When people think about building with shipping containers, two of the big positives that always come up are reduced price and increased construction speed. Well, you don’t really know exactly how something is going to work until you try. I won’t argue pricing, there are simply too many variables that can raise or lower the cost of a project to make a definitive statement about final costs. However, when it comes to a speedy construction processes, this one went by in no time!
We started our conceptual design work in October of 2014 and construction began before we even had completely finished designs. Foundation blocks were poured and the shipping containers where delivered and placed in early November. By the beginning of December the shipping containers had windows, walls and doors cut out of them, the construction crews were already beginning to frame the inside which would later help when laying flooring and drywall. We began waterproofing the roof decking just before Christmas had all but finished the interior by mid January.
By the beginning of February, construction was all but done and there are only some minor athletic issues to work out. Most of the landscaping and the green roof will have to wait until the spring but the interior green walls are already being installed and only the furniture is left to complete the interior. I was particularly happy with the wood flooring, which is rough-cut and has good texture. It has a great natural warmth that really helps build a sense of comfort, even in rooms that have yet to be furnished.
The SC project has been a learning curve for everyone involved. We have had some big issues to overcome and all of us had to learn about parts of the project that were well outside our normal job description. For me, it was all about new materials, project management and how to document the actual construction of a building.
Even though this project is all but done I will have a few more blogs about it in the future. I’ll be doing a “positive and negative” post about this project detailing some of the issues we faced whi8le using containers and I will also be posting one to discuss how we documented the construction processes, so keep an eye out for those.