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Box Homes. Why?

I helped design this home, and had a love affair with shipping containers, their repurposing and why they could be a global recycled building block for a better future. Odd that there were 3 simple things which killed our business plans:

  1. Municipal zoning and Fear of New. Cities could not get comfortable with the more modern design and building methods. We could point to the many benefits in strength, reuse, site plan maximization etc. But new, even if better, is scary.

  2. 8' wide rooms. The boxes are standard at 8' wide, and 9' tall. When you fur out drywall and even 1x1 studs, the room shrinks further. People and furniture do not fit well in this narrow space. When the containers are 40' or 53' long the rooms become uncomfortable bowling alleys. Cutting the core-ten steel boxes open is expensive and time consuming because the steel is that strong.

  3. Condensation. The boxes are designed to be air tight, and most are. Working around insulation and condensation of the metal was a challenge which no one seems to have perfected.

There's a future for this building method and material. But today it's just Kitschy and fun. Want to build one, we have designs and plans. Ask Dirt #askDIRT

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