In the last post we went through some of the things you should consider when planning your shipping container conversion.Each of the points raised probably deserve a more in depth look and so today I am going to deal with probably the topic that I get asked about most – insulation.
There is, of course, various reasons why you might want to line and insulate your shipping container. Obviously if you are planning on converting it into a usable office, clubhouse or any type of building you want to be able to control just how warm/cool it is. And lets face it. There is no point in just putting heaters or air conditioning in to regulate the temperature in what would be without lining a metal box. The cost would be the same as trying to govern the temperature outside. Insulation is vital to keep those energy costs down and to stabilise the overall temperature inside your shipping containers. It also helps stop condensation.
A container lined and insulated using melamine faced board and rockwool
There are various options you can consider. The most popular way of insulating your container is to batten out the sides and the ceiling, insulate with rockwool and finish with a faced board of your choice. There are various options here from melamine to plasterboard finishes. There are specialist options which have higher fire ratings or sound proofing. Much depends on what your shipping container conversion is going to be used for.
All this happens on the inside of the containers. But let us not forget that there are other options to consider such as cladding or using SPF on the outside of the container. SPF or Spray Foam Insulation can be sprayed directly onto the walls etc to provide a barrier before putting on a decorative cladding. You would have put on some battening or furring strips to contain it as it expands to fit every nook and cranny. It is not commonly used in the UK on shipping containers at the moment but certainly is worth considering. If anyone is interested in learning more of the practical details of applying this stuff, let me know and I will do a post on it.
Green Roof on Shipping Container
Another popular external insulation is a green roof. Effectively a tray on top of the container, filled with soil and planted up.
There are so many different container conversions that have been built over the years that it is easy to get sidetracked and forget to look at the basics. As with any conversion, good planning is essential and if you are able to work out exactly what you want and draw some upsort of plan that is good place to start. Here are some important points to bear in mind when drawing up your plan:-
No matter how large your conversion is eventually going to be it is important to remember the basic sizes of shipping container – either the 20ft or 40ft lengths are the most commonly used.
Remember that sides can be cut out of containers so that they can be combined on site to give more width – though always in 8ft increases.
Shipping Containers can also be stacked on top of one another to give additional height though it is important to line up the iso blocks on the cornersfor strength. 20ft containers should therefore sit only on 20ft containers – don’t think you can add a 40ft on one level with two 20fts on top for example and still keep integral strength.
If you are considering having heating or air conditioning do think about having the container lined and insulated
Windows can be double glazed and you should always consider having metal shutters for security. The average sized window is 3ftx3ft.
Whilst second hand shipping containers provide a greener solution if you are considering a multi-container conversion it could be as well to go for new/once used containers so that the floor levels can match up as the containers will all have been built to the same specification.
Single container conversions can be divided into sections. A lot of office conversions for example consist of 50% office and 50% storage space.
Additional doors can be put into the container. The most common is a personnel door but double container doors and even complete side access doors are possibilities.
Electricity can be supplied not only by the traditional method of connecting to the National Grid but by alternative sources such as solar panels, wind turbines etc.
Plumbing can be added from simple sinks to disabled lavatories but remember to consider where the pipes need to go in relation to your site.
You do not need to provide any more than a basic sketch or layout of your conversion – although wonderful to receive a CAD drawing a basic plan is often sufficient to get things started. Inevitably shipping container conversionsevolve as the planning process is discussed and developed. A reputable company should always give you a quotation and will be quite happy to break down the different costings so that you can choose and develop your conversions as you progress.
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Shipping Container Conversions – How Green Are they?
21/10/10 10:11 am by CS Shipping Containers
Using second hand shipping containers to turn into homes, site offices, community projects, classrooms (to name but a few) is a common sense solution that can solve all sorts of problems. Not only do these shippingcontainer conversions mean that you are recycling what is essentially anindustrial product but they also save you money.
If you look at a shipping container as being essentially a building block it is easy to imagine combining them in all sorts of different combinations and then lining and insulating them, putting in windows and doors and power to convert them to whatever you require.
You can combine containers to form larger buildings
Power can be by linking the second hand shipping container to the grid, but also more and more, people are looking to having solar panels on the roof or linking up to a wind turbine that they put near by. We have also started quoting more and more for people to have a”green roof” put on the container which provides extra insulation and helps to blend the container in with the environment.
Alternative energy sources can be used to provide power to shipping container conversions
By using an existing surplus industrial product you are not causing any more metal to be mined or trees to be cut down. A large amount of the conversion work required to provide insulation etc can also be made using recycled materials. The versatility of the shipping container means that it is suitable for many different purposes and best of all, not only does it save you money it is easy and economic in all senses to get onto site and construction times are often up to 2/3rds less.
Shipping Container Conversions are thereforean eco-friendly and economic solution.