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Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Using A DWB

This publication is a Digital Work Book (DWB) which is a digital publication designed by GreenCube Publishing. It offers all features and usability of conventional "hard cover" publications, but with digital technology features to maximize it's usefulness by the reader and yet be more ecologically efficient.

A DWB offers some of the features of a PDF publication, but with more security and flexibility than a traditional PDF or hard cover publication.

- The publication is locked to the Member website for instant upgrades and information

- Same copyright protection

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- Quick Search of publication database

- Printing of text for personal use

- Print only the pages you need. No paper waste

- Printing of photos and diagrams for personal use

- Make notations in DWB or PDF

- Save as PDF

- Version changes: Immediate access daily or weekly

- Questions and Comments access to staff

- FAQ updates: Immediate access

- A "Green" publication: No paper and no pollution from shipping

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Legal Information

Container Technology A-Z © 2010 by GreenCube Network, Inc. - V05.00 Adapted from ISBU Association research, members, and documents © 2007-2010.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or utilized in any form, either by any electronic, digital, mechanical, or any other means without the legally written consent of the publisher.

Additional copyrighted materials:

All photos and diagrams herein are the legal property of GreenCube Network and ISBU Association unless otherwise noted as credits per photo, diagram or or quotation.

Editing, commentary, graphics and diagrams by GreenCube Publishing staff.

GreenCube Publishing 2510 Warren Avenue Suite 3347

Cheyenne, WY 82001 USA

307.222.4836

Digital Work Book™ (DWB™) is an ecological publishing concept developed by the GreenCube Publishing, division of the GreenCube Network.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Introduction

This publication is Version 5.0 of a compilation of many key container manufacturers, distributors, builders, DIY builders, architects, engineers, building inspectors, shipping companies, and leasing companies.

The information spans the research, interviews and experience from 2006 to present. Much has been learned; so much has changed.

We have some terrific Corporate Members who have been key to assisting us with information and people to interview.

We look forward to your participation. You questions and comment are another key to the information this will contain as it grows each month and each year. Not everyone may approve with what we present here because it some goes against some strong misconceptions, however we believe we have interviewed enough professionals and participated in significant hands-on to feel confident of the contents of this BizGuide.

Thanks for your interest and support,

ISBU Association Staff

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Understanding Shipping Containers & ISBU

A brief overview of the ISBU container industry and trends

In The Beginning (container architecture)

The only discussion and information here will be regarding the group of shipping containers name "Dry" shipping containers; 20', 40', 45', etc. These are the more commonly used containers which become ISBU modules for storage and construction projects. Most other types, including the "Reefers" are not actually suitable for building and construction purposes. The "Reefer", however is widely used for refrigerated storage units, both temporary and permanent.

This is not meant to be a complete history of the "shipping container", rather a brief commentary on the container itself and why there is so much confusion regarding some of its design, architecture and frame construction. [See Shipping Container History]

As with an automobile or most any other product there are design and structural changes from year to year and decade to decade. Because the container is believed to be an ISO standard few people realize it's structural variations over the years or even since 2000.

Although containers are quite standard in frame and architecture since 2000, all previous years from about 1974 were what is called "ISO/IMO Standard" also:

height, width, length, strength tests, inspection procedure, certification plates, plate design, and markings.

The corrugation shapes, designs, and certain reinforcement areas can vary greatly

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

and cause much confusion with architects and designers. The most common example maybe the side corrugation panels; some angled, and some squared. Another common confusion is in the roof. Some have the raised oblong oval stamp design while some of the older models are quite flat and have small crossmember

supports. Although more difficult to work with, even these older designs with crossmembers in the roof meet the ISO standards.

The Surplus Myth

It may be somewhat shocking for an organization promoting the use of shipping containers and ISBU type construction to make a comment that the "surplus hype" of 2006 and 2007 was somewhat of a myth.

The reality is this. The "surplus concept" that was spread by the news media, "copy & pasted" by numerous websites and certain other people and groups was greatly over blown. We are thankful, however, since the hype and slight misinformation has brought awareness to the use of one of the "greenest" and most versatile

"construction building blocks" in

too or the ISBU Association would not have been formed

thank

God we were victims of this hype

It was only in early 2008 as the ISBU Association began to really grow and become better connected with shipping companies, distributors and building contractors, that we fully began to realize most of the large stacks and stores of containers around the ports in the U.S. and globally were standard and normal inventories which were needed for the shipping trade to do business.

By mid 2008 the hype and cost of steel manufacturing virtually depleted all inventories globally except for some slow moving "vintage" containers.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Yes, they are the perfect green housing, storage and construction building blocks:

100% recyclable, strong, sustainable, non-toxic and nearly indestructible, But "surplus", excepting for some brief moments when the major shipping companies and lease owners were retiring some old inventory and buying new, but there was very little surplus anywhere.

Understanding The Stacks

Everything has inventory ready for use:

- Automobiles have stores of inventory in certain geographic areas to fill orders.

- Food and agriculture products have stores of inventory.

- Most businesses have inventories of boxes folded up and ready to fill and ship orders.

But shipping containers are much larger, multicolored and less attractive so they are more noticeable than other inventories. A thousand shipping containers must be immediately available to fill surge orders. Therefore they must simply sit and wait for weeks or months until factories and shippers are ready for that unexpected surge.

Imagine if they were not sitting in the correct area when they were needed. How many weeks would it take to get hundreds or thousands of containers to the proper port or area? There needs to be a certain inventory in every port, city and area so they can be available for shipping and transportation surges. That is not surplus!

Most shipping companies and lease operators recycle and replace older containers every 7-10 years. Because of that, there will be brief months of excess containers available.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Whether new or used, all ISO shipping containers and ISBU are "green" and fully recyclable.

ISO Standards vs. Trade Standards

The standards mentioned previously regarding container strength and size are standards set by the ISO organization and International Maritime Organization.

Other standards that seem to be common features on shipping containers are "manufacturer" or "trade" standards.

ISO/IMO Standards:

- Absolute height, width, length

- Absolute strength tests

- Inspection procedure

- Certification plates, design, and markings

Trade/Factory Standards:

- Corrugation, wall, roof, and floor designs

- Paints, primers, and coatings

- Sealants

- Flooring materials

- 40' flooring and "gooseneck reinforcement" designs

Example:

- Any roof or wall corrugation design may be used as long as it meets the ISO/IMO

strength test. The corrugation pattern can be "w", "v", square, round, oval, etc.

- Any flooring material may be used as long as it meets the ISO/IMO strength test.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

The material may be plywood, apitong, birch, teak, mahogony, bamboo, metal, HDPE plastics, or any composite (combination) thereof.

There are several variables in container construction as long as the strength tests and dimensions are meeting the ISO/IMO specifications.

Trends: 2010

In 2008, 2009, and again in 2010, ISBU construction has become one the fastest growing form of housing and storage construction in the U.S. and globally.

That seems to be a strong claim however it is supported by facts and statistics from the U.S. Home Builders Association, government studies, environmental organizations and our own experience since mid 2007.

Green construction is growing twice as fast as conventional construction, and the increase in actual ISBU technology storage and construction units is growing even faster.

In 2008 our ISBA Membership and sales of Educational materials grew a minimum

of 20% monthly with surges of 100% about every 3 in one week during all 2008.

it

never declined even

Beginning New Years Day 2009 the ISBA Memberships and Educational Tool sales exploded by 400% and has not declined any week in 2009 since it's explosion in January. In January 2010 it is exactly 200% of 2009.

The "trend" is Green construction. The fastest growing Green construction globally is ISBU based construction.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

The building contractors and architects that are surviving right now are those

promoting ISBU

new

construction; add on construction; storage

units.

In 2008 there were only about 100 ISBU homes or offices under construction. In February 2009 we have very credible reports from our ISBA Members are already to over 2000 units just in the U.S. alone. These are facts

The use of ISBU modules for all uses has increased greatly in the past two months. Not just housing, offices and cabins, but unique storage, mobile equipment systems, expo and trade show booths, mobile food systems, food and agri-cellars, etc. This economy has stimulated much creativity and interest toward the ISBU technology application.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Mis-Information

Below are a few of most concerning concepts and myths.

Old Concepts, Myths, and New Technology

Possibly the most difficult part of ISBU construction is all the "bad" information out there regarding them, their construction, and their modification procedures. There are a mountain of books, news articles and internet blogs with absolutely inaccurate information. The misinformation is not only costly but much of it is actually quite dangerous.

We will name much of this information "Myths". One of the best definitions of the word "myth" is: "Myths are stories that are based on tradition. Some may have factual origins, while others are completely fictional or based on old beliefs, research or technology".

Myth #1: Shipping containers become rusty old boxes. Correction: These comments are usually based on extreme photos and sightings of very old and poorly maintained and abused shipping containers.

- Any wood material can age and deteriorate prematurely when unprotected in certain environments.

- Any concrete material can age and crumble prematurely when unprotected in certain environments.

- Any stainless steel material can rust and corrode prematurely unprotected in certain environments.

- Any metal or steel materials can rust and corrode prematurely when unprotected in certain environments.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Fact:

Any unpainted piece of metal in a moist environment can rust and corrode. However, most "rusty" containers we see are very old, abused, moist and unpainted.

Although Corten (Cor-ten) steel is a tough and more durable steel, it too can be abused and deteriorate prematurely especially when standing in water.

Generally, "Corten steel" is self healing and only "oxidizes" and not really rust or corrode. Oxidation is often confused with rusting. In a normal environment an unpainted, exposed piece of Corten steel with turn the orange-red rusty color but never rust or corrode like normal steel.

When coated with an epoxy paint or coating a piece of Corten steel or shipping container can have a near eternal life span.

When you see a standard shipping container used for transportation, you are looking at a steel box that is moved, banged, scraped, seriously abused and often times not re painted properly. Yes, it can rust and corrode very prematurely.

But when you take that same container for use as an ISBU storage or construction module; prepare, primer, and coat it with an epoxy or elastomeric paint based coating, it will not move, get banged, scraped, or abused like a transport container does. Comparing the abuse of a shipping container surface to the surface of a non movable ISBU is absolutely "apples and oranges".

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Myth #2: Shipping containers are hot ovens. Correction: Any un insulated cubical, shed or home can become a hot oven.

Yes, un-treated metal can absorb heat but when the proper blend of non-toxic Ceramic spheres are added the the paint or coating of a shipping container, the metal becomes even cooler in direct sun than wood or other materials. [See Ceramic Coatings]

When insulated according to standard Building Codes, the temperature of an ISBU will remain as stable as any other building or storage facility, especially if it is also coated with the low cost Ceramic material.

Myth #3: Shipping containers can be buried underground because of their strength.

Correction: Absolutely!

in calculating the earth weight or ISBU structural loads and if done improperly can be very dangerous. [See Cellars & Cold Storage]

if

done properly. But most people do not do this properly

Myth #4: Shipping containers are difficult to modify and work with. Correction: Absolutely untrue! When cutting with a simple "Plasma Torch", a normal person can cut, remove and modify a container easier and more accurately than when cutting wood or sheet rock wall and ceilings.

