Students Promoting Shipping Containers as Affordable Housing Solutions

By Christine Walsh

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Shipping containers might be a great way to build affordable homes fast and cheaply, but one of the problems is spreading awareness that such an affordable solution exists. To solve this, a team of University of Florida (UF) students is building a simple shipping container home in a month long campaign called “Imagine … a Place called Home,” which they hope will bring greater awareness to this architectural solution. They have the home on display at the Reitz Union North Lawn at UF where they invite people inside to learn more about this type of architecture.

The main aim of the project is to also promote the fact that affordable housing is more than just finding a good place to live, but also creating stability and community. They borrowed the shipping container from modular construction company Williams Scotsman and, with the help of Professor Stephen Bender and the UF organization Catalysts for Change, transformed it into a cozy home.

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They fitted it with windows and doors, and furnished it just like a real home, which includes a comfortable living area, a TV, and even an Air Conditioning unit. The interior walls of the shipping container were covered with drywall panels, while the floor is white tile. On the outside they left the container in it’s original condition so passersby know right away that this is actually a home made from a shipping container.

Given the shortage of affordable housing and the economy being what it is, it’s good to see more and more projects like this popping out. The solution to offering everyone a decent place to live might well be in raising awareness of all the possibilities. While shipping container architecture might be very popular right now, a lot of people are still a bit put off by the idea of living in a metal box especially if they have never seen such a home in real life. Projects like these, which invite people to see this type of architecture for themselves, are great way to promote shipping container homes.

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