Every wonder what happens with all of those old freight shipping containers? Certainly, after some period of time, they wear out and are no longer usable for the transportation of goods. Well, look at what happens when the need for affordable, funky housing meets passion to save the environment.
The first shipping container apartment project is soon to hit Washington, D.C. The residential project is four floors of shipping container living, using 18 recycled and renovated cargo containers. It will accommodate 24 residents. Built in one of the city’s university neighborhoods, the project is designed for the college student crowd who needs cheap housing and an interesting alternative to dorm living. Each floor has six bedrooms and bathrooms, with shared dining and living room, kitchen and laundry facilities. The project’s developers, Catholic University alumni Sean Joiner and Matt Grace are looking forward to an August completion date, which is good timing, as the university fall semester will begin and the project’s new tenants will be ready to move in. That’s right, all units are rented. Joiner and Grace envision tremendous success from container apartment projects, but acknowledge that they have some work to do with the neighbors who prefer more traditional, and in some cases, stately residences. “Cargotecture” has yet to take hold in the eyes of established residents.
Jump across the world to Johannesburg, South Africa and you will find the city’s most innovative and trendy student housing complex—made from a combination of old grain silos and shipping containers. No amenity was spared in this 375-bed, $4.5M student housing project. The grain silos are 7 stories high, and sitting on top are four floors of cargo containers, as well as along the side of the silos structure. The entire project took less than a year to complete and from the outside looks like it could topple down at any minute. But in fact, it was designed and constructed with the utmost attention to stability and materials. The shipping container units come with balconies, and the complex includes computer labs, lounges for socializing, game rooms and libraries. Students can choose between single or shared rooms.
Container shipping housing offers an exciting new option to students and others needing affordable housing. Constructed from a commodity found just about every place in the world, container shipping residences open up new possibilities for people in even the most poor, rural locations to have a home that is secure from the elements, pleasing to the eye, and cheap.