John Parkes
If set properly on its foundation these would be homes that are earthquake, tornado, hurricane, and fire proof. it would be a simple matter to embed steel reinforcements into the concrete foundation to bolt these down, FEMA should pay close attention here, i'm sure the trailer homes they are so fond of are much pricier, and much less robust.
The containers are designed for tons of capacity and are stacked twenty and thirty high on cargo ships that roll in the just can't beat that kind of strength with a mobile home...or any other home for that matter.
Designing a home with these things would be no harder than playing with children's blocks. The size of your home would have no limits, just add another block if you need it. I've seen these finished inside and outside so well that the container is invisible, no one would know unless told. They are used worldwide to build malls, restaurants, student housing, apartment complexes, the possibilities are endless...yet we let them sit and rust away in shipping yards the world over. We must love waste...we do it so well.
Mark A
Containers sound great but they rust. Temporary structures at best.
"i'm sure the trailer homes they are so fond of are much pricier, and much less robust."
You are incorrect about the cost Mr. Parkes, they are a fraction of the cost of the cheapest MB Architecture container homes, though you are correct that they as less robust.
But The FEMA trailer homes are specifically to be mobile, cheap and temporary shelter.
Alan Belardinelli
I doubt that a shipping container is actually tornado-proof I reckon that tornado debris could likely penetrate a container. Perhaps if it were insulated with concrete and wrapped in kevlar..
Containers are made of Corten steel. They get a little surface rust which forms a protective barrier and that's it. They will last for many, many decades.
cool, but $100k?
Matthew Jacobs
Will banks lend on these structures in a similar way as a contemporary home or do you need to cough up the cash?
@ John Hemingway, thank you, you are completely correct. When containers are anchored to a stable foundation or columns they can resist the uplift of a hurricane. And because their surfaces are made of Corten Steel (about 6,000 lbs of it), they can resist 110 mph wind-borne debris, making them impact resistant. The windows can either be impact-resistant as well for a little more cost, or be covered with plywood in case of strong winds.
@JAT, you are exactly right. Corten is able to maintain the rust with no adverse effect. Keep in mind, though, that since we paint our containers, there are no surfaces exposed that may rust.
@rlk.warren you remind me of Charlie Brown and Lucy in that commercial where they demand that everything should cost 5 cents. Not everything can cost 5 cents. This system costs $100/sf which is astounding for what you get and far less than conventional construction, far less than all DWELL-sponsored prefabs and many prefabs in general.
@YRAG, you are incorrect. FEMA trailers cost $75,000 and a study showed that their life-cycle cost is closer to $200,000. And they are a fraction of the size of the Insta_House and not close to its spaciousness, sturdiness and comfort.
We have studies the pre-fab market very carefully, and I can confidently say that there is no high-ceiling solution under 100k with the structural integrity, functionality and comfort of the Insta_House.
The problem with container buildings is they are expensive to heat and cool unless you build insulating walls in which case one could just build insulating walls in the first place and no be constrained by 7.5' wide interiors which is a real pain to eff use.
Containers are and have been used for shelters for a while now.... If not adequately anchored they are NOT storm proof..... Talk to people who have lived through a cyclone in mining towns of Western Australia, their "dongas" got thrown all over the place.... (Injuring their occupants..)
For a severe storm nothing beats a properly designed cellar/bunker. Just hope that the place doesn't flood or you find yourself like a rat in a drainpipe...
The cost for these shelters is way above what they should be, The containers used are generally those taking up space in ports of countries with one-way transport... Importing stuff from other places, and it becomes uneconomical to return the containers to their place of origin... (Which is why several people have designed collapsible containers allowing 5 to be stored inside one, for a more compact return trip....)
The cost listed is nearly all profit for the architectural firms charging for their art. (AS the container cost is negligible.)
Don't get me wrong, I love the use of containers for structures, and have had plans on the drawing board for decades. (Ideas are cheap, having the means and the need often comes a far second place.)
Also, as the container is reasonably robust, it is cheap to put down a footing, and insulate / weatherproof the exterior, if needed to increase the life expectancy of the steel structure.
Stories like this isn't for affordable dwellings, but rather toys, and extra space for those with the ability to pay.