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October_2016_BSJ

Innovative Material Reuse: Shipping Containers used as Structural Building Components When I first heard a homeowner say he wanted to build his house out of shipping containers, I thought he was crazy. He suggested I go on YouTube to view posted videos of successful projects. This was almost 10 years ago. Since then, architects, engineers and developers have approached my jurisdiction exploring the incorporation of shipping containers into building projects. Very few of these projects came to fruition due to numerous obstacles. One difficulty was demonstrating compliance with the International Building Code® (IBC), a code generally not intended for repurposed or reused building materials. While far-fetched to some building officials, repurposing shipping containers for use in buildings solves several problems facing communities, including: 1. housing affordability; 2. reuse and repurposing of abandoned shipping containers; 3. reducing construction time. The primary obstacles to determining compliance include: 1. pre-inspection and determining suitability for reuse; 2. establishing structural properties for a repurposed structure; and 3. establishing floor and wall assemblies for fire resistance, sound attenuation, etc. By Ali M. Fattah, PE, Senior Research Engineer, City of San Diego, Development Services Department OCTOBER 2016 | 36


October_2016_BSJ
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