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Published on Dec 9, 2007
As part of the construction of my house, I will be using a shipping container (mobile mini storage) for material storage. I looked into the rental cost of these units and found that It will cost between $1,200 - $2,000 per year. I continued researching and discovered there are thousands of surplus containers sitting in the port cities all over the county due to the export deficit with China. Essentially all of our goods are coming from overseas in these standard shipping containers, and once they reach our shores and are unloaded most of them aren't reused. So I found a source of used ones locally and for $1,700 I can own an 8'6" x 9'6" x 24' shipping container.
Then I realized, that once construction was complete, I could utilize the watertight structure as the basis of a building. More research followed and I hit the boards. I came up with a system that removes one size (and optionally the doors) and adds 50% more floor area. I was planning on using this for a music room / play area for the kids. The roof will protect the walls and windows (all glazing is north facing) and an inside layer of Icynene will insulate the metal skin & roof. I will also be planting some form of vertical planting (bamboo shown) to create shade and possibly a microclimate to protect the south side (I'm in the Phoenix, desert).