Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One, may have been onto something. The main character lived in a multifamily housing community called the stacks. These consisted of trailers and mobile living homes that stacked on top of one another. Building the stacks saved space, resources, and labor.
Something like this is becoming a reality in Fort Worth, Texas. Instead of mobile homes, the community will use steel shipping containers. Using 76 containers, the company is building shipping container housing to yield 34 units.
The container home, called CoHo or cargotecture, makes it possible to build affordable eco-friendly housing. Shipping container architecture cuts construction costs and speeds the building process. Similar projects are in the works in Dallas and Austin.
The builder plans to develop seven three-story buildings with studio, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units. They expect to finish them by April 2020. This isn't the first time container housing architecture has come to life in Fort Worth. The city also has a three-story office made from 40 shipping containers.
Stronger than wooden frames, the galvanized steel in containers can withstand extreme weather and heavy stacking. With a lifespan of at least 30 years, a standard container runs 8 feet wide and a little over 8 feet high. They can be either 20 or 40 feet long.
Hard to believe, but the completed spaces look fantastic. Check out the photos of Shipping container homes on Digital Trends.
According to Billie Box, more than 20 million shipping containers exist around the world. Research on shipping container statistics yields a lot of information, but no confirmation of the data. However, it looks like at least a million shipping containers go unused with many ending up lost at sea.
Clearly, there's a need to recycle and reuse shipping containers. They're more affordable than building from scratch since an unused container runs around $2,000. Architects can design them to be side-by-side or stack up to 12 on top of each other.
Would you believe more than 50 different types of shipping containers exist? Not all of them will work in shipping container architecture, however.
Nonetheless, shipping container housing is very real, as can be seen at this downtown Johannesburg apartment building that uses 140 containers. You can tour shipping container apartments on Google Streetview..
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