A Feasible Housing Solution for Haitians: Shipping Containers

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A feasible solution for housing the earthquake survivors in Haiti would be acquiring the myriad of surplus shipping containers that have been retired, and sit idle in many ports. At first thought, some may consider this a demeaning manner in which to house people. However, my research has rendered facts that would strongly contradict those whom might think of this concept as demeaning or inadequate.

From my observations of the many photographs and newscasts that I’ve watched when the news of the earthquake first struck Haiti, I noticed that hundreds of these shipping containers remained stacked in the port of Haiti. I’ve discovered that they are constructed to be stacked and remain stacked. The high-seas the shipping vessels traverse, it is imperative that they stay in place.The shipping containers are impervious to wind and rain.

Hundreds of people are presently residing in shipping containers in Jakarta, they have for years. In fact, a community of people have lived in shipping containers for 20 years in Armenia. They were also struck with a devastating earthquake back in 1988. Some have never left this means of temporary housing due to the rigid construction of shipping containers.

Shipping container architecture is a widely growing “Going Green” trend in alternative habitats today. Shipping container living has no bounds. It reaches from here in the United States, all the way to the European Union. It should also be mentioned that some states in the US are not familiar with such structures and obtaining permits for building and zoning can be a daunting task, sometimes pursuing such results in dead-ends.

“While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers to makeshift shelters at the margin of society for years,architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks. Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts, and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor and resources of more conventional materials” as stated on Tech News Update on-line.

Applied in Haiti you have sustainable housing for Haitians, and the thousands of workers that are descending on the country of Haiti for relief, support and construction for the rebuilding process.

Shipping container manufacturing has two key-components in mind during the construction of such an enclosure; strength and durability. They are impervious to wind, rain and seawater, for they travel on open decks of large shipping vessels across the vast oceans around the world.

The come in four sizes, the most common being the forty-foot and the twenty-foot shipping containers. Forty-foot shipping containers weigh 8000 lbs, and can be stacked 12 high when empty. Forty-foot shipping containers exact measurements are 40′ feet long, by 8′ wide and are 8′ 6″ in height. Twenty-foot shipping containers are the exact same measurements, for the exception of length (weight 5050 lbs).

The above-mentioned measurements make for ease of mobility and uniformity due to the modular element properties they hold. Dorm like, or “pod” like housing village could be set-up in a steadfast pace. The port in Haiti would have a multitude of shipping containers on hand and can be transported by sea faring vessel, semi and or flat bed truck.

These shipping containers are in such abundance that they could be donated by shipping magnets and the thousands of companies that rely on these shipping containers to commence global commerce.

Source: Wikipedia.com
Tech News Update.com

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