Adding reinforce can be done with standard welding equipment, and adding windows and doors to an ISBU is the the same as adding windows and doors to conventional construction. You will either use a steel frame or wood frame.

Myth #5: Shipping containers can be crisscrossed and overlapped on top of each other. Correction: Caution! This is one of the most complicated and dangerous

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

construction designs you could ever attempt with an ISBU.

Yes, it "can" be done but crisscrossing and overlapping greatly increases the cost of the project due to the need of reinforcement, engineering certifications and compliance with local building codes makes these designs and use quite un-realistic.

This is not to be confused with the normal stacking of containers. This comment is relating to the crisscross and overlapping of containers only, and they must be properly reinforced. [See Basic Plans, Designs & Configurations]

Myth #6: Refrigerator shipping containers can be used in ISBU building construction. Correction: This is not necessarily correct and will not be attempted by an experienced designer or builder.

The more common term for these are "Reefers". These refrigerated shipping

containers are very well made and designed for cooling or single, uncut units.

but only as

They are excellent for transport, temporary, or even permanent storage units. But these should not be cut, modified, connected and integrated into other construction. It is difficult, not cost effective, and will usually require additional engineering expenses. Use in home/office construction is not recommended.

When used for single or multiple "refrigeration" units they can be an excellent choice. Coating them with a Ceramic paint, or Ceramic additive to the paint is highly recommended.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Understanding The Trade

Understanding the shipping container and ISBU trades

Container Manufacturers

A shipping container manufacturer is generally an independent factory producing

shipping containers for the shipping companies and fleet leasing operators. They manufacture the containers to the color and specification of the shipping or fleet

operator, then add their logo;

APL,

Maersk, Zimm, K-Line, Textainer, etc.

Most large shipping companies and fleet leasing companies have their containers made in China where about 90% of all shipping containers in the world are made. CIMC has been the largest manufacturer in China since the early 2000's but in 2007 they began loosing much business to independents in both China and Thailand.

Even as late as the fourth quarter of 2008 the quality control issues with CIMC were forcing customers to leave and support the small but better managed competition.

CIMC is a very large and well financed government corporation but their business ethic and quality control has become a bigger issue than bottom line pricing.

A few companies such as Maersk and Hanjin have began their own factories to

produce the main 20' and 40' containers. Foreign owned companies such as Flex- Box have become very successful as ISBU manufacturers due to the fact they are European owned even though they manufacture in China. We think this trend

toward smaller independent factories will continue for some time to come.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Although a few containers are manufactured in Thailand and Europe, China will no doubt remain the hub of all container manufacturing and ship building for many decades due to the lower cost of steel production and steel recycling.

We must note: Even though the shipping companies and fleet owners all use virtually the same factories, each company has it's own particular designs and specifications not just the unique colors or logo.

Although "all" companies manufacture to the minimum ISO/IMO standards these shipping companies and fleet owners specify certain reinforcements, flooring, paints, coatings and corrugation designs they feel are better for wear and longevity. "All" shipping containers and ISBU must comply with the minimum ISO/IMO standards but some companies wish to exceed the standards for maintenance and marketing reasons.

Shipping Companies

It's important to understand the layers and levels of ownership and distribution in the ISBU/shipping container industry. The Shipping companies are not the only manufacturers and owners of shipping containers.

A shipping company is the actually shipper and ship owner. These are companies such as K-Line, Hanjin, Zim, Maersk, Evergreen, Hyundai, Cosco, OOCL, etc.

They have their containers made to their own specification then ship them, maintain them, lease them and then sell them when the time is right.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

When is the time right? It really depends. Sometimes the time is when a container is

7 years old; sometimes it's when they have too many containers in a certain port; sometimes it's only after one trip to an inland destination and the cost of returning

it to a port isn't feasible.

Shipping companies may sell their used containers directly, however they prefer to sell to equipment dealers who will buy them in quantities of hundreds or thousands at a time.

NOTE: In the shipping industry the term for shipping containers and ISBU is "equipment". Example: Container Equipment Dealers

Fleet Owners

A fleet owner can be either a Shipping company or a Container lessor.

Container Lessors

Most people don't realize the role of Container lessors.

These are usually very large companies who manufacture containers just like a shipping company, then either lease them out or sell them. There customers are shipping companies and sometimes large factories.

Just as a shipping company, the Container lessors may retire their containers in 7 years or whenever they have a surplus in a certain area. Container lessors are companies such as Amficon, CAI, Cronos, Flexi-Van, Florens, GE Seaco, Gold, Seacastle, Textainer, Trac, Tal, and Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

About 50% of the worlds shipping containers are owned by Container lessors. Container leasing companies are seldom known sources for larger quantities of shipping containers.

Depots

The "Depot" has many functions. The depots are in every country and port globally and they do work for most all the Shipping companies and Container lessors. They might be considered the "truck stops" of the shipping industry.

A depot is where a shipping container is repaired, maintained, inspected and and

often recycled.

A depot is often a good source for container parts and older shipping containers

that the shipping companies and leasing companies no longer want. Depots sell many different grades and qualities of shipping containers and also can sell newer,

good quality containers just like Equipment dealers.

Depots are owned by:

- shipping companies

- some are owned by Container lessors

- some depots such as ConGlobal are independently owned and do contract work for many other global companies.

Container Equipment Dealers (ISBU Dealers)

The term "equipment" does not necessarily mean parts or accessories, but generally means the shipping container itself. The trade term for a shipping container or ISBU is called "equipment".

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

An equipment dealer can be a Shipping company or Container lessor or an independent equipment dealer. All of these type sources can offer solutions for someone buying containers.

Virtually all Shipping companies and Container lessors have their own separate Equipment sales divisions. Some of these companies have exclusive distributors which sell and distribute their new and used equipment which includes shipping

containers and ISBU.

There can be many distribution levels of containers and ISBU just as with cars or any other product. Most container equipment dealers sell 1000 or more annually.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

ISBU Technologies

The number of ISBU technologies are endless. Below are a few of the most popular ISBU technologies

GreenCubes

The name GreenCube™ has become a copyrighted name and trademark of the ISBU Association. It presently represents an overall concept of the ISBU container technology.

The name exemplifies the unique ability of an ISBU to be a nucleus of various "Green" construction technologies.

EnergyCubes

The name EnergyCube™ has become a copyrighted name and trademark of the ISBU Association. We believe the EnergyCube technology will soon become one of the most widely used ISBU products next to storage units. We are in the process of writing and developing complete information and engineering to be releases very soon.

Artistic Architecture & Structures

Although the ISBU image is growing into that of a "super frame" for conventional construction, storage, housing and other technologies, it will always be a popular tool for artists and designers in it's pure, rustic form.

The feature of it's corrugated shape and also the oxidizing properties of the Corten steel make it an endless and flexible object for architectural designers and artists.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Homes, Offices & Additions

We strongly encourage the use of ISBU as the main frame and building blocks for conventional housing, offices and room additions for home or office remodeling.

During this difficult economic times remodeling and redecorating of older homes will be more realistic than new home construction. The addition of a "Green" add on room or a "super tuff" Safe Room may be much easier to sell to the consumer than new home construction during the next two years.

Workshops, Garages & Warehouses

Other ISBU concepts to consider during the economic correction of 2009 and 2010 is the construction of home workshops and garages. Although a home owner may not have the ability to sell or buy a new home, the addition of a workshop or garage may satisfy some of the urges to sell. These low cost projects now can also add more value to the real estate when the global economy is stronger.

Some businesses are commenting that some of their expansion is on hold because of the lack of funds or financing. Additional office space or warehousing is much more economical and realistic using ISBU concepts.

Cabins & Emergency Housing

The development and emergency housing modules and rapid fabrication concepts are still necessary in virtually every country globally. Natural disasters are an endless reality and their availability will always be needed and profitable.

We first wrote these words in 2008, and in 2010 they continue to be extremely relevant.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

We are surprised to see a growing interest in cabins and small recreational homes by new ISBA Members since January 2009. Evidently the economic conditions are creating quite an interest in second homes and cabins on recreational property. We see ISBU cabins are very realistic trend.

Storage Units

It may be difficult for most of us to comprehend but even though few ISBU based homes were actually built and constructed in the U.S. and Canada during 2007 and 2008 there were still more than 20,000 ISBU sold for use as portable and permanent storage units. This may be a very low figure but it is based upon reports reports from our ISBA Members. 40,000 could be an even more realistic figure.

If you are interested in a very solid investment, a mobile storage business or storage center using ISBU is possibly one of the best short and long term investments available. If things really get tough or business plans change you may always sell or easily liquidate your storage units made of ISBU.

Our main distributors expect 2010 to be an even bigger year for the sale and use of ISBU for home, office, and commercial storage units.

Biz Pods

The use of ISBU for equipment housing and mobile trade show displays appears to becoming another very big trend, both near the end of 2008, 2009, and even more in 2010.

We've received many orders for CAD drawings from companies who design and manufacture mobile trade show units, mobile kitchens, and housing for various types of mobile equipment.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

If you are a designer or building contractor and have not investigated these markets you may be missing out on some very profitable trends for 2010 and beyond.

Tech Pods

The use of ISBU for technology shells is possibly one of the fastest growing trends in 2009. In 2010 we expect to see actual use of this ISBU technology to even surpass the use of ISBU in home construction.

The ISBU shell becomes the durable, permanent protective home for equipment and technologies. They can be shipped easily; be locally transported; easily re- located; and the ISBU provides a strong, permanent housing.

examples of these permanent technology shells are the housing for data centers, cleaning equipment, medical labs, waste processing, refrigerators, and freezers, high tech cleaning equipment, and energy systems.

The use of ISBU for "shell technologies" is absolutely endless.

Basements, Root cellars, Saferooms, and Wine cellars

We have received many, many inquiries regarding ISBU for underground uses. WARNING! WARNING! It can absolutely be accomplished, but must be done properly and with the approval of a competent engineer.

We see many comments on the internet in forums and blogs with extremely

dangerous information, and quite frankly we doubt some of the comments from

persons who have supposedly buried them,

but it can be done.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

In contrast, there are always one or two cynics who say burying a container unit cannot be done, or is not feasible. This simply isn't true. The majority of professional engineers know that using a container for basements, root cellars, saferooms, or wine cellars is not only feasible but has many benefits over other type construction. -When done properly-

Find an engineer who is a positive thinking professional

We are in the process of publishing a Report entitled "Thinking Deep" and it will include suggestions and tips from successful projects we have visited and also form structural engineers we've hired to advise us. Please wait for the publication and/or consult a structural engineer before attempting to use ISBU underground.

Permanent or Temporary

Building Permits and licensing have become one of the biggest problems our Members are facing, especially in the US, Canada and Australia.

One of the biggest problems is as simple as beginning the project "without" proper permits or without getting the proper information and requirements in advance. Such issues would cause problems with any type construction project but the newer non-conventional housing types especially aggravate the situation.

