Saturday, October 21, 2006

Shipping Container Homes Update: A Florida Connection

Peter DeMaria, the architect responsible for championing the reuse of Intermodal Steel Building Units (ISBUs) aka "shipping containers" for housing, has a Tampa connection. Tampa Armature Works, an 85-year-old Florida company, makes the ISBUs to Mr. DeMaria's specs and ships them to California. If you believe as we do that the ISBUs can be an economical and aesthetically pleasing quick fix to public housing and would like to learn more and see how they are made and installed, please click this link to a Bob Villa video. The 6-chapter video chronicles the building of hurricane resistant low income housing using ISBUs in St. Petersburg. It offers an exciting and informative look at how the ISBU exceeds the Florida hurricane building code and will squash any reservations about using them here. The chapter on the NASA spray-on ceramic is quite fascinating. The thin coating has an amazing R-factor of 20 and is shown being sprayed on site.

MVB believes using the fruits of NASA technology and recycling shipping containers is a viable quick-fix solution to closing the affordable housing gap and supplying much needed public housing in Dade County and urge its usage.


Anonymous said...

Two things: these look great in the end, but how do you get there without spending thousands on an architect? Not that I begrudge them their fee but if you're trying to recycle while economizing-stck sets of plans would fit the bill!! Ive been looking for that for years-still looking. Second thing: boomers are aging-they want small. My children have gone, just my wife and I-we dont need 2500 sq ft! Build something thats easy to maintain, cheap and contemporary and they will come.

Anonymous said...

I live in Central Florida and would like to see local building officials embrace the use of shipping containers for housing. Wouldn't it be great to find residential shipping container conversion plans on blueprint websites (like

Serge said...

I think that you'll still get to save much money when you opt for this kind of housing material.