PriceIt comes as no surprise that a lot of the attraction to and buzz around shipping container homes is related to price. Some of it is fair, some of it is not. In many cases, shipping containers can be built quite cheaply, perhaps even cheaper than an equivalent home of traditional construction techniques. While there are a huge number of variables that influence cost (geography, size, design, interior finish-out, etc), we generally say that container homes do offer a small cost savings for most owners. And, if you’re interested in doing some of the work yourself while being resourceful with some of the other expenses, the savings can be significant.
Eco-FriendlyAnother advantage of building a shipping container home is that it can be environmentally friendly. There are millions of shipping containers in the world, but only a fraction of them are in service and used actively. Many of the remaining containers are wasting away in ports and storage yards across the world. Using one of these already existing containers as the basis for a home is a great example of adaptive reuse. For each 40 ft shipping container, you are reusing more than 8,000 pounds of steel. You are also reducing the amount of other traditional building materials you’ll need, like masonry and wood. While you could argue that melting down the shipping container and turning the steel into something else is more environmentally friendly, that’s not usually the case. Melting steel requires an incredible amount of energy, you’ll need to remove and dispose of the wooden floor beforehand and then deal with transportation to the steel recycling plant. These and other concerns lead to the surplus of empty shipping containers in the world.