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Shipping Container Housing – The Popularity Grows

30.01.2016 - Posted by Updated On 30.01.2016    

Over the last couple of years the trend of shipping container housing has grown in both size and popularity. The original concept of a container home was little more than a steel box converted into a functional modular house, usually completely leaving the idea of curb appeal. Flash forward a few short years and toss a few creating minds into the process and things have changed dramatically. So much traction has been gained that major news outlets are now covering the concept in the "home" sections, and cities and municipalities are having public discussions about how to address the possibility of shipping container homes being built in their neighborhoods.

Covington, OH Container Debate

In the town of Covington, Ohio the local government has an open discussion with the community regarding the use of shipping containers for housing in a residential area. The foundation of the debate stems from the fact that much of the existing housing in the area dates back to the Civil War and some people in the community think that container housing might stray from the current personality of the neighborhood. While the discussion is ongoing, the Covington City Commission has found that:

Shipping container homes can meet city historic guidelines if done right, a city staff report found.

"Overwhelmingly, the designs are unique, contemporary architectural expressions," the report stated. "There is, however, concern that if not executed properly, a shipping container home can resemble typical, pre-fabricated housing."

Read more about the story here.

Pittsburgh, PA House Expansion with a Container

In the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh and young family was mulling over how to expand their end row house unit to meet the needs of their growing family. As you can guess, they decided to use a shipping container. The container was converted into a living room and dining area and the family couldn't be happier. How did the city of Pittsburg view the planning?

(The owners) checked with Pittsburgh's zoning office to see if it was permitted.
"They said as long as it's on a solid foundation," Ms. Mallak said.

Click here to see pictures and read more about the Lawrenceville Container.

Lawrenceville Container Home

Louisville, KY in the Early Stages of Planning

In the Germantown area of west Louisville, KY developers are planning a container home complex of 6-8 homes, all for rental properties. The area of town is booming and already has a shipping container bar as well as a gift shop, so there is some familiarity with containers.

The developer said, "We love the gritty urban landscape that is kind of mixed in with the cool and redeveloped Germantown Mill Lofts," Hill said. "For me, it celebrates our heritage as a distribution hub."

The next hurdle to jump for this project is city approval. The properties are zoned R-6, which allows for multifamily residential homes, but it is unclear exactly what regulations could be applied to these unconventional homes.

Rather than having them all separate, for example, Kueber said, the city may require the individual units to touch. The project ventures into territory that Louisville's Land Development Code hasn't dealt with before.

"The city has never seen anything like this."

Louisville, KY Container Home

The full article can be read here.

As the popularity of shipping containers in both commercial and residential use grow, cities and planning commissions will need to formally discuss the issue and create a set of guidelines that address the way that shipping containers can be used in development. doesn't build or develop shipping container projects, but may of the sellers and industry partners that work with do. If you have general container questions feel free to contact the in-house experts, or if you have a question regarding shipping containers listed on the marketplace, and their suitability for conversion projects feel free to contact the seller directly.

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