The Lean Cabin
Podex Associates - Nigeria
Drawings, plans, elevations
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With excess deficit of affordable housing schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa, the growth of informal settlements has increased, leading to issues in economic development, environmental, health, safety, security and other social problems in major cities. This design, in response to the prevailing housing deficit, has provided a sustainable single dwelling unit on approximately 45 square meters to include a kitchen, bedroom, toilet and living area using shipping containers as a composite with other materials. WHY SHIPPING CONTAINERS? There is an estimated 14million unused shipping containers around the world’s ports. They are too expensive to be shipped back to origin, so are abandoned after they have deposited their goods. With only 6 land-locked countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and 48 coastal countries with functional sea-ports; it is evident that re-purposing these containers can provide cost effective and flexible housing as most of Africa’s largest cities, with the highest population of urban poor are concentrated around the coasts. PRACTICABILITY AND AESTHETICS FAST: Once designed and outfitted, shipping container homes can be installed in as little as 4 days to satisfy the ever-growing city population’s necessity. MODULAR & FLEXIBLE: Shipping containers allow design in fixed, easily replicable modules essential for mass housing because of its modular and light structure, more shipping containers can be added on in future. LIGHT: In comparison to conventional building methods, containers are rather light with minimal impact on environment with reduced cost of transportation. EFFICIENT: Shipping containers work as both the structural member and as a complete building enclosure. AESTHETICS: The rustic relief of the containers complements the urban contemporary feel embodied within these cities. SUSTAINABILITY MATERIALS: All materials have been carefully selected and combined to achieve a net-zero building. Each unit is made of two 20-foot shipping containers tilted at of 8 degrees to achieve a Lean & Efficient Design. It eliminates the requirement for a separate roof, creates a cavity for thermal insulation and air barrier with its interior finish material to create additional cavity. The 2 containers are separated to provide additional floor space with the displaced side walls used as roofing over the center and the container door opened to create balconies. The crates from the shipping containers are used for railings and flower pots. SUPPLY CHAIN INNOVATION There are excess containers in African ports that inland container depots are gaining ground. One such provider, Bollore Ports has depots in over 24 locations. With only 13% market share in Africa, Bollore has a total capacity of 131,818 20-foot containers. Extrapolated, Africa might have an estimated 1 million unused shipping containers in container depots alone; not including those abandoned in the ports. The overall construction methods are simplified such that local labour will be employed to create multiple job opportunities. Other materials such as Bamboo, wood, crates from shipping containers and displaced earth have been used in construction either as a construction material, for finishing or as tools for construction.
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