Recycling, Upcycling and Container Homes

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Containers and Seaport

For the last decade some of the more progressive minds in our society have been trying to promote such innovative ideas as sustainable living and environmental friendliness. In the beginning it sounded all too abstract to interest but a few nutters. Then, little by little we opened our minds to the preaching. In the following paragraphs, our London furniture delivery and assembly company will share some pros and cons of upcycling.

Recycling is the most blatant example of a positive practice that we have now widely adopted in our strive to move in the right direction. In this line of thoughts, the one up-and-coming most exotic trend in recycling is the container home. Think of it as an upgrade to the regular recycling you have been doing by now. In fact, the idea of container homes has officially been labelled with the term upcycling. If we have to decipher upcycling in the container homes context, then it would sound something like this: elevating your lifestyle by using recyclable materials to build a modern, upscale looking, environmentally friendly home. Your sustainable living concept in a nutshell.

Pros of upcycling

Shipping containers are perfect for building. They are modular, strong, stackable, available across the globe and inexpensive to buy. There are two standard sizes – 20 ft and 40 ft. A used 40 ft intermodal container can be had for as little as £1200 and even one straight out of the factory wouldn’t cost you more than £4000. Transportation and logistics companies around the world have massive quantities of freight containers. They are just sitting and waiting to rust. Others, who see the big picture, recycle. They sell their stocks of sea cans, as they are often called for obvious reasons, to the more audacious and adventurous future home-owners out there.

Container modules cannot be beaten on the value-for-money front. This ultimately leads to instantaneous savings that could be invested in clever furnishing solutions, landscaping projects around the property or a dozen other things.

Container homes rival other modular house building enterprises like the revolutionary BoKlok by IKEA and Skanska. The two have much in common but any direct comparison is meaningless. They simply don’t fall under the same category. This is so because in essence the container is the building material and the module at the same time. Unlike the BoKlok, there is no prefabrication. Just some alterations and modifications. The bulk of the construction work is very much like assembling flat pack furniture.

From New Zealand to Kyrgyzstan, hotels, shopping malls, food markets, student dormitories, offices and luxurious estates illustrate how embracing this extravagant recycling concept can work to everyone’s interest.

Cons of upcycling

One thing to consider when planning your upcycled home is the past life and the cargo your chosen freight containers have been used for. Whilst it is very unlikely that you will ever be sold a container that has been used to transport toxic materials (these should be carefully tracked and controlled) there are other risk factors that require your attention before any sea can will be deemed good for a container home project. For instance, it is critical to completely remove and replace the original plywood floor found in a shipping container for it is treated with an industrial pesticide and preservative chemical called Phoxim.

The paints used for both external and internal painting of the module shouldn’t pose a threat to your health. This is unless the container is more than 10 years old. However, regardless of what good nick your cans are in, a professional thorough cleaning is what will determine the longevity of your new home. Failure to address the inherent health hazards may be life endangering on the long run!

Here is the place to mention how important insulation is. The steel is conductive and without proper insulation it will be very hot in summer and very cold in winter.

Upcycle now!

Bottom line is that the potential is limitless, and for the time being shipping containers are a real bargain. Those who exploit the current situation on this emerging market will undoubtedly benefit.

In conclusion, it should be noted that container homes present people with a chance to be trend setters in three different fields at once – recycling, home design and sustainable living. Sounds good, doesn’t it?