We have slowly witnessed a growing interest in sustainable living since the turn of the century. In 2008, Gallup conducted a poll that showed 28% of people had taken major initiatives to live greener lifestyles. Last year, a poll showed 84% of Americans want to focus more on living green.
There are many ways that people are trying to live greener lifestyles. One tip they are following is building eco-friendly shipping containers.
The Emergence of Eco-Friendly Shipping Containers
A number of new shipping containers are being built that are eco-friendlier. This is going to make a big difference in the way many businesses operate, as they strive to be greener.
Container homes are more than a fad, and they can be beneficial for a number of reasons. They are great if you want to adopt a minimalist and eco-friendlier lifestyle. Green shipping containers are also very cheap, and can be surprisingly well built and comfortable. Since they’re built out of containers, sustainable shipping containers can virtually be moved anywhere. But building a container house is easier said than done, and you have to know what to expect before you embark on this adventure. Here are some things you need to know before you build your first container home.
Inspect Container Units Carefully
You probably wouldn’t buy a vehicle without a thorough inspection, so why wouldn’t you inspect what will become the foundation of your home? Though you may not be able to do a complete walkthrough of the container you’re going to use. You at least need to have a thorough description of the trailer and detailed pictures, as well as the amount of energy it will save if you want to go truly green. Old containers could have signs of rust, deterioration, or dents, so they’ll need some love. Some may not be structurally sound enough to become a house. One trip container will cost you a bit more, but you’ll at least know that you won’t have to worry about damage as much.
Get Familiar with Building Code Regulations in Your Area
While they’re an interesting way to use shipping containers, not all towns and cities are fond of shipping container houses, even if they are eco-friendly. So, before you spend thousands on a container for your house, know if they’re even permitted. There could be some state or local building code regulations that might have some restrictions regarding them, or prohibit them altogether.
The Importance of Insulation
Containers are made of metal, and metal is an energy conductor. This makes its very poor for insulation, so they aren’t the best for green living. The interior will turn into a furnace in the summer, and freezing cold in the winter. So, you’ll need a plan for insulation.
Speak with a contractor and look at your options. You could use blanket insulation, but it will need stud walls. You can also go with foam insulation which will be sprayed directly on the walls. Also know that the roof will also need to be insulated. There are also some sustainable options that can be used, like sheep wool for instance.
Hire One Contractor for Everything
Don’t work with a thousand contractors. Try to work with someone who can do as much of the job as possible on their own. You’ll save money and some headaches as well. However, we understand that finding a contractor who specializes in these types of projects in your area may be difficult as it is a fairly new niche. If you’re looking for one, here’s a list of 16 US companies that do container house jobs.
Clear the Container of Harmful Chemicals
You also have to understand that these units were meant to survive a lifetime at sea, not become places people live in. Deterring agents are often sprayed on container floors to prevent rodents from accessing cargo by eating through the floors. The paint on these containers will also contain some potentially harmful agents to protect them against saltwater.
Your options here are to either buy a brand-new container that won’t have any of these, or remove them yourself. You could start by removing the wooden floors and replacing them with new ones. Insulation will also block harmful gasses emanating from container paint.
Now that you know a bit more about the whole process, make sure that you start on solid foundations, and buy the right unit. Then you can work on making it as safe and livable as possible.
Sustainable Shipping Containers Are the Key to Green Living
There are a lot of ways that you can live a greener lifestyle. Using sustainable shipping containers is a great way to start. You can easily build eco-friendly shipping containers with the tips listed above.