container popularity and internet searches

Since I started this blog back in late 2009, it’s been somewhat of a creative outlet for me.  Not only am I able to post my designs, sketches and other ideas for consideration and comment, but I’m also able to delve into a good bit of architectural theory in my writing.  For the first year that this blog was up there was almost no traffic – only about 10 hits per month on average for the first 12 months.  That’s pretty bad, and granted I wasn’t keeping up with it much at first.

The shift seems to have come when I began writing more in-depth posts about shipping container design and construction.  And I have noticed a trend in the last couple of months in the character and construction of search terms that hit this blog.  Some can be rather entertaining, like the guy who searched for “porn in container”….i still can’t imagine what he was looking for…not really sure if I want to either. :-\  Some other popular search terms that pop up consistently and in various combinations are:

container homes
container architecture
40′ shipping container house
isbu interiors
container reinforce structure
shipping container house plans
container design
etc etc etc.

This gets me to wondering, if my own very little corner of this “corten craze” generates such interest (upwards of 2-3,000 hits per month and climbing, thank you very much! :-)), why are we still only seeing it trickle into the mainstream media?  I certainly don’t have the answer, so if you were hoping for one, so sorry to disappoint.

But, (there’s always a but) the winds are changing.  If small sites like mine are getting this kind of interest, then others like treehugger and inhabitat are getting even more and this is going to push the cause into the limelight, so to speak.  It’s out there, people are getting interested and soon they’ll start seeing container homes as viable housing options in the mainstream.  Hell, we could even see the first Container Subdivision in the very near future.

If you’re reading this and you’ve got some news on container construction or any other kind of container project, please send it my way.  I’d love to feature it here.  Lets keep the corten craze rolling on down the tracks, baby!

10 thoughts on “container popularity and internet searches

  1. Pingback: House Plans - Home 3871 project

    • No worries, Preston. You know I’m always happy to repost your stuff! Thanks for the link! The Container Crossbox project is one of my favorites. I actually have a design on my site here that is very similar. Cheers!

  2. I found your site while I was looking for space-efficient ways to insulate shipping container walls. I’d like to consider insulating the exterior of the container, but I’m concerned this might make the container more difficult to transport? Any thoughts?

    By the way, I’m doing this as part of an advanced RISD studio. There are 16 of us in this studio from interior architecture, architecture, and industrial design and we’ve been working individually and collaboratively to come up with environmentally sustainable ways to utilize the nation’s surplus of shipping containers. The ultimate goal is to to come up with new and innovative ways to reuse the shipping container and also leverage new business growth for the state of Rhode Island. We’ve been awarded a government grant care of Senator Jack Reed, and are working with local professionals such as Peter Gill Case and Joe Haskett of Box Office (

    • Cheryle, thanks for your comments and questions. It’s awesome that your studio is taking on the challenge of developing these kinds of structures. It’s an awesome and fun task.
      The short answer to your question of insulating the outside of a container making it more difficult to transport is, no it doesn’t make it more difficult.
      A container is typically not insulated on the bottom or top, which means they remain stackable. The bottom container will typically sit on a slab or raised foundation and then be insulated. The upper container (if stacked), or top, will be finished/insulated in the field also. If full pre-fabrication is desired then you simply have them delivered to site individually on trucks (not stacked). Care obviously has to be taken on how the containers are attached at either a vertical stacked, or horizontal joint. Welding is obviously preferred.
      Good luck with your project and please feel free to contact me anytime to talk more about container architecture!

      • Fail

        An ISO shipping container is designed to be transported using the ISO infrastructure.

        They are a maximum 8 ft in width and adding ANY extra width by placing insulation on the outside prevents use of this infrastructure, yes even an inch or 2.

        In other words best case scenario is your container insulated in this way will need to travel as a wide load.

        That is just about the definition of “harder to transport” – its going to slower and more expensive on road and you can forget rail and ship ( intermodal )

        In my opinion this is a good example of young Architects that lack common sense today.

        Anyone that had been anywhere near a container under transport could figure this out, if you don’t kick yourself for this is says a lot about your credibility. We all make mistakes but when your seeking a public position as an educator on this subject you take make these sorts of silly mistakes without looking well silly.

        I think you should actually build a container home or two before you set yourself up in this business selling plans etc the real world experience will be invaluable.

      • Peter, thank you for your comments and for visiting my site. While you are right that containers are specifically designed for transport in a specific infrastructure, to say that making them larger somehow makes them untransportable is a little silly. How do you think they transport modular home components or even entire homes? Does it fall under the definition of “wide load”, no. A wide load is a load that is greater than 106 inches in width, which is nearly 9 feet, and a length of 53 feet. Containers CAN be modified and safely and economically shipped to location and erected on sight with little inconvenience or obstruction from DOT. It’s done every day with much larger and more cumbersome loads.
        Again, I thank you for your comments and for visiting. I hope you’ll comment again on future posts. Cheers.

      • Ok, so lets go with your number. You’ve just proven my point. A modified container with exterior insulation and finish will be less than 102 inches in width. Therefore it does not fall under your “special” conditions for transport.
        So, Peter, is your gripe really just with the transportation requirements of modified container housing or do you have some other argument to pose here? I’m happy to discuss if you’d like to put something else forward.

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