Can I Have a Shipping Container in My Backyard? Rules and Regulations for Container Homes

Can I Have a Shipping Container in My Backyard? Rules and Regulations for Sea Cargo Containers on Your Residential Property

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Can you have a shipping container in your backyard? Shipping containers are big boxes (shaped like a rectangular prism) and sheathed with metal, moulded PVC and other fibre-reinforced polymers. These boxes are commonly used as containers on cargo ships, so they are manufactured to be structurally firm, strong and crash-proof. The large size of these containers means that they can be converted into portable cabins which can be used as an office, mini-shop, studio, reading room, quiet room, library, storage room, lounge room, bedroom or junk room to keep your clutter and other unwanted items that you aren’t using.

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The alternative use of shipping containers as a form of portable accommodation has seen them being incorporated into architectural designs by various architects around the world. Some of the best designs of shipping container architecture include projects by Fraser Brown MacKenna, Randy Bens, Bruno Zaitter and Kengo Kuma.

Multiple shipping containers can be used as modular units in the construction of big housing and commercial projects. As an example , in Italy, the architects Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota came up with a conceptual design of an intensive care unit that makes use of shipping containers in the aftermath of the contagious Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that has infected 86,498 people in Italy, and causing 9,134 deaths as at 28 March 2020.

Exterior of Stow Away Hotel in UK, London, Waterloo – An Example of Shipping Container Architecture

A real life example of a finished building incorporating shipping container modular units is the Stow-Away Hotel in London, UK designed by Doone Silver Kerr architects.  The 5-storey hotel has containers stacked over each other with a front elevation of 5×5 units high. There are 25 containers making up the complete building, measuring 9 metres long each. Shipping containers have a cross section area of 2.43×2.59m high (ISO standard size), so that’s a total living space of approximately 9 x 12.15 x 12.95 metres high.

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