Please review the "Approval Report", then review the updates regularly. We began compiling this report for the purpose of assisting our Members and also Building Inspectors, architects, engineers and lenders.

In the first 10 days of the report being published we received very much response and some quite significant changes in the standardization of ISBU certifications

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

have resulted. This will become an enormous asset for Building Inspectors and architects.

Whether your project is permanent or temporary; housing or storage units; virtually every country has some type permit requirement. In the US, Building Permits are fairly consistent State to State, however Permits for temporary or permanent storage units can vary greatly. Most permitting for storage units is not complicated and often not even necessary for temporary use. Avoid serious costs and problems by getting information from you local city or country first.

Keep the conversations simple; refer to the units as ISBU or prefab steel modules and not shipping containers; advise them of the "Approval Report" and the new government ISBU Inspection guidelines were published March 15, 2009. (see Reports: Getting Approved)

NOTE: Storage Units In most of the US and probably other countries, a "storage unit" or "mobile storage unit" for home or business only needs a simple Permit and can often remain for many years if used just for storage. Obtaining the permits to place the units are inexpensive and easily to obtained. In many areas permits are not even necessary. Please check to be certain, but don't avoid.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Your Plans and Designs

A discussion of common errors and problems that can be avoided in the design, preparation, and approval of your projects.

The Biggest Mistakes

This section will be updated regularly as we hear feedback from our Members. This particular section and topic will only be effective if we have good feedback from our Members.

Presently the most common errors are:

- Improper cleaning and paint preparation.

- Improper approach to obtain Building Permits.

- Improper cutting and modifications without reinforcement.

- Engineering consultation in the designing phase.

Getting Approved and Inspected

Although it is commonly believed the International Building Code (IBC) is consistent globally it is simply not reality. In the U.S. or any other country certain aspects of building codes can vary with every city, state, county, province, and ward. So how do you prepare for construction?

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

NOTE: Global Project Information It is not possible for "any" person, book, or organization to provide complete information for planning and building a home or office in all geographic areas of any country or even every state or province. The local conditions and personalities vary too much from city to city, county to county and province to province.

The best our organization, or any other organization can attempt do is to give you accurate tips on how to get this information and the approval of your project easiest in your locality.

We have attempted to assist and educate our Members in 10 very key categories:

1) Understand the characteristics and specifications of an ISBU 2) Know how to choose a safe, good quality ISBU 3) How to choose an ISBU dealer or other source 4) Accurate architectural drawings, materials and dimensions 5) Physical strengths of the basic ISBU before it is cut or modified 6) Basic building code information, tips and comparisons 7) Certification information to protect you and also to assist your local Building Inspector and Zoning Department. 8) Basic designs and plans that are specific to ISBU construction 9) How to get your structural modifications certified 10)Understanding how to adapt other Green and sustainable accessories

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Please see the expanded details and links below:

1) Understand the characteristics and specifications of an ISBU Link: Specifications & materials (See Reports: Getting Approved) Link: Architectural drawings (See Tools section )

2) Know how to choose a safe, good quality ISBU Link: Choosing Your Container Link: SIR inspection and certification (See Reports: Getting Approved)

3) How to choose an ISBU dealer or other source Link: Choosing Your Container Link: GreenCube Network Directory Link: Wholesale Contacts (corporate members only)

4) Accurate architectural drawings, materials and dimensions Link: Architectural drawings (See Tools section )

5) Physical strengths of the basic ISBU before it is cut or modified Link: Specifications & materials (See Reports: Getting Approved)

6) Basic building code information, tips and comparisons Link: Getting Approved Report

7) Certification information to protect you and also to assist your local Building Inspector and Zoning Department. Link: Getting Approved Report

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

8) Basic designs and plans that are specific to ISBU construction Link: Basic Plans, Designs & Configurations Link: 3D Designs: 360°

9) How to get your structural modifications certified Link: Finding A Professional

10) Understanding how to adapt other Green and sustainable accessories Link: GreenCubes Link: Green Energy

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Choosing Your Container

A discussion of common errors and problems that can be avoided in the design, preparation, and approval of your projects.

Grades & Qualities

During our first year we had been attempting to obtain guidelines from the container trade that have all containers and ISBU standardized, however there seem to be too many variables in grading them. We often find certain container dealers creating their own terminology for the various grades.

Below is a best effort grading system without getting too complicated. We have limited it to four categories, however there can be much aesthetic variation within each category.

New- It seems obvious that "new" is new and direct from the factory. However "One Trip" containers are also considered new by many dealers and distributors.

Truly new is a container direct from the factory and shipped to it's destination empty. That is true new.

One Trip- A "one trip" is a container that has only been shipped once,

factory to one destination. These are technically and ethically "new" containers if they are truly one trip.

from the

The problem is that some dealers have been known to have a super clean container in good condition that may have had multiple trips, but try to sell them as "one trip" containers.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Why is this truth important if the container is still in excellent condition? Because a truly "one trip" container is generally absolutely clean and free of any possible contaminants or spills. The only reason this is important is if you are expecting to use the original floor and not replace it.

So why is it common to ship a "new" container to it's destination fully loaded? Why not just send it to it's destination empty?

The answer is cost! If a new container is sent from China to LA truly new and unloaded there will be the obvious shipping charges which can be from $1600- $3500 depending on it's ultimate U.S. destination.

If the owner or buyer can arrange for the container to be filled in China with clean common goods then the container will arrive to it's destination virtually free. All shipping costs are borne by the company who sent the goods.

When it arrives the container is still clean and strong but it has arrived without most shipping costs.

Additionally, if you are purchasing "new" containers from a China factory or shipping company they will still do everything possible to send the containers to the U.S. destination fully loaded so you will have not added shipping charges. New, or truly "one trip" are the same.

Refurbished - These units are very acceptable for any ISBU storage units or construction projects.

Refurbished units can vary in age. They may still have some dents or light repair, however they do not have any rust or major damage. Additionally they are coated

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

with DTM paint which means "Direct To Metal". This type paint and finishing can be critical to it's future aging process.

Note: Not all ISBU project will need or want paint until they are moved, cut welded and modified. But if you are buying an ISBU and want the paint for longevity, be certain to have the dealer guarantee the paint coating was actually DTM paint. The main use for "painted" refurbished units are for ISBU that will be used for storage and not construction. Construction ISBU only need the paint coating after modification is complete.

"Refurbished" ISBU are also usually inspected but all ISBU, new or used should have the additional "SIR" inspection if they will be used for construction or storage. We believe this certification will become the standard for architects, engineers, building inspectors, lenders, and insurance underwriters.

"A" Grade or "ASIS"- The trade terminology for these units is "ASIS". Simply meaning "As Is" and with no warranty or modifications.

Here is one area of great confusion in the industry. Since "A" means top quality in most areas of business, "A" Grade for an ISBU or shipping container "does not" mean top quality.

As you may guess, "As Is" means take it as it is which can have many connotations.

Don't be concerned. Virtually all ASIS containers and many Refurbished containers have the CSC Plates and identifications removed. This is quite common. The only important ID is the CIN code stamped inside.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Note: Generally speaking, the "ASIS" units are very, very acceptable for ISBU construction projects because your containers will be cut and modified before painting anyway.

If the physical appearance is acceptable then also request the container has the "SIR" certification and check to see if the CIN code inside the container matches the CIN code on the SIR certification.

If an ASIS container passes a SIR certification there is no reason to doubt is strength, quality and safety for use as a construction or storage ISBU.

Should You Buy New or Used?

Although this question may seem obvious to most people there are many reasons to buy used, and many reasons to buy new. It simply depends upon your end use.

According to our interviews and statistics, approximately 50% of all construction projects globally were "new" containers. Much of this is due to the larger projects by such companies as TempoHousing and Verbus. Others that are new include the single "cabin type" ISBU which are quite popular globally.

Why New? The reality is, that even if an ISBU container is new and shipped empty there is still substantial cost savings for the entire project of about 20- 25% and still built in record time. It is difficult to argue with such facts when the end result is also a stronger building unit.

Why Used? Reducing local inventories is not such an issue in 2008 and 2009, but if the

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

containers are available there is simply no reason for most builders to pay extra for a new unit. Even if you choose to replace the flooring the savings is significant when you buy very use or even "one trip".

New Benefits:

- You know exactly what you are getting.

- You can have minor modifications made at the factory.

- You can bring decor, furnishings and other supplies inside the new containers.

- You are certain of availability even if there is a local shortage of used.

Used Benefits:

- Generally a savings of $1000 to $3000 per unit.

- Even if you choose to always replace the plywood flooring the cost is not significant.

- You are assisting in keeping local container inventories in balance.

- Most projects do not need new or even excellent quality ISBU for their infrastructure.

- Many projects can even use the "vintage" or well used ISBU if the main frame is the only importance.

- Most used containers can be ISBU certified using the new SIR certification method and CIN numbers.

Depending on your end use or if you are also purchasing decor or building materials from China both new and used will always have a place in using ISBU technologies.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Dealers

The term "Container Dealer" can also have many levels and meanings.

A container dealer can be dealer selling to the end user, or a dealer could even be a

lease operator or shipping company selling their own inventory.

Please note: Even if you think you are buying direct from a shipper or lease operator does not mean your are getting the lowest prices. Many dealers contract to buy hundreds and thousands annually an can have offer you the best prices.

It is most important to deal with a dealer who knows what they are doing; have

experience; and offer the proper certifications without being pushed.

If you are buying your ISBU from a dealer who is an ISBU Association member it is

very unlikely you will have any problems with the dealer, their equipment or ethic.

ISBU Association "dealers" must undergo a background check and significant references before they can advertise or be recommended as an ISBU dealer. Obviously we do not verify dealers and resellers who are not ISBU Association members and we have no way to verify their credentials and performance.

Whether you want to buy 1 or 1000; retail or wholesale; buy from a certified ISBU Association member.

Container Depots

The container depots are essential to the container industry and to the container owners and shipping companies. Although they have much experience with containers many dealers suggest the containers sold by the depots are of lesser quality.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Although they deal mostly in older and very used shipping containers, a depot does have the ability to buy top quality containers for the shipping companies and lease operators just the same as any other dealer. They also have the ability to refurbish a container as well as a standard container dealer.

If you choose to buy your containers from a "depot" simply request they provide a "SIR" certification as you would with any other dealer. Check the CIN code inside the container with the CIN code listed on the CSC-HD inspection certification and there should be no other concerns with your transaction.

Private Parties This is possibly the most difficult area. Private parties could be selling containers for a variety of reasons.

Our concern is that they certainly have less experience; less liability and responsibility in the course of a sale. As as a word of caution--just because someone is a certified ISBA Member "does not" mean they are a "certified" ISBU Association "dealer". Those are two very separate processes and categories.

- Never buy a container from a "Private party" without seeing the container and writing down the CIN code stamped inside the container.

- Always get a price which includes deliver unless you have the ability to haul it yourself.

