A Clemson University Architecture project lead by Doug Hecker, Pernille Christensen and Martha Skinner examines the use of shipping containers as housing in disaster situations in the Caribbean Region. The project , called SEED, was done last year, and it was designed specially for countries facing hurricanes. Nevertheless, the containers can also be used in other tragic circumstances, such as the terrible earthquake in Haiti (which was also featured in the project). See more about the project, pictures and videos after the break.
Utilizing an existing surplus of shipping containers and working with industry partners including Container -it, Intermodal Steel Building Units Association, Sargent Metals, and Tri-County Technical, Clemson University designers from the Department of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture are researching and developing an affordable housing solution for the Caribbean Region. Caribbean nations inherently import more goods than they export generating a steady surplus of shipping containers. Shipping containers are designed to carry massive amounts of cargo and withstand extreme weather conditions making them a logical housing component. Completely constructed of steel and reinforced with eight corner post moment connections and corrugated steel walls a 40′ shipping container can carry 67,200 pounds and resist overturn when exposed to winds up to 140 mph. Without modification a 40′ shipping container has 304 square feet of floor space and eliminates problems associated with insects, fire, and hurricanes. With modification a 40′ shipping container can be a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly home for numerous local inhabitants who would otherwise have less. Designing a process and not an outcome the team has decidedly chosen the seed and its symbiotic-propagation as an analog. Thinking time based and considering logistics the beginning design has emerged as a system of event based solutions capable of providing immediate housing after hurricanes or natural disasters. local intervention and materials eventually developing into permanent and investment with a local identity. Utilizing local skills, labor, and materials the final design is dynamic taking on a symbiotic relationship with the local cultures. Eventually the ubiquitous container is embedded and made permanent providing an investment that can appreciate with time.