Shipping containers as the basis for habitable structures are relatively inexpensive, structurally sound and in abundant supply. Although, in raw form, containers are dark windowless boxes, they can be highly customizable modular elements of a larger structure.
  -- containerbay

about containerCore

containerCore is based in Hanalei, Hawaii. Inspired in part by temporary rain shelters of all sizes required for outdoor events here, along with local architecture that maximizes outdoor living space, tropical style. Inspired also in part by the desire to shelter people quickly and inexpensively, in buildings engineered for quality and versatility, designed with the character and standards one would expect of long term housing.

containerCore is focused on modular housing and components, designed for shipping containers, including their use as structural elements, though any "kit" that fits in a container for rapid assembly on site is also of interest. The standard dimensions of containers result in floor plans that seem to lend themselves well to interchangeable parts, multiple sources, creativity and exchange of ideas.

architectural considerations

In the tropics, it often rains when it's hot. Air moving freely through the house, through wide open screen doors and windows, even during sudden downpours, is the routine - all year round! So large overhangs at the eaves are favored to keep the open windows dry, the outside walkways and decks protected. Five feet cantilevered eaves work well, though can require heavy timber and besides, building codes may limit overhangs to three or four feet.

Standard container dimensions suggest that roof truss systems spanning sixteen or twenty feet, with 4' cantilevered eaves beyond that (24' or 28' overall), could be useful for a wide variety of floor plans.

Joseph Oster -
Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
   Joseph Oster

early work in SketchUp

In 2009, I started using Google SketchUp Pro which is well integrated with Google Earth for exchanging terrain data and models. This is useful for site planning, solar exposure and study of shadows for any date and time, and viewing 3D models in relation in their surroundings.

By early 2010, pre-fab containers began to lose their appeal when I realized that door and window openings in containers must be done relatively close to a build site, since they no longer meet specs for container shipping rates. So focus shifted toward components that can be useful on many different projects, "modular housing designed for shipping containers", starting with roof kit systems in two sizes, 16' and 20' trusses, with generous four foot overhangs at each end, that fit a wide variety of floor plans. The trusses rest on 4x10 beams attached to the containers, or optional posts to extend the roof over decking.

Dozens of truss variations have been considered, all in 3D: