Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 12:20 pm
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/visualart/276293_architecture04.html


I think this is an interesting article - thinking "inside the box" in a new way.
Here's a photo and some of the text:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20060704/450architecture_joelegan.jpg

photo by Paul Joseph Brown
caption - Designer Joel Egan, above, and architect Robert Humble designed this cabin in Enumclaw using shipping containers. Cargo containers are cheap, plentiful, strong and durable.




On Architecture: Transforming cargo containers into a weekend studio

By LAWRENCE W. CHEEK

If there's any positive spin to the U.S.-Asian trade imbalance, it might be resting in the bottom of a wooded river canyon near Enumclaw -- two scuffed and scarred cargo containers that a pair of Seattle architects have ingeniously transformed into a weekend studio.

It wasn't as inexpensive as it looks, and it decidedly isn't beautiful, but this 320-square-foot "cargotecture" prototype is stuffed with more intriguing and challenging ideas than a whole subdivision of conventional builders' new houses. If you accept the assumptions that housing today costs too much, consumes too much and adapts too reluctantly to individuals' differing needs -- all dead-on, in the view from here -- then this steel crate is worth a look beyond its homely skin.


Robert Humble, 37, and Joel Egan, 35, developed Studio 320 as an outgrowth of their work for Allied Arts' Seattle waterfront design collaborative in 2003. They proposed a "cargotown" of apartment buildings at Terminal 46 assembled from containers, creating an affordable live-work industrial neighborhood that could easily adapt to changing space and housing needs. Incorporated as the art-and-architecture firm HyBrid, they've since designed a couple of urban mini-towers, a Third World triage clinic, and several other cargo container buildings. The Enumclaw studio, completed over last winter, is the first realized project.

Some of the reasons for making surplus containers into architecture are obvious. They're cheap and plentiful -- the 40-foot box that became one half of Studio 320 cost $1,800 delivered. Egan says that because of the trade imbalance, it's sometimes more economical for shippers to sell used containers here than ship them back to China empty. They're terrifically strong and durable, designed to be stacked up to 14 units deep on container ships and nine high on docks. They're highly portable, handily delivered by truck, train or ship. And they may be the most direct, efficient form of turning recycled goods into housing.

Less obviously, all the structural load in an 8-by-40-by-9 1/2-foot container is carried by the corner castings, steel columns at each of the four corners. This means that doors and windows can occur anywhere else in the structure. Whole walls can be cut out and replaced with glass, and interior walls can be anywhere or nowhere. The boxes can be stacked like giant Lego blocks, cantilevered into space to create intriguing overhangs and practical decks, or cut apart and reassembled into new configurations.




See link above for the rest of the article.
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 12:40 pm
Let's hear it for recycling. I particularly like the idea that given it's structure you don't need interior supporting walls and can have lots of windows. It really does sound adaptable. Am interested in reading what the architects/engineers/contractors out there have to say on possible drawbacks.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 12:44 pm
That's really interesting.

Except for the part that the actual container costs $1800 delivered and the finished product would go for $45,000.

I'm thinking a person with some know how could buy 3 of them, link them together, cut doors, windows, insulate airconditioning heat etc. for a lot less that that.

I wonder what the other costs are that bring it up to less (not including profit of course)

Unattractive? Nothing a little paint and landscaping couldn't camoflague.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 12:54 pm
Hey look.

This 2 story one is actually kinda cute. Goes for something like $76K.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/shipping_container_quik_house.JPG
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 01:19 pm
This sort of thinking could be applied to shelter for the hard-core homeless.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 01:30 pm
Yes, I'm thinking along the same lines, everybody.

I've saved a lot of articles on manufactured housing, posted a few of them on a2k before. Alas, my architecture files are still on my other computer, a-sitting on the floor. But, as interesting as many of those efforts are, they generally have a bigger price tag than this idea..

I'm also wondering how these would do re resisting hurricane forces.
And.. don't they get warm/very cold? maybe I didn't read far enough..
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 01:50 pm
Yeah, that's why I was wondering what brought up the price to 45K. Surely it could be done for less than that.

When building a house, anything you do by yourself will cost you half as much as it would cost out on the market.

Noddy, your thread about the chronic homeless man (the alcoholic who kept going int the hospital, costing 10's of thousands) came up in conversation over a dinner last night.

At first, the other couple obviously said, "oh no, why give them that" but the reasoning behind it then made perfect sense to them,

This would be a good use for that. Nothing fancy, just being in a place where they can be supervised.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 01:57 pm
Osso, the very warm/very cold part? I guess that would be the insulation part.

My neighbors are remodeling now, and are getting a metal roof. Seems like you'd cook in there, but with the right insulation, it's going to be very efficient.

I'm thinking as far as the hurricaine protection, you would drill deep supports into the ground, anchoring them down (not like typical manufactured housing)...the sides of these things are bolted together, made to withstand the pressure of heavy cargo shifting, or the pressure of grains, sand, rocks etc.

If you cut windows and doors, but then could bolt pieces back down when a hurricaine comes, I think it'd be immovable.

I wonder about tornados?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 02:10 pm
I thought, sure, insulation, just after I posted that about warm and cold. And I think there could be some kind of casson/pier settings if they would be in a hurricane or tornado zone. Interesting, especially if these babies are going to be accumulating at ports..
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 02:18 pm
I was driving to work the other day, and heard the morning dj's saying something about "pod people", the way they said it, it seemed like something they had talked about before.

