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Idea for joining containers side by side

 
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newcreature



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Tyler, TX

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Idea for joining containers side by side Reply with quote

I posted an article a while back, but it didn't get much visibility because the thread it was in faded away so I thought I would post again to see if I can get some answers.

I read one of David's articles about how to handle the water that flows to the joint between two containers. It seems to me that this could be a maintenance problem as this joint breaks down over time.

The thought I had was to, instead of putting two containers as tight as possible and then filling the gap, how about spreading them about 6" apart and then welding an I-beam or bo tube between the two of them the entire length of the container. Also, rather than welding it in totally level, you could pitch it slightly down, either from one end to the other or from a high point at the middle down toward either end.

This would accomplish two things. First, it would create a nice natural gutter between the containers that would catch all the water that would typically sit right above the joint. Second, if the right size beam was used, it would act as a structural member, supporting the roof in the absence of the corrugated sidewall, making it pretty easy to join multiple containers together to make one big open space. Plus, for these interior containers, you could get by with less than perfect sidewalls (cheaper containers).

So, what do you think?

Mike
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dcross



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 91
Location: SC, FL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have posted a number of ways to close the gap so not sure which one you speak of. My favorite simple one is turning an angle on its side and making a mini gable and welding it down, or flat bar. I am starting to like your thoughts on it a bit better though (who said good artists copy, great artists steal?).
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habitainer



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Canary Islands, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to join two containers I have used conventional black base and metal laminated layer applied by fire heat and contact on steel, allowing movement on this joint between containers. This solution allows future detachment of units in case the need to be moved. Standard joint on interior isolation fitting is place from inside.

Water must be conducted all the way outside container roof and drained apart otherwise can be dangerous on corner foundations. It will find its way somehow so better look how.

Lot’s of investigation still to be done…

Regards
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sailboatescape



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The proposed solutions assume the container roof will be the waterproof exposed roof. Since insulation has to be added, it would have to be on the inside (Supertherm is not enough in most parts of the country for ceiling insulation), will require a finished ceiling and the support for it and therefore use a high cube. Consider that a standard container with an interior height of nearly 7'-10" is usually an acceptable height, more plentiful and cheaper. If you add the insulation, wiring and waterproofing to the top sides, you will have numerous solutions to bridging the joint and the corrugated painted ceiling is quite nice.

What you choose to do with the roof in either case will affect the appearance and the cost but I simply wanted to point out that with insulation and roofing above, the joint is not a problem.
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newcreature



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Tyler, TX

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not too concerned about moving the structure after it is built. One problem you have with that idea is that if you build it to be moveable, then mortgage lenders are going to treat it like a mobile home and as such grant long term loans.

As for the thoughts about having the outside of the container being the finished, waterproof surface, I personally think that as long as you have a water-tight roof, why put another one above it. Plus, on the interior, by the time you put all the mechanicals, electrical and plumbing in, you are going to need to cover it up with something. My plan is to use high-cube containers, install ductwork, plumbing and electrical hung from the ceiling and then use spray foam to make it all tight. Then I will put a dropped ceiling in, probably sheetrock, even though I hate it. I really like some of the light-gage corrugated ceilings that can be found in airports and such.

Mike
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habitainer



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Canary Islands, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes we keep the outside of container as it is and do not add fixed extensions that could make the container not be suitable for moving. Any of these are always removable.

We believe a container house is, in fact, “much more that a house”. Because of it moving and temporary nature container living spaces do not need to accomplish conventional buildings (that will actually be there for “ages”), and please let’s not talk about price. Loan rates on housing in Spain are growing up to 50 years (so people can pay for their right to have a ceiling). Our amortization timings for container space are about 4 or 5 years paying little monthly quota. (Off course this does not include the land, which you do not necessary may need to buy according to where you are.)

We work on interior fittings. Installations are protected under the steel, allowing a still air camera. After sandwich panel is placed with actual isolation and sockets. You can connect one container to the other on the outside where general energy supply and evacuation are determined by place.

Containers are really an interesting constructive element…

One question: Is there specific regulation for mobile homes in the States to be used as housing? Here we have some regulation but only for motorized solutions and focused on this aspect (circulation on roads, etc…).

thanks
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Alexlebrit



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 28
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been down to the South of France and looking at the roofs there gave me an idea for joining two containers but in a way that they could be detached. Then whilst down there I realised that the external seams on my Mini Cooper were the final part of the jigsaw.

This is the way the roofs are tiled down there.



So thinking about this, I wondered about an I-beam welded to each container, and then a U-shaped molding to cap the join. Like this.



I would imagine that an industrial mastic (for instance that used to bond in winscreens) could be squeezed into our U-shape before it was pushed over the sides of the I-beam.

This way could also be made so that the U could be removed to allow the two containers to be seperated and moved.

But I'm sure someone can find a reason not to do this.
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newcreature



Joined: 03 Oct 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Tyler, TX

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the basic idea, provided you use the mastic. The benefit the french tile roof has is that the water is moving down the plane of the roof. If this kind of roof were flat, in a heavy, windy storm, the water would build up on the roof and then get blown up under the cap tile.

I might even suggest that rather than having to use I beams, you could just use flat bar stock, say 3/8" thick by 8" high welded to the vertical face of top rails on both containers. the 8" bar stock would project above the top of the joint by say 4". Then a piece of "C" channel would be fastened to the two abutted vertical pieces as a cap. If welded on correctly, this could also provide some significant structural support I would think as the roof of the container as well as the cap would keep the bar from twisting, just like the flanges of an Ibeam.

Another neat benefit is that the cap could serve as a great point for fastening decking. The very rough sketch below will give you an idea what I am thinking.



Mike
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dirtykj



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of using the bars, C-channel and decking. This is exactly what I would like to do with my container project (deck on roof). Great idea! Keep them coming Smile
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lavardera



Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 708
Location: merchantville, nj

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What newcreature has sketched is essentially the detail I am using in my designs. This is a sound and efficient approach, however it is not as simple as it appears as the gutter it creates on either side of the joining line directs run-off to either end of the box and into the corner casting where, if you don't make an intervention, all the water will channel into the gap between the units, and into the interior. No fun.

The openings in the castings at the join line have to be plugged with a piece of plate welded into the hole, or the flashing detail isn't worth diddly.

The previously posted steel i-beam detail is something else that has been considered. The flange of the beam can be used to block the hole, but practically that would leave you to weld it to the casting from inside the casting hole which really does not work. It also requires in-fill at the vertical walls, and throws your entire structure off the magic 8ft module (which may or may not be worth anything.)
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habitainer



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Canary Islands, Spain

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The solution inspired on Tiles seen at France (This kind of roofing system was developed by Moorish people hundreds of years ago and it is very common in Spain and South of France.) looks very ingenious.

I believe it could work, but I must say that steep on the roof is very important factos, in order not to get water running up the joints and inside. If solution applied horizontally it would not work unless using that silicone or flexible joint. But bear in mind: Water always finds its way down. Containers are usually always moving so they are rather like a big bus that clears water on their sides. But when left still water will look for one way of getting down and will probably find one corner and then, after water falling down can damage your basement solution.

Other important aspect is movement of different containers. Steel can vary in dimension with heat and cold, pushing and moving the joint to the limits. If materials are rigid they will brake and allow water in. Flexible omega must be considered. If not on every roof joint at least every 4 or 5 containers joined together, not only on roof but on the whole building, including foundation. This is called structural dilatation joint and it is always disposed at conventional buildings in some way or another (if this is not previewed it will anyway appear on the building a crack where it should have been placed a joint!)

Regards,

Luis
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