Neeraj Khandelwal – Founder and Partner at In The Box Space
Owning a house is one of the basic requirements in human survival. According to Maslow’s hierarchical theory, housing falls under safety needs, house being a symbol for safety. This mindset is slowly undergoing a change-with people opting for a more sustainable lifestyle. Quick money, long hours of work and a socially conscious mentality is what fuels the urban community. With people changing bases for job purposes, brick-n-mortar homes are becoming more of a liability. The amount of resources wasted and the after effects of constructing such houses are being a cause of worry for those who are concerned about the environment. Plus, the financial implicationsfor purchase of a house is an investment not everyone can afford. Also, brick and mortar houses are generally susceptible to calamity, which can be an issue in an earthquake prone nation such as India. All the above causes give rise to the emergence of mobile homes.
So where does shipping container come into play?
Started as an architectural project, homes made out of shipping containers are a thing to own and build.Owing to their modular nature, container houses can be modified according to the customer requirements. With green being the preferable lifestyle to bank on, more people are turning to cargo container structures. It’s too expensive for a country to ship empty containers back to their point of origin, thus you have many containers lying around unused. The initiative to utilize such spaces evolved from a hobby to a form of sustainable development.
Shipping container architecture is in rage right now, getting favourable reviews from architects for their eco-friendly design, and appears to be a smart choice for people looking for environment friendly options.
7 reasons why should opt for a container home
1. Durability: Shipping containers are made of steel and are sturdy enough for any condition. Although they are warranted for 30 years, shipping companies need them for much lesser time.Also they are calamity-proof and can withstand earthquakes and other disasters due to their sturdy built.
2. Portable: Their mobility ensures that they can be transported from one city to another. This feature is of great help to people who keep shifting cities/nations as this ensures that their home is on the move with them.
3. Availability: One doesn’t need to be residing in a port city to purchase a shipping container as they can be available at the local container shop. It also can be shipped within budget constraints. Also there are tons of unused containers lying about.
4. Economical: Construction of a container home is more economical as compared to a brick house. Unlike a brick establishment that has to be built out from scratch, container housing is equipped with a framework to build on, without causing a dent in the budget.
5. Ecological: A lot of energy and resources are utilized in building a brick house. This leads to wastage of resource. A container house doesn’t require much resources as one builds up on a space, left unused. Recycling of abandoned space is promoted here.
6. Modular: One can expand the dimensions of their container home by adding additional containers. Also, container homes work on the Lego principle-it can be upgraded and scaled down according to the requirements of the inhabitants.
7. Trendy: Container homes are a favourite project to architects as they are an open canvas for builders to unleash their creative side. Also touted as a do-it-yourself project, even a person without architectural expertise can build his dream container house through manuals and videos.
Insulation, the container home being unsuitable for harsh weather conditions and the materials used can be issues going against the container home craze, with toxic paint used to coat the containers. But this can be overcome through biodegradable material used to insulate and protect the inhabitants from toxic reactions from the paint.
With the world going towards renewable energy resources, container houses are a way to contribute for the betterment of our future.
(Views expressed here are personal).