Important Things to Check Before Requesting Quotes for Shipping Container Buildings

Soaring construction costs mean most South Africans can’t afford new homes. Shipping container buildings are far cheaper but could be subject to constraints. The affordability problem also applies to commercial premises, as do a host of building regulations. Saving for the deposit on a new or pre-owned structure can be a mission and offers no guarantee that a lender will grant you a mortgage. By contrast, the required cash sum could probably cover most, if not all, of the cost of a prefabricated building assembled from used shipping containers.

However, while this option can save the average buyer a substantial sum, there are some potential pitfalls. Like most countries, South Africa has introduced regulations to ensure that the design and location of its homes, offices, and factories and the materials employed in their construction conform to acceptable standards. Naturally, some of those requirements will also apply to structures built from shipping containers.

Container Home Conversion - Container E-Homes


What Regulations Might Apply to Shipping Container Buildings in South Africa?

While these prefabricated buildings differ considerably from conventional brick-and-mortar dwellings, you will also require planning permission from the local council. Furthermore, your chosen site must be zoned for residential or commercial use, whichever may be appropriate.

In addition, shipping containers converted for residential or commercial occupation are subject to several stringent design requirements. Their construction must comply with the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 0f 1997. In addition, all materials used to build them must be approved by Agrément South Africa or the South African Bureau of Standards. Therefore, if you are thinking of attempting to tackle the design and construction of your prefabricated building in person, you would be well-advised to seek professional help from an architect. Strict attention to the following is vital:

  • Ventilation and Lighting: In their unmodified form, containers have no openings to admit daylight and fresh air. Thus, doors and windows are minimum requirements. Glazed doors or widows should have a combined surface area equal to no less than 5% of the floor space.
  • Drainage: Compliance with SANS 10400 Part P governing sanitation, plumbing, drainage, and the correct disposal of waste, stormwater, and soils is essential.
  • Energy: SANS 10400-XA sets the requirements for heating and cooling and associated energy consumption.
  • Fire Regulations: The requirements are listed under SANS 10400 Part T, including fire-resistant materials and a store of water for firefighting.


Why Not Leave Shipping Container Buildings to the Professionals?

Sidestep all the hassles, and order a complete, fully compliant prefabricated building delivered and installed on your site. Contact the experts at Absolute Containers for more details.