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The Benefits Of Building Steel Homes With Shipping Containers

Updated on November 27, 2010

With advances in technology, it seems that even the most unheard of ideas are being used to design and build steel homes.  While traditional homes are constructed of rammed earth, sod, reclaimed wood, and board particles, architects are thinking of new alternative building materials and innovative ways to construct prefab metal buildings.  With high-tech products available on the market, and the mass production of shipping and receiver containers, a new and more affordable housing methodology has been developed.  While architectural innovators who advocate this new steel homes movement pride the idea because the homes are an energy-efficient way to construct homes that can withstand practically anything that is thrown at them, there are ecological purists that prefer the traditional methods of building dwellings and commercial properties.  Understand the advantages and disadvantages of building steel houses constructed of shipping containers before you choose a side.


What are the Benefits of Building Container Houses?

Not only are container homes very sturdy and well built, the materials used to construct these steel properties are very affordable and easy to come by.  During today's economic crisis, building contractors are looking for new alternative materials for home construction that will allow them to turn a profit and still have a quality finished product.  Because of the balance of trade in the nation, heft steel shipping containers are piling up in shipping ports around the country.  Because these boxes are posing a storage problem, architects and builders are choosing to take advantage of the nation's surplus and recycle these containers into usable materials to construct steel homes.

Experts say that a container consists of 8000 pounds of steel that can be used to construct homes.  Rather than using as much as 8000 kHz of energy to melt down this amount of metal in the traditional home construction process, builders are choosing to recycle containers and use less than half of the energy needed during construction. Not only are building containers energy efficient alternative, they are also far stronger than the materials used to construct a conventional house frame.  With lateral loads resistance, the steel to steel welding is hurricane and earthquake proof. 

Not only are these buildings more energy efficient to build, they are also extremely energy efficient to the environment in terms of providing an excellent barrier that resists the loss of interior heat.  With this built-in insulation, homes constructed of containers will cost less in heating and cooling utilities.

What Are the Disadvantages of Building with Steel Containers?

While there are endless benefits of building these dwellings with shipping containers, purists still insist that homes should be built with sustainable resources like straw, wood and dirt to make properties as natural as possible.  While builders, with the current economic crisis, appreciate sustainable resources, the price of these resources have skyrocketed and the cost of skilled labor has become so high that cities and counties are choosing not to build at all.  If you are a builder looking for alternative building materials, consider hurricane, flood, and fireproof shipping containers that offer a wide variety of benefits.


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    • Karen Wodke profile image

      Karen Wodke 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Those homes are amazing!


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