There is no doubt that shipping container buildings are trending worldwide right now. People are using them for offices, shops, and homes, sometimes retaining the look and industrial feel of the insulated shipping container, sometimes stripping so much away most people would have no idea that the basic structure of the house was, in fact, a series of mobile storage units. But how do you go about building a container home, and how do you go about generating shipping container home plans?
Local Building Regulations for Converted Shipping Containers
Whether you are planning to use a dozen or more converted shipping containers or just one single unit, before you even start thinking about plans you need to familiarize yourself with local building regulations. In South Africa, for instance, the National Building Regulations require anyone building a house that does not follow standard construction principles to have an agrément certificate that confirms “fitness-for-purpose” of materials and components.
The building regulations also require a “competent person” who is essentially a person who is qualified and has the necessary experience to prepare the design (or plans). That person, usually an architect or engineer, will also have to ensure that the design meets the requirements of SANS 10400, a series of detailed documents that specify the requirements of the regulations, from structural design and foundations to glazing and fire protection, allowing for deviations specified in the agrément certificate.
If you want to buy shipping containers that can be converted, you really will need to use the services of a designer or architect who has the specialised knowledge relating to insulating and ventilating metal containers. Alternatively, you could find companies that offer shipping container homes for sale. Just check that their shipping container home plans have been drawn in accordance with the local authority bylaws and the country’s building regulations.
Shipping Container Home Plans
Whether you are planning to buy ready-converted shipping containers or simply an ISO container that was previously used for mobile storage, it’s a good idea to look at photographs of shipping container buildings as well as shipping container home plans that are available on the Internet. Even if you can’t use these as is (in most cases you will have to have existing plans redrawn, at very least to show the converted shipping containers on the required site plan), they will give you some idea of just how container homes can be configured. Existing shipping container home plans will also show you how fixtures, fittings, and furniture can be laid out.
Shipping container home plans can be drawn in so many different ways, accommodating as many containers needed, either on one or multiple levels. The plans can have containers:
- placed alongside one another, with openings that provide access to the adjacent space
- placed end-to-end
- positioned in a U-shape with the resulting courtyard covered or enclosed to increase floor space
- stacked on top of one another
The options really are endless.
Converted Shipping Containers From Almar
Almar Container Group offers converted shipping containers that are suitable for offices, clinics, workshops, training and boardrooms, as well as accommodation facilities. We specialise in plug and play solutions for remote locations in Africa and the Middle East.
Almar has more than 25 years of experience in the container industry and has an in-house team of designers and engineers that handles all our conversions. Call us today to see what we can do for you.