- Be certain the "Private party" has the ability to load the container onto your vehicle if you are hauling it yourself.

- Always request a SIR certification; have the certification verified; and check to see if the CIN code on the document matches the code inside the container before paying for the unit(s).

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Choosing A Professional

It's important to realize that you will need to have professionals who reside or are licensed in your own local state or province. There is quite a misconception that finding and engineer or architect who has experience somewhere else in the world or even in another state can work on your project.

These professionals must reside in, or be licensed locally to fully understand your building codes and be approved by your local inspectors. However, a professional "outside" your area or even country may collaborate with your professional in your local area but the "final stamp", architecture and engineering must come from someone licensed to do business in your state or province.

The architect and structural engineer are critical to your project and possibly more so than the general contractor (GC). Most any GC can build an ISBU project if the engineering and architecture are done properly.

Architects

Seldom does an architect attempt to also do the engineering. Most architects have a structural engineer they work with to guide them in cutting, strengths, and modifications as they design the project.

The architect needn't be famous to easily produce an excellent and beautiful ISBU project. The two most important assets to a successful architect and ISBU project are the architects creativity and their relationship with a qualified structural engineer.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

With the proper guidance from the engineer, an architect can create or integrate virtually any design with ISBU modules.

Engineers

When we discuss engineers we are generally referring to "structural engineers". Additionally a structural engineer should have experience in both steel engineering and steel-concrete reinforcement.

In other parts of the A-Z Guide we will have extensive information relating to cutting and modifying the ISBU in various ways. All of this is critical and must be done with the guidance of a structural engineer.

Since the ISBA is only an organization to support and promote ISBU construction and technology we have hired very qualified "structural engineers" to guide us in writing the sections of our A-Z Guide regarding the ISBU frame, loads, modifications and re-certifications. We are not writing this advice blindly.

One thing important to note; as with any profession, there are structural engineers to make calculations and give advice, then there are engineers who are very thorough before giving the advice.

From our experience with engineers we have paid to advise us, we realize that not all are completely thorough and many suggest options and reinforcement calculations that are quite costly.

It's important to work with an engineer that gives complete, and cost effective evaluations. We've had to work with many to find the few with these important characteristics. Improper guidance from the architect and engineer can often double the construction costs of your project.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

We are finding that some of the most visible "container architects" in the news are making some of the biggest errors in ISBU construction, yet less famous architects are sailing through with few problems. So much of this is due to them to either not seeking the proper engineering advice, or not listening to the advice.

A good engineer is critical to your project! A good architect will associate themselves with a good engineer

Building Contractors

Certainly the building contractor or GC is also important but the reason we put so much stress on the engineer is that without the proper engineering, strengths, and architect the GM will always have complications and usually fail.

One of the most common questions we continue to receive is, "can you recommend a good building contractor in my area"? The answer we continue to give is, "virtually an building contractor can construct and ISBU based project. The first concerns should be the architect/engineer team.

A good contractor will focus on quality and costs, but he first needs the proper tools that only the engineer and architect can provide.

Container Construction Consultant

Beware!! Suddenly there are people advertising themselves as professionals called, “Container Construction Consultants”.

Before contracting with, or paying fees to such a person, be certain that he, or she actually has sufficient experience to be a “Consultant”.

Not everyone who has built a container home has done it correctly.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Ask exactly what they have built, and what their job was during the process.

Most important,

attempt to do business with any person who does not openly offer this type information.

ask

for a list of clients and projects they have completed. Do not

LEED Certified

There is a continued emphasis on "LEED Certified"? The professionals and also the project

LEED is a Green building program and Green rating system committed to promoting sustainable building practices. The LEED program is under the direction of the U. S. Green Building Council. No matter what type of professional you are, the wisest thing you could do right now; this year; is to become LEED Certified. This is the trend and the future. Make yourself valuable

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Green Cubes

A discussion of utilizing the strength and abilities of an ISBU and to promote the use of other "Green" and "Sustainable" technologies.

Eco Insulations and Thermal Coatings

There are only two type Eco Insulations we presently recommend:

1) Closed-Cell Spray Foam insulation due to the following properties:

- Strength

- Non polluting and non-toxic

- Water proof (used in boats and boat marinas)

- Mildew resistant

- Compact

- Longevity

- Excellent bonding and sealant

- Anti-condensation

2) Ceramic Coatings & Paint insulation due to the following properties:

- Non polluting and non-toxic

- Mildew resistant

- Fire resistant

- Compact

- Longevity

- Excellent bonding and sealant

- Anti-condensation

- Cost effective

- Use flexibility

- Sound absorbing

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

NOTE: We do not recommend "Ceramic Coatings" as a direct replacement for Spray foam insulation. It is a very efficient and a cost effective booster or additive. May be used beneficially on sheds, storage or in housing in Third World countries which do no commonly use insulations or thermal coatings.

If you are aware of other insulations that meet the same standards of the two insulation listed above and are cost effective with good documentation please forward the information to our staff for review.

Green Roof

The Green Roof and Green Wall concepts are well adapted to ISBU construction projects due to the basic strength and stability of both the roof and side wall of the ISBU modules.

WARNING! It is important to remember the strength limitations of the ISBU roof which can be seen in the "Getting Approved Report". The inner roof strength is 200# sq/ft and not the extreme strength of the corner posts of the ISBU.

The roof "As Is" will only support grass or flowers and the supporting layers and rubber membranes including the light water weight. It will support that much of a Green Roof quite easily.

If the ISBU roof will be used as a patio or balcony as well, then you should consult a structural engineer to recommend the proper reinforcements and framing.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Flooring & Accessories

The flooring of ISBU has become a much debated issue. Whether to replace the 1.25" marine hardwood floor with other flooring depends on a few factors. If the ISBU will be used for storage, shed or workshop it is no likely it would be necessary to replace the original floor. At most it may need to be sanded and sealed.

For housing construction there are other factors to consider:

- Is the ISBU new or "One Way"? These floors should pose no concern whatsoever.

- Are you absolutely certain it is safe and not contaminated? Shipping companies and depots are extremely careful and keep any "toxic" type containers very separated from the basic shipping containers. You must realize they also have liability concerns and these companies have many procedures in place to isolate containers that transport toxic or dangerous materials.

- Building Inspectors Whether the floor looks good or not, a local Building Inspector will usually request new floors. SIR inspections also request new floors or no floors for this reason.

Again, for storage units there is little concern or need to replace the flooring, but when using and ISBU for housing, offices or cabins it is highly recommended to replace all flooring and clean and paint all surfaces well.

The actual cost of replacing the floor with standard plywood is not significant.

This is an excellent time to add, not only the new flooring, but we recommend adding floors made or Teak or Bamboo for longevity.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

While Teak is somewhat rare and expensive, Bamboo is fast becoming the "Eco Wood" of choice since it is not only strong and sustainable but grows fast and cost effective in plantations.

Water & Waste Recycling

Although any type housing can support water recycling and gray water treatment systems, the ISBU is well adapted to any of these systems due to its structural strength and adaptability for equipment.

The strength and under frame of the ISBU make this a perfect time to explore "Gray Water" systems and recycling technology.

Green Houses & Atriums

The super strength of an ISBU lends itself well to its use as a Greenhouse or Atrium shell. Certainly there are many low cost Atrium and Greenhouse frames on the market but the strength of an ISBU could also become the ideal superstructure for this type architecture.

For some other adaptable GreenCube ideas see the "Green Energy" section.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Green Energy

The main types of Green energy and how to use them with the ISBU technology

EnergyCubes

Geo-air & Solar-air

An EnergyCube is used in combination with “Geo Air” and “Solar Air” energy sources which are highly efficient, low initial cost, and virtually maintenance free.

A special Report entitled "EnergyCubes" is in the final stages. The research began in

the Fall of 2008. We are waiting for some graphics with CAD and expect to publish

the Report soon .

It is our premise that a 40' ISBU can be converted to produce and store enough

energy to supply more than 5000 sq/ft of heating/cooling which is up to one million BTU daily. This EnergyCube Report will be complete with manufacturing instructions and documentation.

Also, the Geo Air publication, “Citrus In The Snow is available now. You can read about it in the “Reports & BizGuides” area of the Member website.

The Geo-air greenhouse produces oranges, lemons,grapes and other fruits year around in sub-zero climate with no additional heating or cooling expense, just the cost of a circulating fan.

The same concept is used for heating homes and offices.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

NOTE: As you may have already realized, the use of "Green Energy" is not restricted to ISBU construction however we have chosen to include the topics simply to reinforce to our Members the urgency and and value of Green Energy. Additionally, some of these products are well adapted due to the strength of ISBU construction.

Moreover, we want to use these areas to include important information and links for you since we believe strongly in their importance right now. If you have technology information you would like us to add please forward it for our review.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Solar Heating

Solar Energy: Solar Collectors

™ • Solar Heating Solar Energy: Solar Collectors Solar heating is one of the most viable

Solar heating is one of the most viable forms of Green energy right now. It is extremely cost effective and efficient compared to other forms of Green energy.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Simply, we are referring to metal tubes filled with either liquid or air which very quickly absorb the heat from the sun. The heated liquid or air can either be stored or used direct. When using liquid a heat exchanger is necessary to transfer the heat to another form.

We will expand this particular Green energy form as we introduce our EnergyCubes since we have investigated and even developed some very cost effective-efficient Solar collectors to integrate into the EnergyCube system.

All solar energy systems are obviously dependent on the quality of sunlight to function.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Solar Panels

Solar Energy: Photovoltaics

™ • Solar Panels Solar Energy: Photovoltaics Unlike standard "Solar Collectors" which use the

Unlike standard "Solar Collectors" which use the suns heat, a Solar Panel is generally referring to a group of Photovoltaic solar cells which actually convert the suns rays directly to electricity which can be used directly or stored in an array of batteries for use when the sun light is gone.

This type of Solar energy is expensive initially but very cost effective over a 10 or 15 year period of time.

An ISBU or ISBU home has the strength to utilize this type Green energy without the need of reinforcement. These PV solar panels also are manufactured in sizes approximately 2'x4' which adapt well to a single or multiple ISBU housing unit. The Qube-360 Eco-Green design is one concept that uses the roofs strength directly even though it is raised and tilted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Wind Power

Wind energy has seemed to us as a very positive and cost effective energy source, however it really has more limitations than Solar and we've done much first hand

research before concluding option.

we

really wanted wind energy to be a viable

The biggest drawbacks are simply "lack" of enough wind in residential areas where the homes are. Even in rural areas there isn't enough wind unless the wind turbine tower is extremely high or in a very long open valley or near a canyon.

We, as well as others, see these small wind turbines on sail boats and think we can do that at home on the side of the garage. The reality is there is 10 or 20 times more wind anywhere near the beach or on the ocean. A residential area cannot generate enough movement.

Secondly, we've all seen these wonderful "concept" drawings on the internet with shipping container homes and a windmill on top. As with most "concept" architecture and home drawings they are the "cool" ideas by an architect who didn't do his research. Below is an actual test of a Wind turbine on a 40' ISBU.

