Friday, March 9, 2012

Container homes in Japan

I've written before about the use of old shipping containers to make modular homes. It's a growing trend in many parts of the world. Now comes the news that a Japanese firm is using large quantities of these containers to rehouse victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami.

Temporary housing are starting to be deployed disaster areas. However, the number of the amount of housing required is insufficient. The main reason is that most of the damaged coast areas are not on level terrain. Usually, temporary housing is suitable for flatlands, and providing the required number of units is difficult.

Our project to Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture is to use existing shipping containers (20 feet) and stack them in a checkerboard pattern up to three stories.

  • Shorten the construction period by usage of existing containers
  • Wide interval can provide parking area, community facility and privacy of families
  • Placing containers in a checkerboard pattern and create a open living space in between
  • Excellent seismic performance
  • Can be used as a permanent apartment.

There's more at the link, including many pictures of the 'apartments' and the prefabricated furniture installed in them, as well as floor plans and construction drawings. Very interesting, particularly as an idea for wider application. It might be particularly useful for those wishing to construct long-term shelter at a hunting camp, or a second residence on a farm, or something like that. Containers can be stacked into 'apartments' like these, providing accommodation to a reasonably large number of people in case of need, at relatively low cost.



Donna said...

I have a dear friend, Paul, who has done this on his farm in Central Texas. He was recently featured on an episode of Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo (I think the episode was entitled Bullets, Bullets and More Bullets). He took 8 shipping containers and formed a 2 story square with a aquaponic garden in the center. He also makes wind turbines out of PVC, solar panels, etc.

You can read about this at his blog

Tamara Kelly said...

This is standard housing in Australian mining towns and is pretty popular with rural/outback land owners too.

Old NFO said...

Yep, it's a going concern, especially since the containers DO time out and can't be used for shipping any longer.

Stranger said...

20 foot containers are selling for around $1500 delivered around here; and the 40 footers are not that much more for twice the cubic feet of capacity. Prices may vary, as will delivery costs.

A 20 X 8 X 8 box makes a comfortable travel trailer size home but they are almost infinitely stackable and removing pass through room between adjacent units does not noticeably weaken them.

They also make excellent and secure outbuildings.


trailbee said...

I have seen several containers turned into barns and stables in my county. I think there might be some permit issues, but it is a creative and inexpensive way to provide housing.
The link was really good. Too bad I don't speak Japanese. :)