Radiant in Residential

Communities house students in shipping containers

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 13:19

Employing recycled materials during home renovations is one of the best ways to ensure that upgrades can remain relatively inexpensive, but highly effective toward being environmentally friendly. Whether homeowners are making a fashionable lampshade decorated with buttons or using recycled paper to insulate their walls, upcycling can lead to lower costs and carbon emissions in a home. 

Large companies, including businesses and universities, search for ways in which they can provide high-quality performance with low environmental impact, especially when constructing plans for a new building. Instead of purchasing new lumber, glass and plastic from industrial providers or independent contractors, some corporations have opted for buying prebuilt structures that just need a bit of TLC to become proper homes: shipping containers.

South African city finds a way to use shipping containers

Almost 400 students will be able to live in the newly designed Johannesburg housing structure constructed by Citiq, CNN reported. The Mill Junction building features a stack of recycled containers that sit atop old grain columns, and it aims to provide low-budget housing for university students looking to live in the area. Not only will homes be decorated to give residents more modern accommodations, but they will have access to a communal kitchen, a social area on the roof, study areas and free Wi-Fi. Paul Lapham, CEO of Citiq, told CNN that this new structure aims to provide convenient housing to the nation's bright minds.

"Our intention with these projects is to provide people with decent accommodation at affordable prices that is well located centrally in the city," Lapham said to the source. "I am really excited about how these kid of projects can help address the dire shortage of good student accommodation in South Africa."

Lapham added that by reusing both an old town eyesore and a wealth of tired containers, the city has also paved the way for further architectural ventures to promote the use of eco-friendly building materials.

Connecticut homes recycle containers 

South Africa is not the only region to employ shipping containers as student housing options. Christian Salvati, an architect from Marengo Structures, only took four hours to build a much smaller student abode in Connecticut. The home is divided into two units: the top is used when Salvati stays in the region, while the bottom half provides seasonal housing for students from local universities. Unlike the structure in Johannesburg, Salvati's homes feature radiant heat flooring, adding energy efficiency to the mix.