This was thought through very well and done very professionally and correct. Our greatest concern was the probability of vibration when the rotor was spinning. In reality, that was "not" an issue at all.

As you can see in the photos, at the suggestion of an engineer, the roof was well reinforced with a 1x8"steel tube on the roof, then eye bolts to attach the support cables.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

The problem came when tightening the support cables and the downward pressure on the center of the roof was still more than calculated. It's functioning well, however there is a very slight sag in the roof.

well, however there is a very slight sag in the roof. Photo: ISBU Association After the

Photo: ISBU Association

After the fact, the same engineer suggests it should have been supported by two small parallel "I" beams for maximum performance.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Even so, our conclusion is that any home or roof with a Wind turbine is destined for problems. The potential problems would be: vibration sooner or later and not enough height for good wind current.

A better solution: An above ground permanent or mobile Energy Cube for

emergencies or remote housing. The Cube would "only" be to generate and house energy. The secure cube (s) could house solar energy of both types, plus a mobile Wind turbine on the same Energy Cube unit. This would allow for all electrical inverters, equipment and storage batteries to be housed in one convenient location.

Therefore the problem of reinforcing the roof with small additional "I" beams is not the real issue, but that a total "energy solution" should have it's own housing unit if one chooses to utilize a Wind turbine.

This Green Energy option is only recommended for windy prairie, mountain passes or coastal exposure.

NOTE: We are very much in support of Wind Energy, however it is our opinion that

at this time it may only be efficient and realistic with the large, tall wind turbines in

a network such as T. Boone Pickens is organizing. We are hopeful for new

technology that will have the ability to capture slower moving air for residential use.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Bio-fuels

The overall "Bio fuel" concept is not one that we will continue to pursue at this time. Although it seemed to be an interesting concept all these years to utilize certain starch based crops and un-used farm land, it already appears the interest in these type Biofuels has already created global economic problems by raising the cost of corn, soy, wheat, etc.

We feel there is too much potential in other energy sources such as Solar, Wind and Geothermal that don't require the use of water, valuable crop production, or burning of any kind.

Hopefully hydrogen energy will soon become a viable technology.

Geothermal

There are three (3) basic types of Geothermal energy available right now. 1) High grade sources with temperatures over 212 F. 2) Medium grade sources with temperatures from 100 F. 3) Low grade sources with temperatures from 50-60F.

"Low grade" geothermal energy is available in virtually all the world where annual climatic temperatures range from -20F to 125F. The low grade geothermal is presently a growing trend in most of the US and other countries however there are two principle drawbacks in its use:

1) Initial excavation and equipment costs 2) Cost efficient heat exchange and storage technology

Our director of ISBA has been involved in Geothermal research for more than 30 years, both commercially and with academic and US Department of Energy grants.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

After his exposure to ISBU in 2006 we believe he has refined a significant and realistic technology using ISBU, Geothermal, and Solar. This is the basis of the EnergyCube Report which will be available soon to ISBA Members free of charge.

Geo-air: See EnergyCube and Citrus In The Snow publications.

Lighting

Incandescent: Standard energy wasting, short life light bulbs

In our opinion, incandescent lights (the common light bulb) should be illegal to sell anywhere in the world. Their energy consumption in home or office is one of the most serious energy wastes in a home and adds terrifically to our global problems.

in a home and adds terrifically to our global problems. CFL Compact Fluorescent Lights LED Photo:

CFL

Compact Fluorescent Lights

LED

Photo: GreenCube

Since 2005 the technology, cost and true brightness of the CFL bulbs have become very realistic. Even for a low income family, the monthly savings from these new lights is more than worth the small initial investment.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

LED: Light Emitting Diode

2008 made some very significant advances in LED bulbs. Although we are very "pro" LED there are still a few disadvantages in their real life use.

We have tested many brands and types even at this writing. Though the prices are coming down the true brightness comparison still is not there when attempting to replace a true 60 or 75 watt bulb.

To truly replace either the standard or CFL with LED you must use excess of a 10

watt LED not the 3 watt as some advertise,

but WHY?

The problems lie in attempting to make the light out put even, then you run into heat problems. Overall, trying to make the LED become a normal size light bulb is what creates the extreme cost; extreme heat problem; and lower light out put.

We will offer some very creative LED solutions soon. Until then, the CFL is the only responsible lighting.

Windows

There are basically no limitations to the type windows or doors designs which can be installed in an ISBU module.

Of course all framing of windows and doors is with steel, there will be no shrinkage or warping as can occur with wood. That can be a great source of energy loss in most homes.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Graphic: US DOE Double pane windows are standard, while

Graphic: US DOE

Double pane windows are standard, while single pane are now quite obsolete.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Only purchase windows and doors that have and R-value so you know the energy efficiency of what you are installing. Although most “double pane” windows can have an R-value of up to 3.0, there are now windows with special treatments and film that are substantially more energy efficient.

Due to the rigidity of the container module the Energy efficiency of your project can be more easily adapted and successful in the long term than many other types of building construction.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

ISBU Preparation

Delivery of the container, and delivery preparation is important to understand. Understanding this can save hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Delivery & Moving

Whether you units are coming from overseas or from across the city, you should be dealing with a company or person with the ability to handle all aspects of the delivery process.

The cost of delivery should either be included in the quotation of each ISBU or it should be a firm additional cost that will not vary, no matter what the distance or climate. Unfortunately, the "delivery charge" can be a bit of a game with some of the sales people in the industry.

The topic of delivery should be divided into a few categories since the delivery method will depend greatly on the use of your container and project.

Categories: How will your containers be used?

- Temporary storage

- Permanent storage

- Technology Shell

- Temporary home or office construction

- Permanent home or office construction

1) Discuss your project needs and expectations clearly with your dealer. 2) Confirm your delivery costs and terms in writing. 3) Be certain your site is ready for delivery and be there to receive it.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Your dealer needs to know exactly what you want done with the units when they

arrive, and where they need to be placed. This way he can fully understand which equipment will be need ed to off-load and place the containers. Will the dealer need

a

tilt-bed, fork lift, or a crane, and which type?

If

the dealer understands clearly it will be a positive experience.

With many projects the containers are just delivered and the customer or building contractor will provide the equipment for actual placement of the containers when ready for use or construction. Carefully think through every detail.

For specific details on delivery and setup, see the specific container use category:

- ISBU Building Construction unit

Homes, offices, apartments, worker housing, cabins, hotels, BizPods, clinics, emergency shelters, etc.

- ISBU Technology Shell

Mobile housings for data centers, cleaning equipment, waste recycling, expo booths, etc.

- ISBU Storage unit

Mobile or permanent storage units for home, office, job sites, other industry, etc.

See six (6) main delivery examples on the following pages:

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Whether your units are coming from overseas or from across the city, you should be dealing with a company or person with the ability to handle any deliver situation you may have for your project.

handle any deliver situation you may have for your project. Photo::Al Karsf Will the containers be

Photo::Al Karsf

Will the containers be empty or loaded with cargo?

Delivery to location with the large "flatbed tractor-trailer” is generally used only when the container is full of cargo.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo: Out-Back Storage If you are hauling “empty”

Photo: Out-Back Storage

If

you are hauling “empty” 20' or 40' containers, it can be accomplished easily with

a

5 th wheel trailer like this, or even a heavy duty tandem trailer and SUV,

if

empty.

If

a container is loaded, such as with storage units, then a 5 th wheel (see above) is

recommended due to the extra weight.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo::Clemson-Seed There are various types of "swing

Photo::Clemson-Seed

There are various types of "swing lifts" which are very convenient for units that don't need immediate stacking. This type is especially designed to carry full, heavy containers which is not necessary for most ISBU.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo::Clemson-Seed This is a very efficient "truck

Photo::Clemson-Seed

This is a very efficient "truck mounted crane" which can easily handle empty 20' or 40' containers.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo: Landall A "tilt bed" truck is common for

Photo: Landall

A "tilt bed" truck is common for simple offloading but require large areas to easily maneuver, off-load and pull forward. Usually 100' minimum.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo: ISBU Association Heavy duty "fork lifts" are

Photo: ISBU Association

Heavy duty "fork lifts" are quite common and easy to use when moving or stacking containers on location.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Repairing

The topic of "repairing" is not the same as the topic of making "modifications".

The topic of repairing is discussing what must be done to the container before you begin making modifications.

Read this section carefully, because the quality of your container(s), and the repairs you may face could mean the difference between project failure and success. [ see also, Choosing Your Container ]

What is your project? This will always be an important question for nearly every topic of this report.

If your project is a Technology Shell, Storage Unit, or Housing Shell, you will

probably benefit by purchasing a higher quality container. If you simply want an old storage unit or will use the container for building construction that will be fully covered by some exterior material like xxxx, you can feel more comfortable buying

a container that is older, or with a few dings and dents.

The "dings and dents" do not usually cause a weakness, but the can, and do cause problems in your finish work inside and out.

Also, if the container is too damaged, then you may find the time and cost of repairs are not worth the savings as compared to buying a better grade container to begin with.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Rule #1: You should always buy from a reputable dealer Rule #2: Buy containers that can pass SIR inspections [ see, SIR ] Rule #3: A dealer can usually repair a container cheaper and easier because they have scrap parts and frequent experience. Rule #4: Don't let the paint coating fool you. Like a newly painted car, it can hide many defects. Rule #5: Always buy from a reputable dealer. (Yes, a repeat)

Questions To Ask- 1) Is the container SIR certified? If so, you must have a certificate for each container. 2) If the container is painted, what was the cleaning process? Chemical cleaner, or Blast cleaned? [ see, Cleaning ]

Here is a guide for repairs- Not all repairs to a container are done properly. If you buy from a credible container dealer it will be more certain the repairs were performed properly, but this is still not 100% certain.

What can be wrong with a container that is freshly painted and looks nice?

- Deep dents seem softer

- Bad welding or repair can be less obvious

- Corrosion can seem less obvious

One reason we suggest "third party" inspections such as SIR, is because it basically guarantees the quality and safety inside, outside, and underside. Even if it has repairs and some dents, it will still be structurally safe and more easily certified by an engineer or government Building Inspector.

However, this does not guarantee the way it was prepared before it was painted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

It does not guarantee the quality of paint or the quality of the preparation.

The SIR or other inspection are designed to only certify the strength, toxic safety, and unit code.

If you "do not" have an SIR inspection, or, if you do prefer an older unit that needs repair then here are some very important tips and photos to review.

Note: the SIR inspection does not necessarily apply to Storage containers or Technology shells.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Repair Photos

If you are using the ISBU containers for storage, mobile expos, or the housing for your specialty equipment you may find the "vintage" containers unsatisfactory and the use of newer containers may be paramount.

Door and door frame examples and commentary

Examples: Door & door frame repair (20 photos) Examples: Exterior Repair (18 photos) Examples: Flooring Repair (7 photos) Examples: Frame and Super-structure Repair (13 photos) Examples: Interior Repair (16 photos) Examples: Understructure Repair (19 photos)

(see examples on the following pages)

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Door System Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Doors or no doors?

