Modular Building Institute

Discussion Forum

ICC-ES Approves Shipping Container Approval Process

Original Comment:
At their February 9th meeting, the ICC-ES Evaluation Committee approved a process to allow local code officials to accept used shipping containers as building modules. This proposal is known as “AC462 — Proposed New Acceptance Criteria for Shipping Container Building Modules.”

Scope: The acceptance criteria is limited to the evaluation of the reuse of shipping containers as building modules, where the shipping containers are modified for each building project, with the steel components of the shipping containers designed for use in the construction of steel structures under Sections 104.9, 2204, 2205, 2210, and 2211 of the IBC and R104.9 and R301.1.3 of the IRC. The intent of the acceptance criteria is to evaluate the building module’s quality control procedures to establish and verify the dimensions, chemical and physical properties of the steel components of the shipping containers being modified into building modules.

So what does this mean for the modular industry? As part of MBI’s 5 in 5 initiative, we feel it is our role to make members aware of trends, issues, and possible barriers to increased market growth. This new process could open more doors (and eyes) to the use of prefabricated modular construction. However, given our insatiable appetite as consumers in the U.S. in particular, we have a whole lot of used shipping containers at our ports. It is not unrealistic to assume some percentage of developers will choose to explore this path rather than having a modular manufacturer prefabricate the components at their facility. Nonetheless, these used containers must be modified in some manner before being used in construction.

MBI has scheduled a breakout session at WOM to address this very topic: What's Next for Shipping Containers in Modular Construction presented by Stephen Shang, CEO & President, Falcon Structures and Jim Brennan, Jr., President and Owner, Sea Box Inc.
Started on February 19, 2016 by Tom Hardiman
(All comments will be reviewed by MBI before being displayed)
Additional Comments:
Shipping containers as residential housing solution for Net Zero operation was displayed by the Univ of Missouri at the 2015 solar decathlon exhibit by the DOE
Updated on February 19, 2016 by Steve Lefler

(All comments will be reviewed by MBI before being displayed)
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