Are Shipping Container Homes Safe: The Facts

Shipping containers have made transporting of goods across oceans faster and cleaner. They come in different sizes, and the most common ones are 20 feet, 30 feet, and 40 feet. As they have helped improved trading, shipping containers have also contributed changes to the real estate industry. That is because they are already used in the construction of homes. However, some individuals still wonder about the advantages of building a house out of a shipping container and ask the question “Are shipping container homes safe?”

Why Build a Shipping Container Home: The Benefits

When you think of it, living in a shipping container or a home that is built using a shipping container is not ideal. Nonetheless, there are actually a lot of benefits if you choose to build and live in one.

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  • Affordable

We all know that bricks and cement blocks form an important part of building one’s home. Also, the cost of all the materials plus the labor might be equivalent to your one or two-year savings.

Making use of a shipping container is cost-effective because it is already constructed, and all you need to do is improve it. Also, it saves costs that are linked with weatherproofing and outer layering of the walls. In fact, some experts say that having a shipping container home would save an individual up to 40% of the construction cost of building a normal home with cement and bricks.

  • Time-Saving

Apart from monetary savings, building your home using a shipping container will also save you an incredible amount of time. As mentioned earlier, you no longer have to build from scratch, which means that the average construction time for a small home would be lessened by half or even more.

  • Eco-Friendly 

Over the past couple of years, the government officials and citizens of most countries are going “green” or becoming more cautious of the environment. That means that they are now beginning to realize the need to protect the environment. In fact, if you go around and ask people who have shipping container homes why they opted for such, the second most common reply that you would get is that “It is eco-friendly.”

Why is that so? It has been estimated that each year, tons of shipping containers are thrown away. Thus, when shipping containers are recycled or re-used and made into a home, there will be less garbage. Manufacturers have also mentioned that every time a 40 feet shipping container is re-used, approximately 3,500 kilograms worth of steel is refurbished. So, if about five shipping containers are used to build a house, nearly 17,500 kilograms of steel would be recycled.

In addition, shipping container homes can also have an electricity that is run by solar power, which is not just eco-friendly but also cost-effective. You can also choose not to install an air-conditioning system as shipping containers are airy and roomy.

Now that you know the benefits of building and living in a shipping container home, let us now look into the question “Are shipping container homes safe?” For us to find the right answer, it is essential to understand the way shipping containers are built.

Are Shipping Container Homes Safe: The Production of Shipping Containers

As can be denoted by the above information, most of the shipping containers today are made of steel. Some of their parts are made of steel, aluminum, fiber reinforced polymer, or an amalgamation of such items. They have a flat roof and a hinged door.

  • Preparation of Materials

Each shipping container’s production begins with a huge roll of steel, which is flattened and sliced into various sheets. This process is usually done in selected factories that have advanced technology machines. The next step involves surface preparation wherein the cut sheets undergo sandblasting and priming. This is done in order to remove oxidation, grime, soil, and other impurities. After which, the sheets are grooved to improve their longevity and durability.

  • Installation of the Walls, Floor, Door, and Roof

The post and the sheets for the wall panels are then soldered together, making sure that there is a remaining space for the door. Next, the square plumbing is then soldered on the top of the sheets of the walls. After this is done, the floor sheets are then put together to form a frame and covering for the bottom part of the container. The same goes for the roofing system. The pre-assembled or made door is then mounted on or soldered to the frame of the shipping container.

  • Finishing

Once all the soldering is completed, the shipping container undergoes priming and painting. In case wooden frames are used, they also undergo polishing. Also, rubber seals are added to the doors in order for it to become waterproof. In addition, waterproofing finishes are also applied to the roof, floor, and walls of the shipping container.

  • Inspection and Testing

Once the shipping container is completed, it will undergo a series of test in order to determine its waterproof rating. It also undergoes a final round of inspection to check for quality of construction or to check if there is anything that has gone wrong.

Looking through the process of constructing shipping containers, we can say with certainty that homes that are built using shipping containers are safe. In fact, they are not just used in the construction of homes but of other facilities as well.

Other Uses of Shipping Containers

With the popularity and sturdiness of shipping container homes, they are now used in different situations. In countries that are developing, shipping containers are now used to build schools which have helped not just the citizens but also the government. Further, in some countries, you can also find restaurants and mini-hotels that are built using shipping containers. Similar to shipping container homes, these facilities can either be movable or permanently mounted in the ground.

Final Thoughts

Building a home, or any facility for that matter, out of a used shipping container is a great way to save money and the environment. As per safety, we have nothing to worry about as they are sturdy structures that made of robust materials. They have also been built by following safety standards and guidelines.

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