STEEL CONTAINERS: Modifying Your Sustainable Container Home

You are concerned with the future of climate change just like millions of others. You know you alone aren’t going to change the world. Still, you feel it’s your obligation to reduce your carbon footprint and have as little a negative impact as possible on the environment.  

How can you live in a way that is more sustainable without sacrificing your unique style and comforts?

A growing trend in this direction is building a house out of steel containers.

Cost-Effective and Adaptable

Using steel containers as building materials has a great many benefits. They are customizable and flexible. Considering these containers were initially built for shipping purposes, they are, of course, transportable. 

Building with shipping containers is also one of the most affordable ways to build a new home. In fact, the current national average to build a new home is nearly $300,000–about $150 per square foot. By choosing to build with shipping containers, you can easily cut your construction cost by more than HALF. It’s estimated by designer and cargo container expert, Adam Kalkin, that a container home cost per square foot usually falls in between the $73-$90 range. 

However, one of the things that people find most attractive about this home building option is its eco-friendly nature. It’s this that we are going to focus on here.

Steel Containers: A Sustainable Home Building Solution 

Do you know what the most recycled material in the entire world is? You’ve probably guessed it already–steel

In North America alone, more than 80 million tons of steel is recycled each year. With the average weight of a 40-foot steel container used for shipping is around 8,250 pounds, that 80 million tons of yearly recycled steel would amount to 19,400,000 of such containers. 

Not only are the containers themselves eco-friendly in nature, but the many custom options they allow for you to live more sustainably. One such option is the ability to incorporate sustainable lighting into your shipping container home.  

Let’s consider a few ways you can do this while enhancing–rather than compromising–your unique style.

Modify to Incorporate Natural Lighting

You can choose to have your shipping container home modified to include installation of glass entry doors, windows, and skylights. This can turn what once was a dark block of metal into a bright and spacious living space.  

When it comes to these modifications, we offer a variety of different options. For skylights, you can choose between, domed, vented, and flat. For windows and glass entry doors, you can choose what shapes and sizes fit your preferences.

To make your modification ideas a reality, check out our container modifications page and get in touch with us using the information found there. Knowing each build is different because each person’s needs and preferences are different, we want to hear yours. Then we will work with you to come up with the best solution to make your ideas come to life. This way the function and look of your new container home can be exactly as you’d imagined. 

Also, check out how this shipping container building design has incorporated these modifications to maximize natural light usage for their container home. This will help you have a better idea of what is possible in this regard. 

Eco-Friendly Artificial Light Installation 

By choosing the above modifications to incorporate as much natural light as possible into your home, you won’t need artificial lighting during the day (well, most days). This is truly the best way to achieve sustainable, green lighting for your build. 

But for the artificial lighting you will be using, what is the best choice to keep your build as eco-friendly as possible? And how can you do this while keeping a sharp, modern design?  

When it comes to the right type of lighting to achieve this, LED bulbs will be the best choice. 

LED bulbs themselves, especially those that are Energy Star rated, use 75% less energy than the more traditional incandescent type lighting.

In addition to this more obvious benefit is the benefit of heat emission. LED bulbs emit a very small amount of heat. Incandescent and CFL lighting release about 80-90% of their energy as heat (if you’ve ever tried to unscrew an incandescent bulb shortly after turning the light off, you know this all too well). This also means that the risk of fire is further lowered in your container home.

A Big Step Towards Better, Sustainable Living

Lighting is just one way you can customize your container home to increase its eco-friendliness. There are many other methods you can incorporate into your build to maximize its sustainability and minimize your carbon footprint.

Having a home with a flat roof that is always facing the sky will make a perfect place to install solar panels, for example. Another reason a container home is such a great fit for solar panel installation is its durable design. Where some roofs can’t handle the weight of solar panels, homes built from steel containers will have no problem bearing this weight. 

Does living more sustainably appeal to you? Does cutting down on energy costs while still being able to have a more stylish home appeal to you? If so, feel free to get in contact with us. Even if you aren’t sure, please don’t hesitate to direct your questions our way.

As mentioned above, we know your preferences are unique and we want to hear your ideas. From there we can work on a plan to create solutions towards making your eco-friendly container home a bright, stylish, affordable reality. 

Environmentally Conscious Homeowners Choose Used Shipping Containers

5 Ways Shipping Container Homes Are Changing Our World (for the better!)

Way back in 1937, Malcolm McLean finally lost it with the slow pace of loading cargo onto ships and began experimenting with ways to streamline this task.

After 20 years of trial and error, he patented the first shipping container in 1956. In the same year, the first 60 containers left Newark, N.J. bound for Houston.

Today, almost every country in the world has a container shipping port. Read about how these not-so-little boxes continue to shape the world in the form of shipping container homes.

1. Shipping Container Homes are Green

While you can buy new shipping containers to build storage container homes, used containers are a good option for this kind of dwelling.  This ticks several boxes for eco-conscious homeowners who like the idea of re-using something that may have ended up in a landfill. Building these houses also uses fewer resources in the form of bricks and mortar than traditional methods do. Many homes made from containers have off-grid capabilities, such as solar power. This means they use less of the Earth’s resources too.

2. Less Cost Involved

The older the container you choose, the cheaper it’s going to be to buy and the more it’s going to cost to refurbish it. However, this should still be less than building or buying a conventional home. These lower building costs open up the world of home ownership to many more people than before.

3. Quick Construction

Construction delays can be frustrating and costly when building a brick and mortar home. This is never the case with container homes. Many storage container homes fall into the realm of prefabricated housing. This means that there is little to do when your new home reaches your site. It’s almost a drop-and-go situation, with only a little work required to hook up your utilities.  One of the best parts about building one of these dwellings is that first-time homeowners can start off with tiny homes and expand as they go along.

4. Mobility

Cargo containers are specially designed to travel all over the world on ships, trucks, and trains. Thanks to this, they are super easy to relocate as needed. If you plan your home design carefully, you could move it from place to place as you choose. Should you get a new job in another city, you can take your tiny abode along with you.

The convenience, cost-benefits and minimalistic comfort of shipping containers is hard to beat.

5. Versatility and Scalability

These cheap homes are infinitely scalable. You can keep adding containers as you go along. Take a look at these examples of homeowners who thought out of the box with their home designs. They are also extremely flexible with many uses including as premises for clinics, offices, mobile site buildings, pop-up shops and much more. One of the most important uses for shipping containers is as temporary housing or shelters during times of disaster.

Into the Future with Cargo Containers

As more people realize the benefits of shipping container homes, we’re entering a time where less is definitely more with regard to housing.

Smaller spaces to live in means people can accumulate fewer things and focus more on what’s important.

They can move around more easily to broaden their horizons and own their own dwelling without a crippling mortgage to worry about.

Get in touch if you’d like to get on board with the bright new future of container home living.

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