A Change In Direction - Using Cargo Containers for the New Building

August 28, 2009 - Try as we could, we just couldn't get excited about the design of the new building. It was clear we needed to go in a different direction - something that would get the juices flowing. We looked at a number of non-traditional buildings, and kept coming back to shipping container structures.  Could the containers be configured in a way that gave us a large green screen studio, and also allowed for additional space we could lease to other creative companies?  We took a scrap piece of 2 x 4 and cut it into scale size pieces for a high top shipping container. 

Those dimensions are shown below

40' High Cube Dry Container

Maximum Gross Weight: 67,200 lbs.
Tare Weight: 8,223 lbs.
Payload: 58,976 lbs.

Internal Dimensions
Length: 39' 1"
Width: 7' 6"
Height: 8' 7"

External Dimensions
Length: 40'
Width: 8'
Height: 9' 6"

Door Opening
Width: 7' 6"
Height: 8' 4"

We used the blocks and started to put them together until we hit upon a configuration that worked, and looked pretty cool (click on the photos to the right to enlarge).

With a basic design in mind, we turned to Google's Sketchup program and looked in the Google warehouse to find a High Cube container. It was easy to find, and we used it to make 7 more and position them like we had the wooden blocks.  Google Sketchup allows you to walk through a 3D structure, so we next tried to see if the configuration allowed for the kinds of flow patterns we thought would be typical in a day's work. We showed it to a number of people and for the most part got a positive response. 

We called in a contractor we have worked with in the past - CP (Carlton Pierce), who is a magician with a welding torch.  He looked at the design and said "Bring 'er on".  He offered some suggestions about the roof design and placement of the windows.  Next we called in an Engineer Ron Saikowski, who did the survey work on our land ten years ago to give us a thumbs up or down on if we could get a building permit, and pass all inspections.  Ron came by and said if we follow the code guidelines, we would be fine.

With the green light from a contractor and engineer, we felt confident to start adding detail to our basic structure.

Category: Container Building,