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Modular Housing

2012-11-25 14:50:35.244717+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

ABC News on Yahoo: Shipping Containers to Become Condos in Detroit. Leaped out at me for two reasons. First, it acknowledges (several times) that the building shell is very little of the cost of the building:

Joel Egan, co-founder of HyBrid Architecturein Seattle, which has built cottages and office buildings from shipping containers for close to a decade and coined the term " cargotecture" to describe this method of construction, warns that although containers can be bought for as little as $2,500, they shouldn't be seen as a low-cost housing solution.

"Ninety-five percent of the cost still remains," he says.

Second, Thanksgiving this year was a potluck down in the south bay, courtesy of Chris Rasch, aka crasch here on Flutterby, and I ended up talking someone part of the Future Living Foundation. I'm not entirely sure what they're all about yet, but I'll be digging in a bit further there.

[ related topics: Current Events California Culture Machinery Fabrication Skating Architecture Seattle Real Estate Model Building ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment this is so much informative made: 2012-11-27 06:34:49.316731+00 by: willhamlin [edit history]

[SPAMMER: Text deleted]

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-27 00:53:59.6756+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, space is easy (though that hint about the brake shoes is good), livable space is harder. A local non-profit has a shipping container that they're trying to retrofit to space. This basically involves putting trusses on it to fit a real roof, and if it were going to be livable space you'd probably put studs on the walls to provide space to run utilities, and a layer of drywall, and at that point the container is reduced to the stone in stone soup.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-26 21:45:31.065713+00 by: TheSHAD0W

If you want *storage space*, the way to go is an old ~45 ft cargo trailer. They typically get sold off after several years on the road, for $1500-2000 depending on area and condition. Great bargain.

Note: If you want to be able to move it in the future, chock the wheels and then disconnect the brakes and remove the brake shoes. Otherwise the shoes will rust solid to the drums.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-26 17:35:26.089366+00 by: Larry Burton

My son has lived in the shipping containers twice now. The first was during his deployment to Iraq and now during his deployment to Jordan. He hasn't had much nice to say about them.

Tumbleweed Houses seems to have the right idea toward housing.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-26 04:26:03.90419+00 by: meuon

I saw a nice build using a refridgerated container, it already had insulation, and a nice shiny exterior. I'd like to have one for some storage space or an oustide the house office/apartment.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-26 03:16:09.770009+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah,ma local non-profit is trying to rehab a container for their space, and somehow turning that into an enclosed dry area looks to be costing a whole lot.

Really, conventional stick built structures are pretty darned cheap and flexible. They can be put up with relatively unskilled labor with a minimum of tooling capital, and the engineering is well understood and many of the common cases are in the code as prescriptive requirements.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-25 18:55:13.181901+00 by: Mars Saxman [edit history]

Ava and I actually went to HyBrid's office and talked to one of their architects a couple of years back. We found a bit of land for sale just down the street - some big old house selling off its back yard - and had the idea that we could build a simple, economical house that would just barely fit within code by stacking up half a dozen 20' containers. We came to a similar realization: you build with containers because you like how they look, not because the existing structure actually saves you money.