Lately we have been getting a lot of inquiries regarding container architecture in Kenya. The main reason for this is people are looking for a way to cut down on the cost of construction. Browsing through the internet, you will come across amazing homes and offices made from shipping container. We have posted lots of these photos on many of our online platforms.
Container homes can look amazing, and the underlying assumption is that this technology leads to a lot of savings. For you to save money and build a good structure, there are a few things you need to keep in minding.
Saving money using container architecture is not a given. For you to make any savings, you need to understand container architecture thoroughly. You also need a meticulously plan and implement your project with all facts in mind in order to make any significant savings.
Different Types of Containers
There are different kinds of containers out there. Never make the mistake of buying a container, especially a used container without seeing it first. No, a photo will not do either. You need to visit the seller and check out the container thoroughly. Focus on checking for rust, wetness and any other issue.
- Brand New – Though more expensive, brand new containers are the best to use. You will be 100% sure of the quality of the container and it will cost you much less to work with a container that has no flaws.
- 1 Trip Containers – The next best quality is a 1 trip container. These tend to be cheaper than new containers without compromising on the quality of the container. They are of course more expensive than containers that have been used multiple times.
- Used – Used containers are the cheapest and perhaps the most available. Most people base their budget on used containers. It is important to know what he container was used for before. Some are used to carry hazardous cargo and need very thorough cleaning.
- High Cube Containers – Containers come in different heights, a little known fact. Standard containers are usually 8 foot 6 inches high while a high cube container gives you an extra 1 foot in height. Though more expensive, that extra height will be worth the expense.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
Every county now has its own building regulations. Ensure that you visit your county offices and find out what the regulations are for building a container house. Do this even before embarking on your project so that you can be aware of what is required.
Ensure you get all your permits and approvals before you start construction to avoid getting into trouble.
Insulation – When it comes to container housing, insulation is very important. Containers are made out of metal and metal is extremely sensitive to the elements. Heat, cold, wind and noise will have a huge impact. It is important to insulate your container properly against the elements. Insulation will be based on your location and the elements you have to deal with.
The reason why containers are used to build structures is because they are strong. Strong as they may be, they are not necessarily structurally sound. You can stack many containers together without a problem. However, it is good to note that when you stack containers on top of each other, especially at angles, you will need to create a structural support for them. That comes with its own costs and will lead to little savings. If making savings is your main goal, the best approach would be to think ‘bungalow’. Avoid stacking containers on top of each other.
Every time a container is modified in any way, (cutting openings for doors, windows etc.), its strength diminishes. Keep these modifications to a minimum. It is expected for you to create doors and windows, but avoid removing entire sections of a container.
So is it possible to save money using container architecture? Absolutely. But it is important to have all the facts on the table before embarking on such a project. Saving money is not a given. Proper planning and execution, with full understand of all the factors is what will enable you save money with container architecture in Kenya.