The invention of shipping containers in 1955 by Malcolm Mclean and Keith Tantlinger brought about a much needed revolution in the transport sector. All over sudden people could transport anything from one area to another via ports at a very affordable cost. What Malcolm and Keith didn’t know is that transport was just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to using shipping containers. In the late 2000s, a popular movement to build tiny houses began in a bid to save the environment. This triggered a discussion about what more can be done to ensure building doesn’t affect the environment so much. Recycling existing material was the unanimous answer to this dilemma which gave rise to what we know now as alternative building materials. This article will look at one of the most popular alternative building method called shipping container homes.
What are Custom Shipping Container Homes?
They are houses built primarily of shipping containers. Depending on the size and design of the home you want, you can use one to ten containers stack together like blocks or welded onto each other to make a permanent house. The word custom means that the contractor will make the home from scratch according to the design you want and any other requirement. You can get the house done from your property or from the factory and them transport it to the property when it’s done. Some of the advantages of shipping containers homes include affordability, low maintenance, pest and termite resistance, weather resistance, durability and fast construction. The house can be put together and finished with amenities in just a few months depending on size and design. A small foundation is prepared on site where the home will be placed when it comes from the factory and you can move in the same day. Contrary to popular belief, you can build a container house that is big or as small as you want with all the amenities other houses have and there are no restrictions. However, the biggest advantage of custom shipping container homes is that they are very environmental friendly and that is why most people choose them. Here are some of the ways shipping container homes help the environment:
1.Recycling waste containers
The truth is, the shipping business will always be booming. That means that the world is producing more and more shipping containers every year to keep up with the demand. So what happens to the old containers that begin to wear out? It is estimated that around 500,000 containers are abandoned every year and left to pollute the environment. Apart from melting all that metal and make new containers, the only other way to save the environment from all that waste is to repurpose them into container homes. Recycling or repurposing waste plastic and steel is the best idea ever had by human beings to save this world. If everyone decided to take four or five containers to build custom shipping container homes , the world would surely be a cleaner place.
2. Save the earth from bad extraction processes
Conventional building methods like mortar and brick are said to be the biggest causes of environmental pollution. The methods used to extract bricks, cement and sand are not very environmental friendly. Most quarries in the world are blasted with bombs to make an opening where they can start extracting building stones. This blasting has caused the ground to shake and cracks to form underground. There is also a lot of soot and chemicals released into the air when cement is being made and all these processes leave the earth worse off every single day.
3. Sparing the natural resources
The biggest cause of global warming is said to be excessive cutting down of trees. Wood being the number one resource used in building houses everywhere, it is no wonder the earth is feeling the effects of deforestation. Builders also go to great lengths to extract stones, sand and cement from the earth and leave it in a very unstable condition. This continuous process is the reason why the world is now facing things like earthquakes, cyclones and tsunamis because the earth structure has been so tampered with.
4. Eco-friendly construction/ finishing
Custom shipping container homes are mostly cheap to acquire which means you have more money to invest in eco-friendly finishing. Some of the ways people have tried to be eco-friendly include installing solar panels on the roof especially if you live in a hot sunny place. The solar power can be used to light bulbs, heat shower water and even power some appliances in the house including air conditioner. Most container homes also have rain water collection and use cotton or Green Fiber Coccon to insulate the walls and roof instead of the traditional fiberglass blanket. A step further would be having a compost pile by the kitchen so you can recycle all that waste and use it on the garden.
5. Tiny home
The original idea of container homes was for them to be tiny houses that don’t use a lot of power and water to maintain. While most people are actually using containers to build big homes, it is still better to have a smaller house that is easier to maintain. Another advantage of a tiny house is that you have a lot of room in the property to plant trees and bushes and you can even have a garden. Trees will not only keep your environment clean but they will also cool your house down by providing shade and wind. A garden will also be great especially if you can be able to use the compost to plant vegetables and flowers.
While there are other alternative building methods that are cheaper and faster to construct such as straws and prefabricated panels, custom shipping container homes still come on top. The steel used to construct containers is designed to withstand the strongest elements and last for a long time with little maintenance. Container homes also give you an option of having a portable home that you can move with to another location if you want.