Container Homes Can Reduce Utility Costs

Container Homes Can Reduce Utility Costs

Maintaining a bricks and mortar building takes some doing.  It’s constant.  No sooner have you completed one repair job than another appears.  I’ve watched my supposedly retired husband crawl into little places to add a little concrete or cement, strip walls to re-decorate, hire a plumber or a roofer and all in the name of comfort.  You’d be surprised how many times I have said that I would give it all up for a caravan.  They say that a change is as good as a rest.  Maybe it’s better.

Today’s lifestyle is all about managing change.  You’ll quickly think of the transience of relationships, jobs and technological advancement but probably the biggest change we all need to address relates to taking care of our planet.  A growing population means we need to create more of everything.  That means more food, more electricity, more space and that all so important water.  Also, as single occupancy seems to be what the future is definitely on a crash course for, we need more dwellings.

If we moved into a caravan, where would all of my furniture, let alone my boxes of keepsakes, go?  Well, the truth of the matter is that there’s something better and bigger than the caravan as we know it. You really need to look into what can now be done with recycled shipping containers in providing homes, hotels and office blocks and how less energy is used to create living, leisure and working space than is used for traditional builds.

Traditional Build v Container Home.

From an ecological point of view, the brick-style building uses a lot of our ‘in short supply’ energy.  Think of the electricity used to power machines, the fuel to deliver supplies and operate vehicles and, oh, the water to create concrete, cement and clean up afterwards.

That leaves you wondering about the fuel and water needed to create a container home.  Well, a recycled container is a sturdy and sustainable shell just waiting to be converted into a much greener dwelling than the orange brick model.  If you’re now mulling the idea over in your head, you might want to know a little bit more about that sturdy container.

The History of the Recycled Shipping Container.

It was in 1956 that shipping containers starting addressing the needs involved in loading and unloading goods and, although these originally met with opposition from the dockworkers, it was in the seventies when they became standard on all ships.  They were quick to load and equally quick to unload.  However, returning empty containers, or ‘deadheads’ as they came to be known, was not profitable, so they collected near the ports, gathering dust.

In 1987, an American gentleman called Phillip C. Clarke filed for a patent to convert a shipping container into a habitable building.  Patent number 4854094 was granted in 1989.  Since then, recycled shipping containers have served many useful purposes, including storage, site offices, classrooms and also as makeshift shelters in the 1991 Gulf War.

Over the last decade, these containers have been snapped up by top developers to create hotels, student accommodation buildings and everything imaginable.  Each container is fitted out at an offsite location then, once the land is prepared for delivery, the containers are sited, securely stacked to create maybe up to seven storeys and, as their ‘plug and play’ status suggests, ready to use straightaway.

Modular Building Systems in Today’s Energy-Conscious World.

Of course, the same property developers that create these breath-taking modular buildings also design smaller places for individual customers, so the single person can start with a single container home (140 square feet of living space), with the option to increase the footprint, or indeed build upwards, when extra space is needed and can be afforded. Equipped with all the things the eco – friendly person would want in a home (e.g thermal insulation, a rainwater harvesting system and renewal energy systems), the container home doesn’t drain our planet of its much needed resources.

In the long run, these eco-friendly homes will be cheaper to run so, if utility bills go down, life would be much less stressful.  Taking a serious look at the recycled shipping container option makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?