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Jo'burg's Answer to a Student Housing Shortage: Shipping Containers

16.02.2014 - Posted by Updated On 16.02.2014    

At the start of 2013, Mill Junction was two unused grain silo in the Newtown section of Johannesburg; flash forward to 2014 and the same structure now has been converted into affordable student housing, including 375 apartments, study facilities, lounges, computer rooms, and a gym. However, it doesn't stop at a simple conversion project; the development includes 61 used shipping containers on the sides and even the top of the structure.

The Structure

The silo structure alone is 11 stories tall, and there are four floors of used shipping container stacked on top and side of the silo to provide additional housing. The 375 apartments are fully functional, and many have a balcony overlooking the city's vibrant skyline. Aside from the obvious unique structure, the shipping containers have not been repainted and create an interesting patchwork design that makes the building stand out in the city.

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Energy Efficiency

The containers were integrated into the structure by cutting space for doors and double glaze window to maximize energy efficiency. The entire building is equipped with motion sensor lighting to reduce the energy consumption. In all the energy conservation efforts are expected to reduce total consumption by 50% when compared to a conventional building; and that savings is reflected in the low cost that students are pay for the housing.

The Developer

Citiq, the South African development company that designed the project, is no stranger to shipping containers. They've been involved in other container based projects and have executed them with a great deal of success.

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