FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions 
Selected common questions from online readers and ISBA Members
Q- Aren't shipping containers just hot ovens when they are used for homes or offices?
A- Absolutely not!  Sure, if you don't know what you're doing and don't insulate. The reality is, that 
the new Ceramic spray insulation is most effective when applied to metal. In fact, if you build a 
home, office, emergency shelter or storage unitusing Ceramic Insulation paint (spray) the structure 
will probably be more energy efficient than a conventional home.

Q- Why can't I get architectural or CAD drawings from shipping container manufacturers?
A- As we've all experienced, the shipping container manufacturers, shipping companies and ISBU
distributors do not offer the detailed drawings and parts measurements.  And, in fact, are a bit unhappy
to discuss it when requested. They only deal with large companies like Maersk and OOCL who already 
have their own architects to create the container designs for them. 

In early 2008 our ISBU Association contracted with one of these experienced architects in Asia to
make the drawings for us. After 2 months they were completed and became available in April 2008.
You can find them at this link   [ Architectural Drawings ]

Q- I see big stacks of shipping containers in many locations near us but I am having difficulty
buying any of them.  Why?
A- Most people think that all stacks of shipping containers are surplus. That's not true. The shipping
companies keep reserves (inventory) so they will be immediately available for export shipments. So when
you see all the shipping containers that doesn't mean they are surplus or for sale.  Usually they only sell
the very old containers to the public.

Q- Why are mobile homes and RV trailers being used at emergency locations like Katrina 
instead of ISBU homes?
A- We have no idea. To us it is absolutely ridiculous also.An ISBU home is safer, stronger, lower 
cost, and mobile. ISBU Emergency homes and shelters should be the "only" housing sent to 
disaster location.

Q- Your website recommends the use of the NASA type Ceramic Insulation Paint for use on 
ISBU Homes, isn't the Ceramic Insulation too expensive for that type use?
A- No, it is actually less expensive than fiberglass or foam insulation. The basic cost of the 
Ceramic Insulation Paint material is about $700 per 40' ISBU or C-BLOX unit. The paint is applied 
to the exterior surface and allows more space inside the home if needed. 

Q- Aren't Prefab homes and Emergency Homes lower priced when made in China?
A- No. The cost of shipping the Prefab or ISBU home to the U.S. adds too much expense so it 
usually compensates for the added cost of American labor when the home is built  in the U.S. 
or Canada. In this situation, China is not a better option unless you buy Flat Pack containers
or large quantities of custom ISBU.

Q- What about rust and corrosion? Won't a metal shipping container rust quite easily?
A- No. Remember, an ISBU is a Shipping Container used for ocean shipping, humidity and 
saltwater. A shipping container is a special, non corrosive Corten steel; then, when coated 
with the Ceramic Insulation paint, it becomes virtually rust proof and also prevents mildew, 
mold and is highly antiseptic. There will be no rust problems if you use an ISBA Certified 
Member to build your home.

Q- Who wants to live in a home that looks like a Cargo Container?
A- Most of the homes do not look like a Shipping Container. The ISBU is only the super-structure 
shell. It can be covered with any surface,  Wood, stucco, vinyl siding, or anything. Second, the 
Cargo Container look is also becoming a bit trendy and some prefer all or part of the home to 
remain natural. ...it can be any look you want when finished.

Q- What cities would ever allow Shipping Container homes allover the neighborhoods?
A- Any intelligent Planning Commission will approve such homes and development. They are 
already being accepted. An ISBU is already superior to meet any building codes. The exterior 
design can become any look you want. A conventional home design can be made of multiple 
ISBU units for economy and super strength.Then the exterior looks very normal. So it doesn't
matter whether you use wood walls or ISBU walls, the exterior will be the same. With some
education by the ISBU Organization, they will be readily received in all U.S. cities and towns for
many reasons.

Q- Are ISBU homes tall enough to comply with building codes?
A- Building codes usually require 8' ceilings. An ISBU is 8.6' tall internally. If you want a higher 
ceiling you can buy HC containers which are about 12" taller than the standard ISBU. So yes, 
the standard ISBU is even taller than necessary.

Q- I read that an ISBU Home is Hurricane proof. Is that true?
A- Yes, C-BLOX or ISBU Homes, either single units or multiple units connected, can withstand 
100 MPH winds on a foundation, or 175 MPH winds when easily anchored with pylons. ...extremely 
solid in Tornados or Hurricanes.

Q- Is it true an ISBU Home is Earthquake proof?
A- Basically yes. Even in a direct hit, he structure my possibly roll around a little but certainly not 
collapse. It would be the most perfect safety cocoon in an Earthquake. It would be at least 100 times 
safer and stronger than a conventional housing structure. ...in any earthquake, I'de rather be in an 
ISBU constructed home or office.

Q- Why promote the use of ISBU in home and office construction?
A- ISBU shipping container modules are the most logical structure base for multiple reasons. 
 -Strongest structure. Stronger than wood, concrete, and even stronger than normal steel buildings.
 -Lower cost per square foot than other base structures.
 -They are truly Eco-Green structures: they are 85% recycled steel, and fully recyclable if demolished.
 -Energy Efficiently because the metal is so cohesive to the Ceramic Insulation paints they are #1 in 
  energy efficiency.
 -Their use reduces the extreme surplus of Shipping Containers being stored near our harbors, ports 
  beaches and even inland cities.

Q- I recently bought a Tuff Shed at Home Depot.  Now I see you recommend using ISBU for storage 
sheds.  Why?
A- Tuff Sheds are very strong and economical, BUT, for the same price you can have an ISBU shed, 
easily add the outerwood panels, windows and small roof. Even if you pay for the modifications the 
cost will be the same; the look will be the same, but your ISBU Shed will be 100 time stronger and
theft proof. ...and easy choice.

NOTE: For more detailed and regularly updated FAQ please log in to the Member website [ LINK ]

ISBU Shipping Conatainer homes and construction.

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