How technology is helping rebuild places like Haiti

[tweetmeme] The greatest perils of modern human life is the reaction to “Acts of God”, no one knows when these will actually happen and however ready we humans seem to be to react to these earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes etc, we never seem to be ready enough. Haiti and the earthquake there has just proved it even more. Scientists are working all over the world to actually come up with a solution for early warning solutions, while that seems to be eluding us; there is another aspect of this problem that technology is really helping with, and that is rehabilitation and rebuilding, and they are doing it in a way that is ecologically sustainable.

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Containerization has revolutionized cargo shipping. Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships. The humble containers are now moving not just goods, but are getting to provide safe housing and quick. Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low cost. There are inherit advantages to this soltuion if using shipping containers, Strength and Durability, Modular,  Transport, Availability and the obvious, Cost . The other side of the coin is actually that there is a downside which are, Temperature inside the cabin, Building permits to use this might be a problem, and others. However in places like Haiti where massive rebuilding needs to happen and quickly, these seem to be what the doctor ordered.

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Researchers at Clemson University are scurrying to figure out how to turn their project, known as SEED, into a way to contribute emergency housing to Haiti right now. SEED was initially conceived as a way to utilize some of the estimated 30 million shipping containers that were languishing in ports all over the world by turning them into homes for victims of hurricanes in both the Caribbean Islands and the United States. The design from SEED optimizes the usage of the container where it is simply cut in a few strategic places to allow for airflow and light while it is still in the port, then transported to the site for further modifications such as a coated with ceramic paint for insulation and fitted with wooden shipping pallets that act as “pods” for bathing and cooking.

Additionally, the containers are augmented with another surplus item: 55 gallon drums fitted with an interior slip to protect against leaching. On the roof of the container they become the real “seeds” of the project” filled with dirt and planted for “emergency food restoration.” Christensen says other surplus items such as old tires can also be made into raised beds for growing food.

Interestingly, the idea of using Shipping containers for housing has been around for a long time, in fact its very pracical usage is the Data Centers, Google maximizing the usage of these. Well housing is not something new as well, in fact if you scout the web, you will really find awesome examples of these containers. Check out some awesomely designed examples below:

all terrain cabin 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

mobile dwelling unit

port a bach 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

12 container house 10 Brilliant, Boxy and Sustainable Shipping Container Homes

If you are interested more, you could check out these great lists with more of these shipping container styled housing designs :

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