W e l c o m e t o T h e F i e l d L a b
This page is dedicated to whatever building project if currently underway.
Since completing the living quarters in rather short order, the next major project is the workshop/greenhouse building. For this structure, I am using four 20' shipping containers. Yeah - I bought into the hype surrounding their use for creating live/work spaces. I will not be featuring renderings or models of what my structure will look like - just photo updates at the bottom of this page as the project progresses. This is about turning vision into reality - not just presenting a dream. The goal is a 1600 sq.ft. live/work space for under 20 grand.
10 things to consider in the use of shipping containers:
1. Even with all the hype, they are difficult to obtain and expensive to ship long distances. If you live close to a major port city and have a really big truck and trailer - it's much easier and far cheaper to get them.
2. Don't bother with those websites that have you fill out your info and up to four suppliers will contact you with competitive prices - THEY WON'T!
3. The price for a 20' shipping container (not including delivery) can range from $2500 to $4000. You can stick build a building with the same amount of square footage, that is just as water tight and structurally sound using traditional construction methods for less than the cost of a shipping container - it just won't weigh as much.
4. They do however provide an extremely secure storage structure which requires a blow torch or dynamite to break into - and they are too heavy to walk off with.
5. If possible, get delivery by tilt bed roll off truck. Otherwise you need a small crane or huge forklift to move and position them - or at least 50 really strong men (watch your fingers!) A 20' shipping container weighs almost 5000 lbs.
6. Rust is the only natural predator that can harm a shipping container so don't scrimp on a good paint job.
7. These metal monsters become ovens or freezers depending on the outside temperature, really good insulation and ventilation is a MUST!
8. The real bonus to using a shipping container is the new green phrase "adaptive reuse." Our trade deficit with the rest of the world is causing these to pile up in our country.
9. If you are going to use one for a structure - stay true to the form. Don't cover the exterior with other building materials - show it for what it is.
10. While searching the web for how containers are being used, I have found that for the most part: A. Most sites only show computer renderings. B. Actual completed structures have been built at astronomical cost.