I was thinking maybe it was people who rented storage units and slept in them. I've know people who've done that...The working poor. They sleep there and keep their cloths there. Then in the morning they go to their gym and dress there.

Anyway, that's not what they meant. I heard them say something about under the overpass at the intersection of an interstate, and a major highway...apparantly when they built the flyover, there were these little catacomb things as part of the construction. I imagine for structural strength.

Now, homeless people vie for them.

Pod People, who gnu?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 02:22 pm
And I thought of that old movie, whatever it was, maybe The Blob. Probably getting my old movies mixed up.... something about people being taken over by (aliens?) and their bodies becoming pods.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 02:42 pm
Invasion of the BODY SNATCHERS....ooooo scary.

yeah, I thought that for a second at first too.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 02:51 pm
I once worked at a company called POD. That was an acronym for Process Oriented Design. It was when I was starting out in landscape architecture. Basically, I helped the receptionist file, made coffee, did fast color presentation drawings, did a photoshoot in a park that was to be renovated... for some miserable amount of money compared to my old days as a lab tech, but I was a real beginner. Interesting firm though. For example, they did skid row parks... I think POD was eventually subsumed into EDAW, one of the nationally big landarch firms. Or, if not subsumed, some folks from that firm went to EDAW.

(I know this is a tangent, but, hey... it's ok, eh?)
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jul, 2006 03:24 pm
Chai--

Glad that story stuck in your mind. You've awarded me a bit of immortality.

**************

Yesterday a homeless woman told her homeless lover "I can't live like this any more" and hurled herself backwards into the side of a passing train.

According to the police and the clerks at the local State Store (In PA all hard liquor and most wine is sold in State Stores) her lover was a hopeless alcoholic. They had lived in this area for about four months and he'd been arrested four times: D&D, shoplifting, disturbing the peace....

A shipping container with a lock would have been her idea of heaven.

I'm more worried about functional toilets than I am about insulation. Human beings excrete.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Jul, 2006 09:47 am
Huh, and today I saw an article in the LA Times about a couple who built a house with these -

http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-container13jul13,0,569328.story?coll=la-home-home
The idea's been around longer than just this week...
quoting part of the article,


"Dozens of architects have explored using the strong, weatherproof, steel containers to create inexpensive, environmentally responsible housing. Container-based dwellings have been an option for at least a decade, and have turned up as youth hostels in South Africa, field hospitals in Jamaica, art studios in London and dormitories in Amsterdam.

In the United States, a handful of completed projects include a few highly original container-based residences in New Jersey and New England by Adam Kalkin, an off-beat architect and performance artist. In architecturally adventurous Southern California, Jennifer Siegal designed the SeaTrain House in an industrial area of downtown L.A. using containers as part of the structure."
0 Replies
 
sumac
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2006 12:10 pm
Quote:
Insulation is provided by an innovative, NASA-developed ceramic coating, a little thicker than a credit card, sprayed on the interior and the exterior surfaces.

As in many South Bay homes, their house will not have air conditioning. To reduce maintenance to a minimum, durable, automotive-style acrylic paint has been sprayed over the insulation. The Pirkls see no reason to cover the original, industrial-strength wooden container floors. Electrical fixtures and conduit run unadorned throughout the house, with most electrical outlets built into the container floors.

"Over and over again," says DeMaria, "we're taking materials from other industries, reinterpreting or reapplying them to this scenario, and we come up with a reinvigorated thing, something with a fresh feeling to it.

"Those hangar doors work better for what the Pirkls wanted to do. And they're also much less expensive than residential doors. It's hard to get a door that's 20 feet wide and 18 feet tall. That door's normally going to cost $35,000. We're doing two of them here, for a quarter of the price."

The main stairway to the second floor will be enclosed in a translucent box of lightweight acrylic panels, usually found in greenhouses. Precisely finished, formaldehyde-free plywood will be used to form internal walls and partitions, and to lend some warmth to counteract the industrial look of the containers' walls.


That is incredibly good.

I wonder what else we have overlooked because we were thinking "inside the box".
0 Replies
 
Arkateck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 03:12 pm
http://www.zetatalk.com/shelter/tshlt172.htm

Never woulda thought of this one.

Shipping Containers such as Connex could be Bolted Together and used for shelter during the pole shift and as living quarters afterwards. Spray Foam for padding and insulation should be the fire retardant variety. Liquifaction during quakes is a concern, but placed on a concrete slab, containers could act like a Noah's Arc on land during liquefaction. Problems with an above-ground container include exposure to Wind but if Secured would hold. Problems with a Fully Buried container include Collapsing Walls, Warped Floors, Ventilation, Corrosion, and a Blocked Entry. A partially buried container, as described in this example Scenario, has many Advantages. A used container can be Cheap and a Fixer-Upper and can be used both Before and After the pole shift. Drunk
0 Replies
 
sumac
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 06:39 pm
"pole shift'? Link didn't help clarify.

This topic has gotten to m aisnstream news attention and was featured on the nightly news the other night.
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 07:03 pm
In a somewhat related note: someone once told me that old NYC train cars are sometimes dumped to the bottom of the ocean as artifical reef. I've never verified, this, though.
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Aug, 2006 07:24 am
Read a story a few days ago that claimed these shipping containers were really piling up because China finds it cheaper to build more than to ship them back from North America empty (apparently we have nothing they want...). Given the current trade imbalance this could be a steady supply of cheap housing I guess.
0 Replies
 
 

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