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joining multiple containers side-by-side

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5:24 pm
August 25, 2009


nader

New Member

posts 1

It seems that when joining multiple containers together side by side by in order to create a room wider than 8', the roof system will no longer work.  One container by itself has a slight bow to the roof allowing water to run off but what happens you join them together? You have in essence created a trough in the middle.  I see that companies like Logical Homes and Tempohousing are putting an entirely new roof over the enter structure to mitigate and water intrusion issues.  That seems like a lot of money to spend on a moisture barrier.

Logical Homes says they are using a prefab insulated steel roof.  Anyone know who makes it?  It seems to be extremely low pitch.  Not sure if it's some sort of SIP or using a steel truss.

Also how are people bridging the gap between the containers?  Just weld in some thin bar stock?  What if you want to make the structure so it is disassembleable in the future?  That seems like a lot of grinding to get them apart again.

Thanks,

Nader

1:26 pm
February 4, 2010


BobVM

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Member

posts 23

nader said:

It seems that when joining multiple containers together side by side by in order to create a room wider than 8', the roof system will no longer work.  One container by itself has a slight bow to the roof allowing water to run off but what happens you join them together? You have in essence created a trough in the middle.

Also how are people bridging the gap between the containers?  Just weld in some thin bar stock?  What if you want to make the structure so it is disassembleable in the future?  That seems like a lot of grinding to get them apart again.


Regarding sagging ceiling: Has anyone put a brace where the opening ends?

Regarding covering the gap: What if you weld a cover piece on one side and let it just cover the gap, and the gap between containers had spray insulation? Will it be drafty there?

1:33 pm
February 18, 2010


BobVM

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Member

posts 23

Little seems to be said about putting a roof over multiple containers. If you look carefully, most of the cool, futuristic, modular designs of container houses are usually ones with single containers, stacked versions, or ones with regular building sections between them. If you insulate the containers, either on the inside or outside, it seems you pretty much have to put a regular roof on top, or a big flat roof. The flat roof seems hard to deal with if you have a huge roof covering more than 2 containers, which also means you have to piece it together. Most of the non-traditional roofing seems very special case.

OK, if I can weld, then I can weld some supports, but at some point, I have to attach roofing material, probably plywood. I would be interested in different options too.

1:39 pm
February 18, 2010


BobVM

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Member

posts 23

Maybe a solution is not to go with the basic square/rectangular building and instead go with a design like spokes of a wheel or cross shaped. The only place where containers join is minimal at one end. However, if you insulate on the outside (in a cold environment), it's going to require a lot more siding/insulation. (For a cold environment I'd rather not put over 6" of wall insulation on the inside.)

2:24 pm
March 8, 2010


BobVM

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Member

posts 23

I was thinking about this problem…

Let's say you have 4 40' containers lined up next to each other. If we cut the sidewalls to walk through, we have the above mentioned problems:

- roof sags; rain on the roof goes to the center of the roof into the cracks perhaps in the house

I'm planning a container house in a very cold environment (though dry) and need insulation on the roof somewhere. That would mean I have to use wood to put a regular type of roof on top with something like fiberglass shingles.

Now I'm exploring the idea:

- There is a crack between each container. Fill in the gap with as much spray insulation as you can reach in there.

- weld a strip completely over the top of the crack joining containers on the roof, trying to make it a continuous weld, so no water (or much air) will leak into the container

- stack a second container on each container

- insulate under the floor of the second one and perhaps have a raised floor

- seal up any cracks with spray foam

- weld another strip completely over the top of the crack on the top containers and maybe on the sides.

- paint over the strip of metal with water proof paint.

- use the top floor like a storage attic, workbench area, or greenhouse

good points:

- I'm guessing it's a lot less labor than constructing a standard roof

- pretty easy to do insulation between the 1st and 2nd floors for the living space in the 1st floor

- probably has a cool raw industrial look

- could remodel expand the house into the top floor in the future

bad points:

- right now I think the cost of containers might be more expensive than standard roofing material, though not that much different.

other points:

- I wonder if you only filled the crack between containers with spray insulation and welded a strip with a continuous bead to join containers at the crack how waterproof (or possible) that is.

- The Platoon has an open roof deck. I think the whole drainage scheme probably breaks my budget.

11:20 pm
May 15, 2010


Adrian

Chicago, Il

Member

posts 12

If there is a bow in the roof, I would think that is a BAD shipping container. I have seen people cut the whole sides out of shipping containers and still stack them. In return they had to either reinforce them with steel and/or put up columns to help support this. I dont believe cutting the walls would effect the steel panel on the roof but if you cut into the steel beams thats a whole different story. Check out runkle consulting and learn from there ideas/projects

http://www.runkleconsulting.co…..0House.htm

11:21 pm
May 15, 2010


Adrian

Chicago, Il

Member

posts 12

Also notice the RUSTY COLOR steel structure/support on the inside of the walls/openings. Im assuming this is to help the structural integrity of the container.

1:19 am
February 7, 2013


Hellion

Misery *aka* Missouri

Member

posts 34

I know this is an old post but I am sure there are others that will come here with these same questions.

 First of all you never want to cut the rails of the containers those are the square tubes that support the structure of the containers, if you cut into those you will cause structural failure to the container.

 You only want to cut the sheet metal of the sides *aka* the corregated part, now if you cut out the entire corregated sheet metal of the sides of your container and want to join them together by welding that is actually reinforcing the structure and should not sag or bow. Now here again proper methods must be used to do this! Being a welder for many years myself what I would do to ensure both proper structural joining and to help shed water is to

 1. make sure the rails of both containers are aligned properly and that everything is plumb and level tack weld first some pieces of either square tubing or angle iron across the top of the rails in at least 2 places before doing any welding. This will ensure that nothing moves while you are getting ready to make any major welds.

 2. once everything is plumb and level and tacked in place take a post jack and position it in the very center of your joining surfaces and gently jack the roof about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch then weld the top side first then the bottom side,I would not exceed a 1 inch jacking of the roof simply because it may cause unnessicary stress on the roof rails of the container. 

 This will cause the metal to balance out the welds "pull" on the structure and with the post jack in place give your roof a very slight high side in the center so that any water sheds off in either direction from the center of the container structure.

 Now once the majority of the welds are made and all that is left is the areas covered by the post jack and the peices of angle (or what ever you used to keep everything plumb) remove the post jack and angle peices and finish off the welds making sure there are no gaps this will ensure you have a water tight weld. 

 I hope this helps anyone out there that is thinking of doing this very thing, I know I plan on doing this when I start making my container home.

  Take care and have a great one!

1:30 am
February 7, 2013


Hellion

Misery *aka* Missouri

Member

posts 34

Post edited 1:32 am – February 7, 2013 by Hellion
Post edited 1:36 am – February 7, 2013 by Hellion


One more thing I forgot to mention in the above post. If you are joining 3 or more containers together and are are planning on having it completely open on the interior I would without fail use a centralized post of at least 4 to 6 inches in diameter with a 4 to 6 in square tubing of at least schedule #40 or stronger to span at least from the outside edge of the rails of the outer most containers and have it sunk down into the floor where the containers under framework runs and weld it once plumb and level as well as welding the post to the square tube and the tube to the container rails! and if your doing 4 containers use 2 posts set up this way this will ensure a very strong roof that you can use for a deck if you so desire!

 Take care all and have a great one!


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