The use of ISBU technology is not limited to mobile storage, nor is it limited to home construction projects. There are very many applications for the use of ISBU containers therefore not all applications will remove the doors in the modification process.

It should be noted that in "most" cases when you purchase your container from a reputable dealer, it will already be repaired and re-conditioned appropriately and then certified.

This section on Doors will be valuable if you are purchasing containers and refurbishing them yourself. It will give you some valuable tips on what is acceptable and what is not according to IICL and SIR standards.

The Door section is only key if they will actually be functional to keep out weather and dust. Structurally the issues below or any door defects will not weaken the structure but only create problems if using the door system.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This particular condition is most likely repairable by

This particular condition is most likely repairable by removing the corrosion, priming and painting. It will be important to closely examine the smoothness and tightness where the seal touches the edge.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This rear header corrosion is also repairable in most

This rear header corrosion is also repairable in most cases.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This rear header corrosion is also repairable in most

This rear header corrosion is also repairable in most cases. Smoothness after sanding must be checked.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This rear header corrosion is not significant and may

This rear header corrosion is not significant and may only need paint.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This rear header is somewhat uneven. Check to see

This rear header is somewhat uneven. Check to see if the seal will lay flat when closed.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This rear sill and lip corrosion is not significant

This rear sill and lip corrosion is not significant and may only need light cleaning and paint.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This corrosion on the vertical door edge can usually

This corrosion on the vertical door edge can usually be scraped, sanded and painted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Note the rubber gasket. Folded or distorted gaskets can

Note the rubber gasket. Folded or distorted gaskets can often become bigger issues than corrosion. If the gasket can not be corrected and lay flat it must be replaced. Perform a light check.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a damaged top gasket. Perform a light

This is a damaged top gasket. Perform a light check and replace the gasket if necessary.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Perform a light check. Metal resurfacing and gasket

Perform a light check. Metal resurfacing and gasket replacement may be necessary.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This type damage is more than simple corrosion. The

This type damage is more than simple corrosion. The cut in the gasket and corrosion beneath were caused by an impact from either a fork lift or other container hitting it. Therefore it is probably indented beneath the gasket where the corrosion began.

Repair the corrosion smooth as possible and either patch or replace the gasket.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Even if this upper gasket were not presently leaking

Even if this upper gasket were not presently leaking and passed a light test, the missing pieces would cause the gasket to fail a IICL or SIR inspection. Gaskets must be replaced.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Although the gasket many not leak it is an

Although the gasket many not leak it is an improper gasket patch and would not pass IICL or SIR inspection. Replace gasket.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The is the correct gasket patch material but an

The is the correct gasket patch material but an improper quality patch. Replace patch or gasket.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This damaged lower gasket may pass a light test

This damaged lower gasket may pass a light test but may easily and soon begin to deteriorate further. The damage is too long for a patch. Replace the gasket.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This type breakage may pass a light test and

This type breakage may pass a light test and may not leak but a new gasket is recommended.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This gasket has been improperly repaired. Although is may

This gasket has been improperly repaired. Although is may pass a IICL inspection it should be replaced for ISBU use.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Although quite un-attractive, this may actually pass a IICL

Although quite un-attractive, this may actually pass a IICL or SIR testing because it is not structural damage and it is still water tight. The real question is, will this meet your personal standards?

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This also may be quite un-attractive but still meets

This also may be quite un-attractive but still meets IICL and SIR testing.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a defective "hinge blade" Hinge blades

This is a defective "hinge blade" Hinge blades cannot be cracked or welded. This would no pass IICL or and SIR inspection and requires a new hinge.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Exterior System Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Exterior Repairs

The use of ISBU technology is not limited to mobile storage, nor is it limited to home construction projects. There are very many applications for the use of ISBU containers therefore not all applications will remove the doors in the modification process.

It should be noted that in "most" cases when you purchase your container from a reputable dealer, it will already be repaired and re-conditioned appropriately and then certified.

This section on Exteriors will be valuable if you are purchasing containers and refurbishing them yourself. It will give you some valuable tips on what is acceptable and what is not according to IICL and SIR standards.

The Door section is only key if they will actually be functional to keep out weather and dust. Structurally the issues below or any door defects will not weaken the structure but only create problems if using the door system.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a good example of replacement corrugation pieces

This is a good example of replacement corrugation pieces for use in roof repair. These are pre- manufactured replacement sections and should be used whenever possible.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an example of small patches. Patches have

Here is an example of small patches. Patches have no size limitation and can be made both inside or outside. However, to meet IICL and SIR specifications, all patches must overlap at least 13mm (1/2").

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening.

Improper repair and straightening.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening

Improper repair and straightening

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening.

Improper repair and straightening.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening.

Improper repair and straightening.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening and must be corrected

Improper repair and straightening and must be corrected since it will effect the handle usage.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is not the best, but is passable welding.

This is not the best, but is passable welding. It must be cleaned, primed and painted

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Although passable, this is not done correctly. It should

Although passable, this is not done correctly. It should be straightened before welding.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ NOTE: Welds in a panel cannot exceed 200mm in

NOTE: Welds in a panel cannot exceed 200mm in length. This weld exceeds that length and could possibly challenge it's structural integrity.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair, weld and straightening and must be

Improper repair, weld and straightening and must be corrected to meet IICL and SIR inspections.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper weld and must be corrected to meet

Improper weld and must be corrected to meet certification.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a porous weld (see small holes). If

This is a porous weld (see small holes). If the holes do not show light the weld may be passable.

.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a proper roof repair when the replacement

This is a proper roof repair when the replacement insert panel is not available. The name of the process is "cut, fold, weld". This method of repair retains structural integrity and would pass IICL and SIR inspections.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair and straightening of panels.

Improper repair and straightening of panels.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Not all corrosion is serious to the structural integrity.

Not all corrosion is serious to the structural integrity. Corrosion must under go a hammer test to determine it's depth and remaining thickness. If the hammer test causes the metal to "hole or dimple" easily then it must be replaced.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Container Technology A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This must be hammer tested for strength.

This must be hammer tested for strength.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is properly repaired and will meet IICL and

This is properly repaired and will meet IICL and SIR specifications.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Flooring System Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Exterior Repairs NOTE: Flooring is the only area of an ISBU container that could be dangerous or become an issue with the governmental Building Inspectors. This would completely depend on the end use of your ISBU container.

An ISBU whose end use will be a storage unit or industrial equipment housing can safely retain the original flooring by sanding and sealing the wood properly.

However any ISBU container used for human habitation such as emergency shelters, student housing, home or business construction will be probably be required to remove the floor entirely. Government inspectors usually require it and therefore the SIR inspection requires it to eliminate any concerns.

Replacing the flooring with plywood is quite inexpensive and then eliminates any possible chance of toxic or mild environmental contamination or mold. This also is an excellent opportunity to completely clean, seal and insulate the underside of the ISBU containers.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Here are some tips and comments for those who wish to retain the original flooring materials.

those who wish to retain the original flooring materials. This is called "finger cracking" and is

This is called "finger cracking" and is often only seen from the underside. You should always inspect your containers from the underside which will reveal rust, structural damage and also the "finger cracks".

The "finger cracks" may only show from the bottom but they are a significant clue that something was dropped on the top of the floor and the floor strength in that section will not support full loads. For this reason it is recommended that section of the floor be replaced.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The most common damage to the floor is at

The most common damage to the floor is at the door entry due to the constant loading and unloading of the container. This are should be closely examined from not only the top but also the underside.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Please note the waves in the floor between the

Please note the waves in the floor between the steel crossmembers. This floor should be replaced.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This wear may look bad but in fact it

This wear may look bad but in fact it is quite normal for a well used container. This is only normal wear and scratching of the surface and can easily be sanded, resurfaced and coated. This should not be a concern.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an example of a hole that was

Here is an example of a hole that was repaired with a wooden dowel. This can be common and safe if it is also properly prepared, glued and finished. This repair is not an example of very good workmanship.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a an example of very poor quality

This is a an example of very poor quality dowel repair. This is the underside view of the flooring.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This floor shows there was a fire in the

This floor shows there was a fire in the container. Rarely is the container steel damaged but even after it's repair and painting the discolored floor tells the full story. Sometimes the floor can simply be resurfaced if the damage is not deep.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a view from the underside. Here is

This is a view from the underside. Here is one of the reason you must inspect the underside of the container. The above photo indicates a spill occurred inside the container at some some. Rarely would it be "toxic" and often only paint, oil or some safe chemical. Nevertheless, it is important to determine the chemical and clean the underside crossmembers before refinishing and painting.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Frame System Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Frame and Structural Repairs

The use of ISBU technology is not limited to mobile storage, nor is it limited to home construction projects. There are very many applications for the use of ISBU containers therefore not all applications will remove the doors in the modification process.

It should be noted that in "most" cases when you purchase your container from a reputable dealer, it will already be repaired and re-conditioned appropriately and then certified.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a top rail dent that could possibly

This is a top rail dent that could possibly exceed allowable damage. Examine and measure to determine.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is a proper patch and insert for a

Here is a proper patch and insert for a damaged corner post. This is nearly the maximum width of damage allowed by IICL and SIR. There are no set standards for length of damage but width cannot be closer than 10mm to the edge of the two corners.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is a corner post dent. The dent is

Here is a corner post dent. The dent is not deep enough to consider any repair action.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This corner post appears to be dented in excess

This corner post appears to be dented in excess of the 5mm IICL and SIR guidelines. Any dent deeper than 5mm must have an insert welded.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is an insert in the "top rail" of

This is an insert in the "top rail" of a corner. All inserts butting to the corner must be a minimum of 300mm which is 12" in length. This insert is only 8" in length and must be replace to pass inspection and retain it's structural integrity.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This shows about a 30mm (1") tear in the

This shows about a 30mm (1") tear in the rain gutter. The tear has not penetrated the weld and therefore does not pose a hazard to rail strength. Remove the burr and grind smooth.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a bent "header flange" and according to

This is a bent "header flange" and according to inspectors does not need to be replaced unless it is actually cut or broken. According to engineers it does not pose a structural hazard.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a "bottom side rail flange". It is

This is a "bottom side rail flange". It is clearly bent and torn. It must only be replaced if it has penetrated the weld. If it has not broken the weld then it can be ground smooth and painted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is a "bottom rail flange" that is bent

Here is a "bottom rail flange" that is bent and also has cracked the weld. It must be replaced to pass the IICL and SIR inspection.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Another bent and dent "side rail flange" but since

Another bent and dent "side rail flange" but since it has not broken the weld it need not be welded.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This side rail repair is too short and must

This side rail repair is too short and must be replaced since it is adjoining to the corner. It is also recommended that both sides be welded when at a corner.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is actually one of the "most serious" breaks

This is actually one of the "most serious" breaks and damage to a container. When a corner post is broken or cut it requires intense repairing.

