No longer the domain of students and crunchy hippies, shipping container housing has moved from dystopian concept art to sexy living space.
The United States imports more than it exports, and ports are overrun with shipping containers- which happen to hold tremendous potential for long-term housing solutions. But most attempts to turn the blocky metal behemoths into homes have resulted in houses that call to mind passing through Newark.
SG Blocks is changing that though, creating some amazing modern dwellings that aren’t out of place in the hippest design circles. Recycling the existing structures is Earth-friendly, too. SG Blocks co-founder David Cross told CNN:
“These containers weigh about 9,000 pounds, and it takes about 9,000 kilowatt hours of energy to melt down 9,000 pounds of steel,” Cross said. “We modify that existing piece of steel with approximately 400 kilowatt hours of energy input. [That's a] 95 percent energy footprint reduction.”
There are other major benefits. Shipping container housing can reduce construction time by half. Cost estimates vary- some speculate that pricing runs equivalent to traditional “stick frame” homes. Others indicate a savings of at least 15%.
Another benefit is durability- the homes are stronger than their wood-framed counterparts, and termite resistant, too. Around 18 million shipping containers are currently in use worldwide.
[Image: SG Blocks]