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  1. #1 Shipping Containers to Become Condos in Detroit 
    Senior Member Janice's Avatar
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    Shipping Containers to Become Condos in Detroit

    The first U.S. multi-family condo built of used shipping containers is slated to break ground in Detroit early next year.

    Strong, durable and portable, shipping containers stack easily and link together like Legos. About 25 million of these 20-by-40 feet multicolored boxes move through U.S. container ports a year, hauling children's toys, flat-screen TVs, computers, car parts, sneakers and sweaters.

    But so much travel takes its toll, and eventually the containers wear out and are retired. That's when architects and designers, especially those with a "green" bent, step in to turn these cast-off boxes into student housing in Amsterdam, artists' studios, emergency shelters, health clinics, office buildings.

    Despite an oft-reported glut of unused cargo containers lying idle around U.S. ports and ship yards - estimates have ranged from 700,000 to 2 million - the Intermodal Steel Building Units and Container Homes Association puts the number closer to 12,000, including what's sold on Craigslist and eBay.

    Joel Egan, co-founder of HyBrid Architecture in Seattle, which has built cottages and office buildings from shipping containers for close to a decade and coined the term " cargotecture" to describe this method of construction, warns that although containers can be bought for as little as $2,500, they shouldn't be seen as a low-cost housing solution.

    "Ninety-five percent of the cost still remains," he says.

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    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    We used to use them as housing units in Iraq. There's not a whole lot of difference between a shipping container and a trailer.
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    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Wonder why Detroit is so far behind? That kinda thing has been around for years....

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    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    I say we fill them with the current residents of Detroit and ship them somewhere else, Another continent perhaps.
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  5. #5  
    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    I say we fill them with the current residents of Detroit and ship them somewhere else, Another continent perhaps.
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    Senior Member Bailey's Avatar
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    They would be good to use if you wanted to make a zombie proof home.
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    Senior Member ReinMan's Avatar
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    Meh. A solution, looking in the wrong place for a problem to solve.

    Detroit's biggest property problem these days is abandoned houses, not a lack of them.

    There are neighborhoods where you could probably just move into one of the abandoned homes, change the locks, and start fixing it up; and no one would say squat. There's even a non-profit operating that tracks down deed holders (apparently harder than it sounds) and gets permission to demolish an abandoned house with volunteer labor. They turn the property into community gardens and such.

    There's some pretty cool applications of this at the link and other sites, though.
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  8. #8  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Any comment about Kid Rock's drive to bring the city back?
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    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
    Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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    Destroyer of Worlds Apocalypse's Avatar
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    I see this as a bad idea for low income housing. Really bad, and likely to bring not only HUD, but the EPA and other agencies into stopping it.

    I don't see many middle to upper income people opting to live in them, unless they have serious cash, and then only as some oddity house.

    Problems arise in the form of;

    Insulation;

    These things are fully built of metal, and are not insulated. They adsorb heat fast, and become frigid even faster. To properly insulate them means lots of insulation ether on the inside reducing living space, or out side increasing cost.

    Rust

    Remember, these are made of metal, and not full steel. They contain Iron. Iron rust. And Detroit has harsh winters, rainy summers and lots of Salt during winters for deicing. This is not like Cal. or one of your more dryer states where cars don't rust as well. On top of it, build it high like the photo, what happens when the lower one's fail? The rest topple in.

    And finally,

    Contaminants

    They haul every thing in those containers. And I mean every thing. And coming from who knows where, there can be Chemical, to lead, to bio-hazards to even who knows what left inside. Which must be fully cleaned under the watchful eye of the EPA.

    None of this is cheap, none of this is really safe, and lastly, who would want to live in them, save the poor and homeless?
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member ReinMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    I see this as a bad idea for low income housing. Really bad, and likely to bring not only HUD, but the EPA and other agencies into stopping it.

    I don't see many middle to upper income people opting to live in them, unless they have serious cash, and then only as some oddity house.

    Problems arise in the form of;

    Insulation;

    These things are fully built of metal, and are not insulated. They adsorb heat fast, and become frigid even faster. To properly insulate them means lots of insulation ether on the inside reducing living space, or out side increasing cost.

    Rust

    Remember, these are made of metal, and not full steel. They contain Iron. Iron rust. And Detroit has harsh winters, rainy summers and lots of Salt during winters for deicing. This is not like Cal. or one of your more dryer states where cars don't rust as well. On top of it, build it high like the photo, what happens when the lower one's fail? The rest topple in.

    And finally,

    Contaminants

    They haul every thing in those containers. And I mean every thing. And coming from who knows where, there can be Chemical, to lead, to bio-hazards to even who knows what left inside. Which must be fully cleaned under the watchful eye of the EPA.

    None of this is cheap, none of this is really safe, and lastly, who would want to live in them, save the poor and homeless?
    I was curious about this, so checked out a few sites of shipping companies that resell their used containers. I was surprised to find that there are specific standards and quality levels to which used containers are prepared for sale. (The International Convention for Safe Containers)

    There's even a 'food grade' preparation standard offered by one company I checked out.

    So I guess it would be caveat emptor, but not necessarily a non-starter, IMHO.

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