The United States currently imports over 8 billion more tons of cargo than it exports every year. As a result, shipping containers have begun to accumulate near our nation’s ports. In 2001 the Wall Street Journal reported that over 500,000 containers were currently stockpiled in the United States with no plans for immediate use. Containers are accumulating at the port of New Orleans, & consequently a 40 foot container in our area currently costs $2000-$3500. We estimate that this 950 square foot house could be built for $55 per square foot.
Benefits of this design include low maintenance & extreme durability. These structures are built to withstand the abuse of the dock yard & harsh weather at sea. It is estimated that a container house will last three times longer than one built with standard wood frame construction. These homes can be prefabricated & easily shipped, making them ideal for camps or recreational homes. In addition, using containers for housing would be considered up-cycling (giving an existing material a higher use), which conforms to current theories regarding good sustainable practices..