Initially employed as a reusable container for shipping military cargo, conex boxes, when modified, can serve a variety of industries that are in search of storage and shipping options, as well as temporary residences. And while some would like to claim that the newest turn in using large shipping containers as innovative housing and office solutions, the military has long seen the conex as a structure that can serve as a temporary accommodation once it has served its initial purpose.
In an unusual time when it seems as if as many Americans are looking for a way to minimize their current housing while a number of communities are looking for temporary but dependable storage options for their homeless, the conex structure and the shipping container form can actually meet both needs.
Do You Dream of Living a Simpler Life?
Some modular homes can be built in the factory in as little as one to two weeks. In an even shorter amount of time, however, shipping containers can be redesigned for habitation. As the nation finds itself with more and more people who want to either live off the grid or simply strive toward a simpler lifestyle, many see repurposed shipping containers as the solution.
As a hunting residence in the middle of a camp environment in the south of Louisiana or an overnight accommodation for bird enthusiasts who visit Nebraska to see the sandhill crane migration, shipping containers can serve a real purpose. For longer term residents, however, the shipping container can be outfitted with a second floor, a covered porch, or a covered parking area, along with the necessary plumbing and electrical upgrades.
Do You Dream of Providing a Dignified Life?
For the thousands of homeless in America, some communities are seeing the use of nontraditional housing as a solution. Arranged in small neighborhoods and coming with strict outlines for length of stay and number of inhabitants, some large cities across the country are looking at creating a dignified home for people who are difficult transitions.
Seen as a more dignified option for people who are camped under bridges or sleeping on downtown benches, some cities see the possibilities of providing shelter more affordable when they look at the sturdy structure provided by shipping containers.
Repurposing Old Resources Intriques a Variety of People
Americans have long seen the railroad shipping containers that move essential goods from one side of the country to another as the transportation solution for a number of industries. In fact, some estimates indicate even tough there are billions of these containers currently being used in the shipping industry, there are also as many as 24 million empty or retired shipping containers on the planet. Given the fact that most containers are retired after only 10 to 15 years of use, many of them can still be repurposed.
And while creating housing options from used containers is one possibility, some communities are looking at purchasing new containers as well. Some sites, for instance, estimate that building with containers can lead to a cost savings of up to 40% as compared to traditional construction methods. Although construction crews and other temporary work sites have long used these containers as an office option, the fact that they can be used for residential solutions is fairly new in the U.S. Offered as a truly green solution to the nation’s housing needs, these structures are made from 85% recycled steel and will be completely recyclable when they are eventually demolished, with the obvious additional benefit that reusing these structures also saves new building materials.
The military may have been one of the first to develop the use of conex shipping and storage containers as a temporary living solution, but it appears that idea continues to gain momentum in today’s world. Housing solutions are not always easy, but with the help of continued research and the repurposing of resources, Americans can find many ways to make use of shipping containers, both new and used.
Container structures are inherently mobile, durable, stackable, and weather-resistant. They also require no foundation and average a 25-year lifespan, all to indicate that they can serve as a reliable housing resource.