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2020-05-08 response to video

In response to 7 reasons why shipping container homes are a SCAM, Tessa writes:

First issue: the size constraints. Standard shipping containers are 20 feet and 40 feet long and 8 feet wide. Most of these containers are 8.5 feet tall but you can order custom ones that are 9.5 feet tall.

So, literally the point of tiny living is small size forces efficiency. This is a non-issue, we want this.

Second issue: A metal container works as a system, the idea that every part of this box is structural is false. Every single cut that you make for plumbing, windows, doors, roof openings into its structural frame or corrugated metal siding compromises its strength so you have to reinforce it with metal or wood.

Yeah...if you're chopping out an entire side, it won't be able to have a semitruck stacked on top of it...which is also to say, don't build structurally unsafe stuffs? Again, non-issue. Have they actually looked at the tensile strength and crush test on the guages of steel used in these containers? Cutting holes for plumbing might take it from "can have a baker's dozen of tons stacked on top of it" to "can have a dozen tons stacked on it", and the idea of reinforcing that minor loss of unnecessarily high integrity with wood? XD silly reporter, this is an engineering problem we solved about the time suspension bridges became a thing.

Third issue: the thermal conductivity of steel. It’s not a good insulator, so you can expect the inside of these containers to get very hot in summer and very cold in winter.

One word: cellcrete.

Sure, leave the external metal bare, and you'll have a bad time with just the internal insulation... just like if you stopped building a house halfway through and left the outside bare, or never put in a roof.

But a cellcrete jacket insulates better than anything stickbuilt, and doubles as sound barrier too.

Fourth issue: the health risks that come with buying old shipping containers. You can track the locations that the container has been to around the world, but you can’t track exactly what it has carried. It could have carried toxic chemicals such as pesticides or fumigants and the contents might have leaked into the wooden floorboards.

Yeah, and if that's a concern, given a visual inspection, we just replace the floorboards...metal doesn't absorb non-radioactive toxicity, generally speaking, and wood is...damned cheap in Cascadia.

Fifth issue: this type of building is not the best for all locations. It might make sense in coastal regions near port cities where a container is readily available. If you are inland, the cost to transport it all the way to your plot of land is not logical. Also, building with native materials is the most eco-friendly and cost-effective method.

Clear lack of understanding how logistics work, here. Wow. They did not do their research, like at all.

By batch-shipping everything to an assembly location, and then shipping the container (full of the necessaries for finishing out the design) to the location, it's one shipping cost for the customer, not the constant trickle of delivery costs for each individual load of materials, in small quantities for the specific site.

The finances don't pan out if you're trying to still live big, or build one in isolation far from a hardware store. But the break-even point is literally three container homes.

Sixth issue: the idea that you are saving the environment when you use shipping containers and that is a highly sustainable practice. Another important thing to consider is the carbon footprint of your container home. Steel construction is not as environmentally friendly as wood.

Yeah, citation needed.

The logging industry isn't exactly known for sustainability (until just a few years ago, and even then, it's only with a lot of kicking and screaming about how much being environmentally neutral is horrible for the bottom line), and ESPECIALLY in rural areas, you can always find an old farm implement or truck that someone wants to get rid of. Steel is bad in that it corrodes over time, so the jacketing is a major challenge, and Aluminum or a copper allow would be far better...

...but it's nowhere near as cut and dried as this pretends it is.

Seventh issue: the idea that shipping containers can be the solution to the housing crisis in the world but, this crisis is not a technology problem, it’s far more complex. Purely from a financial aspect, it would be cheaper to build a homeless shelter with wood than build a complex shipping container building. This type of building can maybe be 20% cheaper, not more. The modifications that you need to make a metal box livable aren’t cheap.

Purely from a financial standpoint, it'd be cheaper to stop policing homeless people, build them cellcrete dome-houses, and give them a community garden, therapy, and free literally everything.

But yeah, using low-cost portable shipping containers is clearly the place to cut costs.

Did you know a cargo container can shrug off small arms fire, like if law enforcement (or a redneck) decides to take pot-shots at someone's house? Because that's my concern here, not "could we possibly build this for cheaper".