This post has been repaired but improperly. It must be cut out and replaced with both interior and exterior inserts to retain it's structural integrity.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a damaged "corner casting". When a corner

This is a damaged "corner casting". When a corner casting is on the bottom it may not need to be replaced for use as an ISBU. It's principle purpose is for stacking. This could only be used for single level storage units or for base level housing.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is another damaged "corner casting". Dented and

This is another damaged "corner casting". Dented and damaged "top" corner castings can be dangerous even during the load and unload of the delivery for ISBU usage. The entire "corner casting" should be replaced before delivery or attempting to stack with other ISBU for any purpose.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Interior System Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Interior Repairs

The use of ISBU technology is not limited to mobile storage, nor is it limited to home construction projects. There are very many applications for the use of ISBU containers therefore not all applications will remove the doors in the modification process.

NOTE: This section of inspections is important because a properly refinished "shot blasted" container should be quite smooth and not show surface blotching such as seen in some of the photos below.

If you can see any of the ripples or splotching beneath the paint then you know the surface was not cleaned, blasted and repaired properly and you should not purchase these ISBU containers.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Hammer marks from straightening will become less obvious

Hammer marks from straightening will become less obvious with shot blasting and re-painting.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ An example of poor welding. When a weld exceeds

An example of poor welding. When a weld exceeds 200mm (6.5") it must be replaced with a steel patch to conform with IICL and SIR standards.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ An example of very poor straightening and welding yet

An example of very poor straightening and welding yet if the weld is not porous it may pass inspection.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a roof weld and must be replaced

This is a roof weld and must be replaced to pass inspection. The weld is too long and the workmanship very extremely poor. This area should be fitted with a roof panel insert with a 15mm (1/2") overlap on all sides.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Very poor weld quality. Though not attractive it will

Very poor weld quality. Though not attractive it will pass inspection when cleaned and painted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an interior with various patches and repairs.

Here is an interior with various patches and repairs. Both interior and floor will meet IICL and SIR standards when refinished and painted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an exterior panel dent which is quite

Here is an exterior panel dent which is quite obvious from the interior. Dents cannot exceed 15mm (1/2") or a steel patch must be inserted.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This shows 2 lashing rings which have been added

This shows 2 lashing rings which have been added to the interior. Depending on the application of your these un-sightly rings pose no problem. They may be removed or left attached and will not effect inspection.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Many people believe this diagonal bar in the corner

Many people believe this diagonal bar in the corner is a necessary support from the factory. These are not structural supports but are only a type of "lashing ring or bar" placed in the corner.

Their removal will not effect any structural integrity and will certainly pass the inspections.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ These are only interior wall scratches from a possible

These are only interior wall scratches from a possible load of wire fence or other steel product. These scratches are not an issue. Shot blast and paint to pass inspection.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ These are some type of "chemical spatter". Chemicals

These are some type of "chemical spatter". Chemicals should not be confused with the term "toxic". This is a very poor refinishing job.

We only show this photo because this is a very poor example of refinishing and painting. A "shot blast" process will remove "all" chemical spatter and residue and must be done before re-painting the surface. Again, chemical residue and splatters are very different from toxic residue or toxic materials.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ These dents are probably not deep enough to need

These dents are probably not deep enough to need a steel patch. Straighten and refinish.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is an example of "chemical residue" not toxic.

This is an example of "chemical residue" not toxic. This shrinking pattern on paints is usually caused by the vapor of leaking containers such as solvents or mild acid. They are only harmful to the paint.

Simply "shot blast", primer, and paint the surface to become 100% safe and pass IICL and SIR inspections.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is another non-toxic chemical residue. Shot blast and

This is another non-toxic chemical residue. Shot blast and paint to neutralize and pass inspection.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is possibly vapor from an acid leakage. We

This is possibly vapor from an acid leakage. We say this due to the corrosion which has penetrated the steel.

This may not be structurally serious and may simply be superficial. Test with a hammer. If the corrosion is not deep then simply "shot blast" and refinish as normal to pass IICL or SIR inspections.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is some type of glue or adhesive chemical

This is some type of glue or adhesive chemical and nothing serious. Shot blast and paint.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

NOTE: It is important to emphasize again there is a "vast" difference between standard chemicals and "toxic" chemicals and materials".

It must be noted the "all" shipping and container leasing companies have very separate containers for hauling "hazardous materials and toxic chemicals or products". These shipping containers are shipped separately and also stored and recycled separately. They do not enter the mainstream no matter how many un- documented stories you see on some internet blogs.

This has been the standard maritime and shipping procedure and all have been doing this for many years to avoid not only contamination but also to avoid the potential of massive law suites.

Be confident that your ISBU has not hauled toxic waste! Chemical residues are a very different issue and easily neutralized and removed.

To be confident your ISBU container is free of any chemical residues you can simply "shot blast" and refinish. Nothing survives the proper "shot blasting" cleaning method of refinishing.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

Container Technology A-Z

Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

Understructure and Underflooring Examples

Photos and commentary for reference only. Containers should not be purchased without an SIR certification unless for usage as storage units.

It should be noted that most of these photos represent the extreme conditions of age, neglect and abuse. This would generally be found on the "vintage" units.

Understructure Repairs

NOTE: When purchasing a container one of the most ignored but critical areas is the under structure.

Most people will see photos of the interior and exterior or even conduct their own physical inspection however few ever see the underside of the container unit. This is where some of the most serious problems may be hidden.

Photo Credits: GreenCube Staff, Textainer, Triton.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Surprisingly, this may be acceptable for shipping standards.

Surprisingly, this may be acceptable for shipping standards. It is "not" acceptable for use as an ISBU.

IICL standards for a shipping container require this corrosion be "hammer tested". If a corroded area does not dent or make a whole it is considered acceptable for continued shipping use. We should note that corrosion itself does not weaken the steel unless it is severe. Therefore the IICL standard is acceptable.

However, for your personal ownership and long term use as a storage unit, technical shell or for home construction, you will want this corrosion and rust removed, then coated again.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Repair Procedure: As with all repairing of the ISBU

Repair Procedure: As with all repairing of the ISBU container, the fastest, most effective, and most most economical method of corrosion, cleaning and rust removal is the "shot blast" method. This is just as effective on the underside of a container as it is on the walls and roof of the container.

This method quickly removes everything down to the bare steel or bare wood, then you can apply the coating you want. Most coatings on an ISBU will last decades and will last longer on an ISBU container than on a container used for shipping.

Inspecting and re-coating of the underside of an ISBU container is a "must".

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a "liquid mark" and generally indicating

This is a "liquid mark" and generally indicating severe chemical spill.

Chemical spill "does not mean" toxic chemical spill, but it does need to be treated to eliminate further corrosion to the steel and deterioration to the wood flooring.

The recommended action is both treatments; Shot blasting, then high pressure spray wash to remove any possible residue. Then seal and coat as normal.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is not serious but can and should be

This is not serious but can and should be repaired when the floor is removed.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an example of improper repair of a

Here is an example of improper repair of a damaged underside crossmember.

The replacement steel went up to the top but should have been lower, leaving at least 1/2" (13mm) of the original steel for proper strength according to IICL standards.

For use as an ISBU this would not be considered critical. It would be considered critical for shipping purpose only if it were carrying heavy payloads.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ These are complete inserts made to correct a series

These are complete inserts made to correct a series of damaged crossmembers. This repair is considered very acceptable for use as an ISBU container.

Please note the proper insertion of the repair steel. It has left at least 1/2" (13mm) of the original steel crossmember on the top of each repair.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The crossmembers of this floor carried too much weight

The crossmembers of this floor carried too much weight at one time and became bowed. Note the 4 repaired crossmembers.

The weakened crossmembers were properly repaired with the inserts and will prevent cracking of the steel.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair of crossmembers. The sections will need to

Improper repair of crossmembers. The sections will need to be replaced.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is a "stitch weld" added to the side

Here is a "stitch weld" added to the side of a crossmember. This type repair is considered very safe and acceptable for any ISBU use.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The issue here is on the angle iron bolted

The issue here is on the angle iron bolted to the crossmember. This "is not" acceptable and must be replaced and welded to retain proper strength.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is another example of improper repairing of a

Here is another example of improper repairing of a crossmember.

It must be replaced with "one" solid length and not pieces to bring it to acceptable strength for ISBU use.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Improper repair of the crossmember, and also the second

Improper repair of the crossmember, and also the second crossmember must be repaired.

No bent or bowing crossmembers are allowed for ISBU unless they will be only used for light storage.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is an acceptable repair, however the flooring was

This is an acceptable repair, however the flooring was not re-coated.

SIR standards and most Building Inspectors will require the complete replacement of the floor for and ISBU construction project. New floors are not necessary for ISBU used as storage units.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Cracked and missing caulking. This can be repaired during

Cracked and missing caulking. This can be repaired during the floor removal and after cleaning.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The gasket must be repaired or replaces. For usage

The gasket must be repaired or replaces. For usage as an ISBU it may simply be caulked at the time of floor replacement and underside cleaning.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ These are bent crossmembers. Bowed and bent crossmembers

These are bent crossmembers. Bowed and bent crossmembers should be repaired or replaced.

IICL strength safety standards allow a 1/2" (13mm) bow, however for many ISBU uses this would cause a flooring problem.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is an obviously improper repair. It must be

This is an obviously improper repair. It must be repaired by proper full inserts or replace crossmembers.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Here is an example of improper repair of a

Here is an example of improper repair of a damaged underside crossmember.

The crossmembers were welded but not welded with inserts of at least 6" (150mm) length steel inserts. You can see the damage due to improper repairs. Inserts are a must.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ This is a deep inward bend in the bottom

This is a deep inward bend in the bottom side rail of the container. This is not an easy fix!

The solution is extensive frame straightening, and also a combination or other welds and steel inserts. Most container dealers and shops do not have "frame straightening" equipment to accomplish this properly.

This container should not be purchased unless this ISBU will be used only as a secondary storage unit.

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ISBU Preparation

How well you "clean" will determine the life expectancy of your container project.

Cleaning

The cleaning of the container is one of the very most important issues of the entire project. Improper cleaning will become the "only" weak point for the longevity of your entire project.

No matter what paint or coating you will apply to the exterior of your ISBU container, if it was not cleaned and prepared in the proper manner, this one process alone will become determine the longevity of your ISBU unit, project, or home.

If you prepare your containers properly, including

- Cleaning

- Painting

- Underside coating

the

sustainability, strength, and lifespan of your ISBU, and/or ISBU project can

easily reach 70 to 100 years.

However, improper cleaning and coating can produce a project lifespan of less than 10 years.

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Methods Of Cleaning

There are two basic methods of cleaning the steel ISBU container:

1) Abrasive "Blast Cleaning" 2) Chemical "Spray Wash"

Blast Cleaning The first, and most efficient method is "Blast Cleaning". It has many names; sand blasting, shot blasting, ping blasting, etc.

