Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:54 AM
eridani (47,018 posts)
Local company gives shipping containers a new lease on life
Kai Schwarz and Anne Corning are business partners and co-founders of ShelterKraft Werks, a unique Ballard business venture that manufactures homes, food-storage units, retail pop-up stores and more from reclaimed shipping containers.
The company takes shipping containers that no longer meet the proper qualifications to be used on a ship—this usually happens after about 10 years, when the container has been banged around one too many times—and refurbishes them into something practical and livable. Some companies, such as Hamburg Süd, keep the containers for nearly half that time.
“We only keep them for five years,” a representative for Hamburg Süd said. “(The way)they stack them, the rivets get worn out.”
Corning said that for their purposes, “We pick the best ones that are still in good enough condition to be used for housing … and then we build the units all right here in Seattle.”
According to Schwarz, the original container company does the majority of the metal fabrication and painting. From there, the container is brought to ShelterKraft Werk’s yard in Ballard where it gets retrofitted for its new purpose.
If a container is destined to become housing, “that’s we put in all the framing,insulation, the wiring, the plumbing,” Schwarz said. These items all go into the walls of the container.
“It’s not just that you’re saving . You’re re-using the steel container, we’re using a lot of green building materials, and recyclable materials … in the construction of the units,” Corning said. “As (an) ongoing living situation it can be very eco-friendly, very affordable.”
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