Approximately 30 million steel shipping containers are in existence, filled and floating, or standing about empty in a port. Eight feet wide by 8.5 feet high, and either 20 or 40 feet long, the steel shipping container has been the globally standardized transportation module since 1956. Costs of shipping empty containers back to their origin are high, so often times the containers sit unused in ports.

The use of containers as a building material has grown in popularity of the past several years due to their inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense. People build homes with containers because they are seen as more eco-friendly than traditional building materials such as brick and cement.

A luxury home doesn’t always necessarily mean thousands of square footage, towering great rooms and gilded toilets. To begin building one of these houses, all you need is $2,000. That $2,000 will buy you a shipping container. What you do with that shipping container… well, that’s completely up to you. Some creative people have found a way to transform this rudimentary “room” with metal siding into luxury housing that amazes. These buildings are epic.

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However, there are some disadvantages. Buyers beware, as a container might have been sprayed with insecticides or fungicides inside, and coated with lead or heavy metal paints on the outside. Steel conducts heat very well; containers used for human occupancy in an environment with extreme temperature will have to be better insulated than most brick, block or wood structures. Steel is not widely used for residential structures. Obtaining building permits may be troublesome in some regions due to municipalities not having seen this application before. Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful.


What do you think? Would you wver feel safe living in one of these? Do you think this is the future?