Key points:

- Extremely efficient

- Leaves no chemical residue

- Fast

- Safe and non-polluting

- Labor saving

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ The #1 choice--"Blast Cleaning" with silica or

The #1 choice--"Blast Cleaning" with silica or ceramic beads

This method will remove anything and in every crack or crevice. It is dry sand or silica granules and there is no water involved that can often create immediate oxidation.

If you choose to leave the flooring, the wood can also be cleaned and stripped with

Blast Cleaning.

The entire container; top, bottom, inside and out can become clean, or cleaner than

a new container. Then ready for an excellent, and permanent bond with the paint or coating you have chosen. There "is" no better way to clean an ISBU!

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Chemical Spray Wash Unfortunately, this is a method chosen by most DIY (Do It Yourself) builders, and also some experienced building contractors. This method requires a high pressure sprayer system that is not sensitive to acidic chemicals.

Key points:

- Better than other water based, or liquid methods

- Faster than brush or wipe on methods

- Deep cleaning with repeat applications

- Can create waste water issues

- Can leave a film and not penetrate deeply with corrosion

- Can leave a film and not penetrate deeply with corrosion "Spray Washing" with a one-step

"Spray Washing" with a one-step acid/phosphate product

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This is certainly better and more effective that wipe on, or brushing with TSP, or acid solutions which usually leave much residue and eliminate proper bonding between steel and paint.

These methods appear to be effective, but their lifespan of the paint can become much shorter due to improper paint adhesion. Spray washing is extremely effective on virtually any surface when removing dirt oxidation, and some rust, but not as deep cleaning to the important micro surface as Blast Cleaning with silica or ceramic micro balls.

If you choose this "Spray Wash" method, be certain to only use a "one step" acid/phosphate chemical solution which will neutralize the acid for better rinsability and less chance of immediate oxidation of the metal surface before the paint or primer is applied.

Summary Anyone educated on both methods of cleaning the steel containers will absolutely choose the "Blast Cleaning" method over the acid "Spray Wash" method.

The cost is about the same. The labor is about the same. However the ease, safety, and effectiveness of the Blast Cleaning is much better. Virtually all professionals we interviewed over a two year period believe the Blast Cleaning provides much better paint bond and therefore a superior lifespan potential for your ISBU units and projects.

Whether you remove the floors or keep them, the "Blast Cleaning" method of corrosion removal and paint preparation is the best choice for an ISBU.

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Paints & Coatings

We see some common confusions with many builders using ISBU for construction purposes. Many are asking what was the original coating from the factory. This is not actually relevant unless you have purchased a new, or one-way, however we have listed it below:

The original factory formula and coating.

For your reference only, we have listed the original coating that is on most standard containers from the factory:

Exterior Coating- (Factory) Epoxy-rich w/zinc primer

30 micron

Epoxy zinc phosphate

40 micron

Chlorinated rubber top coat

50 micron

Total coating

>

120 micron

Interior Coating- (Factory) Epoxy-rich w/zinc primer

30 micron

Epoxy zinc phosphate

40 micron

Total coating

>

70 micron

Underside Coating- (Factory) Epoxy-rich w/zinc primer

40 micron

*Bitumen wax, which includes Tectyl 121B, Dinitrol 4941B

200 micron

Chlorinated rubber top coat

50 micron

Total coating

> 240 micron

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* Bitumen wax is used in roof coatings. Tectyl 121B, and Dinitrol 4941 are used in automobile and truck undercoatings as corrosion inhibitors and anti-rust.

NOTE: Formulas can vary, however this is fairly standardized for container units produced since 2000.

What paint or coating should I use?

- Epoxy?

- Elastomer?

- Ceramic?

- Rubberized?

- Water or Oil based?

- Elastomer? - Ceramic? - Rubberized? - Water or Oil based? The answers are not so

The answers are not so obvious, and of course will depend on your project. All will bond well if they have the correct surface preparation which is described in the Cleaning section.

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Paint Types

- Epoxy is durable but most Epoxy paints have a tendency to fade or go chalky. They are quite durable.

- Elastomers are durable, flexible, won't crack, and are becoming quite widely used and are ecologically safe.

- Ceramic coatings should not be viewed as another type coating, but as an

"additive" to any coating or paint. The ceramic beads can be mixed into any paint or

coating. They have many benefits, including anti-mold, heat resistance, acoustic, moisture barrier and more. The cost of ceramic beads is not significant when buying it in the 40# bags.

- Rubberized, or silicone based coatings are very important if you are in humid

climates or need your ISBU partially or fully below ground level. They are also very effective on the roof when using as a Green Roof or sun deck. The new types are durable for 20 to 50 years especially if they are not exposed to UV.

- Virtually all of the the above paints are available in either water or oil base. We suggest water base. They are just as durable, safer, and easier to use.

Even "if" your ISBU will be covered with roofing, siding, or stucco, they need proper preparation and a good coating. IF this is done properly the ISBU containers can

remain in excellent condition as long as

for 70 to 100 years.

With proper cleaning and coating there is virtually no possibility for deterioration, either above, or below ground.

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Engineering Issues

We have included this topic because in late 2008 we began to realize how vital engineers, and engineering is to the container building and construction.

Designs with bad Engineering There was a misconception by most people, including many general contractors, that ISBU containers were strong no matter how they were cut up, stacked or modified.

We can largely blame this on so many of these "concept" container drawings that have plagued the internet for the past several years. Many of which were architects innocently making unrealistic concept drawings using containers. Yet others who were designers or possibly architectural students that didn't understand the true engineering and structure of ISO containers.

What the world was seeing and believing, were architectural designs of "container homes and offices" stacked on angles and cross-crossed without support, walls removed without support, and wonderful home designs that were not realistic to build unless considerable dollars were spent on engineering and expensive structural reinforcements.

Shortage of qualified and willing Engineers There was a misconception regarding what was required to obtain "approvals" and "building permits" from the local city, county, state or provincial agencies.

The reality is, that no matter how good the architectural drawings or how simple the design and modifications, many local agencies require a "local" licensed engineer to sign and certify the building plans.

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It has been difficult for home owners and builders to understand the importance of an engineer, and the necessity of finding a "local" engineer to certify the ISBU project.

The point is this - Architects need to fully understand the limitations and extra costs involved when creating radical designs. The creativity must focus on simplicity, fewer cutouts, and less designing that requires expensive engineering.

- Engineers in every locality need to become familiar with the ISBU structure. It isn't that difficult.

- The home builder can only be successful if they align themselves with an architect and engineer who can work together.

- The willing engineer is the critical link to the success and approval of ISBU

container construction project, whether, cabins, homes, or large office buildings and hotels.

You don't need a “cynical” engineer on your project. The successful project must include “positive” engineers and architects. An engineer without a positive attitude is not an engineer.

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Container Technology

The container technology is really quite simple. A container is not an old, rusty

shipping container,

extremely safe for building structures.

it

is an ISBU. A strong, steel pre-fabricated unit, uniform and

An engineer need only obtain the structural specifications of the steel unit and plug them into the software. Steel is steel.

They can easily see the specifications of each rail, wall and crossmember and quickly become confident with this technology.

We have met with many willing engineers and they were able to figure it all out even as we sat in front of them.

You cannot under estimate the importance and value of an engineer. An engineer can quickly be comfortable with the strengths and flexibility of an ISBU module.

Note: Not every engineer may use their analytical software properly, thus giving incorrect calculations to the customer. Contract with only competent, successful engineers to guide you on your project.

A positive engineer or architect will say, “there's a way to do anything”, then they work creatively to find the easiest and most cost effective solution.

In our evaluation and research, we would presented the same information to various engineers and get fairly consistent opinions and results. Yet we consistently found one of the engineers who had very different results, opinions and analysis. That type “cynical” engineer should not be used.

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ISBU Building Construction

Using ISBU for building homes, apartments, cabins and offices

The Importance of Building Permits

After deciding on your design and location, the building permit is the next priority.

When our organization first began in 2007 we were shocked to learn how many of the new ISBU Association members were building homes, cabins, and workshops "without" a Building Permit Then many seemed to be quite amazed their city or county Building Departments were declining their applications.

It really doesn't matter whether you are building a home with wood, brick or ISBU-- when you begin without a Building Permit your project already has "two strikes" against it.

During 2007 and 2008 the Building Permit issue was the #1 reason that ISBU

container home construction was at a standstill,

countries. Cities, States and Provinces were greatly concerned with the "rebel attitude" of the "container home" culture.

not

just in the US but in many

We personally got involved in about 80% of the projects that were getting denied, and more than 90% of the time the local Building Inspectors told us it was not the container but the fact our Member had begun the project without a permit. To do so is simply not legal!

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Other Issues You would be interested to know that since 1998 probably hundreds or thousands of homes and cabins have been built using ISBU containers. The reason you were not hearing about it is because 99% were built "illegally"!

In early 2009, our Director, Barry Naef, began on a tour to observe and document container home projects. He began meeting with local container dealers to get lists of customer they knew who were using ISBU for homes or cabins. He began traveling the US from Washington to Florida, and Maine to California in his motor home, and he did so from January to December.

Surprise #1 was to learn of so many hundreds of ISBU units that were sold for some type of building construction. Surprise #2 was to learn that virtually none were legal!

Because they were not built legally, most were not willing to show the projects, allow photos, and most of all, did not want to be interviewed or have their project published on the internet or in our Association website. All because they had "not" obtained legal Building Permits for their projects.

"It was very frustrating and sad", said Barry, "because there are some very well done homes and cabins out there and we could learn so much from them". "Since they had no permits and were not legal, I was often seen as a dangerous adversary and it was becoming quite discouraging to say the least. Everyone was afraid my research would expose their illegal construction" of their ISBU construction projects.

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A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo credit: ISBU Association (Exterior) Here is one of

Photo credit: ISBU Association

(Exterior) Here is one of the un-known projects we found during the coast-to-coast tour.

This is one of the most creative designs we've seen. It is actually only "two" 40' containers cut up, opened out, and re-connected to form this giant workshop. Steel supports were added with sky lights along both side.

It was constructed entirely by one man. He simply obtained a "quick stamp" permit from his local city.

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Container Architecture and ISBU Technology

A-Z Container Architecture and ISBU Technology ™ Photo credit: ISBU Association (Interior) The workshop with

Photo credit: ISBU Association

(Interior) The workshop with skylights and recycled steel supports. 1600 sq/ft interior.

Barry visited many homes and cabins as large as 10 containers but none were built with legal permits. One of the most beautiful was actually built, and owned, by a small container dealer himself. The dealer was very reluctant to show or discuss it. He proudly showed the luxury home but would not allow photos or his name mentioned.

The home was a beautiful 7 container home, with spanned living room and container basement. "The total square feet of the main level was over 3000 and absolutely beautiful". said Barry. Unfortunately, except for tight lipped friends and family, these homes and cabins will never be seen by the public, just because they were not built legally. We are told by Canadian and Australian container dealers they also see the same situation, with nice construction, but they did not obtain legal building permits and people won't about them.

One thing Barry learned from this project and several others, was how to safely install basements and containers underground. This particular container basement