Many people are considering modular construction when embarking on a new home or light commercial building project. Modular construction has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past decades, gone are the days of modular construction being simply another name for trailers. Today when a modular construction project is completed most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a modular building and a ”stick built” building.
What determines the shipping container modifications which have to be made? These large boxes are modified in line with the new purpose which they will have. They can be used for many different things from storage facilities to holiday homes and from small shops to saunas. Typically, they are modified so that they have the functionality of a traditional building. Here we will focus on these modifications.
Many designers carry the eco-friendly theme further by cutting out huge windows in the sides of the container so that there is less need for artificial lighting during the day. One very creative person has also picked up lots of recycled steel scraps in order to use in the construction, as a result of which the place looks very unusual while affording the owner great savings.
One such alternative is the humble shipping container – yes that right the humble shipping crate.
A standard shipping container is not specifically designed to meet the occupied building design criteria for wind loads and snow loads instead they are intended to meet the load for being stacked three to ten fully loaded containers high provided the load is transferred down through the corner posts and carry a weight of up to 70,000 lbs. The stacking loads are ”point load” conditions on the corners versus a snow load which is distributed over the entire roof surface. Once the container is modified, like the side wall cut open to allow a container to mate up to another container to create a large open space, then the roof snow load can no longer be properly transferred down through walls and onto the foundation. A header or support member must be installed on the container opening and this piece should be properly engineered according to the load conditions for the region in which the container building will be placed.
The modified shipping containers should not be set up directly on the ground. It is best if they stay on a platform or on specially designed blocks. Other more specific modifications may be required before they become ready to use. Once they are fully ready they can be used just like any regular facility of the respective type.
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