping container homes offer?
Building or even buying a brick and mortar home is a costly affair in current times. Shipping containers offer a more affordable alternative to it. Every year millions of containers are discovered by sea transport companies because they are deemed unfit for further use. These abandoned containers can be easily refurbished and constructed into homes in a fraction of the price of a conventional house.
Moreover, containers are built to last a long time. They are crush-resistant, fireproof and waterproof because they need to transport goods over long voyages safely. It makes container homes extremely safe. Add to it that shipping containers are eco-friendly; the list of benefits just keeps going. With each container repurposed, 3500 kgs of steel are recycled, steel that would otherwise be left rotting and rusting.
What’s the cost of building a shipping container home?
When you build a home in Dubai or buy one, the cost differs dramatically. It depends upon the size, location and construction. The same logic applies to shipping container homes. That said, the price tag attached to them is much, much lighter on the pocket than traditional residences. While new steel containers are a little costlier, an old shipping container can be bought for a song. Single-unit homes have lower price point as compared to multiple container homes. The additional work done on the container also factors in. On average, the entire home still costs much less than the usual option.
Are homes made of shipping containers safe?
There are two elements when suitably addressed that make shipping container homes completely safe. The original wooden flooring is wholly removed, and the paint coating got rid of. This is important because the wooden floor is treated with harmful chemicals, including pesticides before their sea journey and the walls are painted with toxic chemicals like the phosphorous and chromate.
Do note not all shipping containers utilise these harmful chemicals. A reliable shipping container converter in Dubai will be able to give you the information regarding the same. Furthermore, they will take the required steps to make the container absolutely safe for use.
How long do they last?
The life of a shipping container depends upon where it is located. In a place like Dubai that has a dry environment, a converted shipping container home can last as long as a decade and a half. It is after 15 years that it may require major maintenance. In case the house is made of new containers, then the lifespan stretches to 25 years. Simple techniques like external cladding and removing rust as soon as it becomes visible can considerably stretch the age of recycled shipping containers.
Are there any issues with shipping container homes?
The issue common to shipping containers, be it homes or retail shops, is rust. Though the containers are made of Cor-ten steel which is anti-corrosive and sturdy, rusting is inevitable. It is more prevalent in shipping containers used in environments that see excessive humidity or a lot of rainfall. Since Dubai get neither of them, the containers tend to remain rust-free the longest here.
A few simple steps can further minimise the risk of rusting, like reducing exposure to elements that cause corrosion. Quickly and immediately taking care of any rust that does develop also helps.
What’s the verdict?
Shipping containers in Dubai have seen a significant proliferation in recent years. And the reasons for it undeniable, from pop-up shops to small container homes to huge complexes, they have been utilised for everything and anything. They are unique, pocket-friendly and environmentally conscious, which makes shipping containers the way to go. Plus, they offer unique architecture capabilities. What more do you need to catch the eye of people in Dubai?