Sheila Gunst estimates that there are 33 million cargo containers around the world, half of which are empty. Many of the empties languish in United States because China ships $400 billion more in trade goods to the U.S. every year than the U.S. ships back. After making multiple trans-oceanic trips, used containers stack up in port cities like Norfolk by the thousands.
And therein lies a business opportunity. The shipping lines can recycle them as scrap metal… or sell them to someone like Sheila, an interior designer living in the Richmond area, who dreams about refashioning them into inexpensive dwellings
The idea of converting shipping containers into housing is hardly new—you just don’t see much of it in Virginia. Other than a six-container Shrimp Shack restaurant under construction in Chesterfield County…But container dwellings comprise a hip new housing type that is increasingly popular among Millennials around the world and is inspiring architects to do marvelously creative things with big steel boxes.
Hipness aside, container housing is a potential source of housing for lower-income households who have been priced out of the housing market in Virginia’s larger metros…Container houses around the country meet the structural requirements of city and county building codes. Indeed, the metal casing makes them structurally sturdier than stick-built or manufactured housing.
Shipping Containers Make Surprisingly Nice Homes
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Republish This Article
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE.
Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published on FEE.org