Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Living In a box

China sends far more shipping containers to the U.S. full of their exports than travel back to China with U.S. made goods. This has led to a glut of shipping containers stacking up on the nation's ports. Now some innovative architects are attempting to turn these shipping containers into low cost housing units.

Normally you'd expect the very poor to be living in a box. But with so many of these shipping containers available, they can be picked up at many ports for as little as $1,500 to $2,000 each. The cost to return them back to China empty would be around $900 each. So many of these containers take a one way trip to American ports and then just sit and sit.

Many of these shipping containers have teak floors and are insulated. They are durable enough to probably resist storm or severe weather damage. These shipping containers are so durable they can even be stacked as much as 12 units high.

It is another strange twist of the terrible trade deficit with China that low income Americans may soon be living in used shipping containers. This latest trend in low income housing still has to pass muster with local zoning and building regulations in various local communities, but it seems to be a coming trend in low cost housing inspired by the homeless who live in discarded appliance boxes.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger superclosetnerd said...

Interesting stuff... I'm going to have to bookmark this and come back later to check it out. Off to work for now. I know, I work late, but there's no traffic!
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