This form of Aquarius Seed settlement is potentially one of the most economical forms possible, but only when the founding community has a sufficient pool of metalworking skills among its members. It is based on the use of recycled ISO marine shipping container, not only for housing but also for the simple float platform itself. By filling a 20' container with discarded poly drums or a cast foam material, covering its floor in welded plate steel or even just some form of plastic mesh, then welding its doors shut a potentially functional static float structure may be realized. Used in pairs, triplets, or possibly as a combination of 2x5 to produce a 40' unit square, these would form the float platform foundation of the container mod complex, providing an 8'x20' connector grid for additional container structures to attach to. The surface structure would be built entirely from these same kinds of containers (specifically, HiCube type containers) modified in various ways to serve as buildings as well as decks, garden containers, storage tanks, and possibly even swimming pools in a highly unified structure that could be up to 5 storeys high. The more typical modified container structures would be as follows;
Housing Unit: 20' containers with ends replaced by window panels or sliding doors and combined side-to-side, with their dividing walls removed, in sets of 1-5 containers to form individual room modules 20' long and up to 40' wide. These can be stacked in various ways up to 5 storeys.
Industrial Building Unit: 40' containers modified
as with the Housing Unit but limited to single storey large area structures. Can employ end or side mounted garage doors for large equipment access.
Covered Deck/Spacer Unit: a 20' or 40' container stripped of its walls -and optionally its roof- with wood or aluminum deck planking placed in the bottom. Used as a covered porch, walkway, or deck or as an uncovered space-filling unit to allow upper-storey container groups to pass over gaps on lower storeys. As an option, roofing may be replaced with wood or allow slats to create a pergola for gazebo structure. Can also be combined with tensioned fabric panels.
Bare Deck Unit: a 20' or 40' container with its upper portion removed, providing a flat raised deck unit to fit in the standard container grid. Used for large open areas. Can be combined with recycled polydrums to make a marina module.
Stairwell Unit: two or more 20' containers stacked and joined one atop the other to form a stairwell with intermediate roof and floor decks removed. For outdoor use may be completely stripped bare except for top-most roof plating.
Open Container Unit: a topless 20' or 40' container used for bulk material storage, deep ponds or swimming pools, fish farming tanks, and similar applications.
Low Open Container Unit: a topless 20' or 40' container that has been height-shortened to 1/3 normal height. Used as gardening containers or shallow ponds.
Greenhouse Unit: a 20' or 40' container stripped of its walls and roof which have been replaced with polycarbonate panel or a transparent architectural membrane to make a greenhouse. Maybe be combined in pairs or triplets to create larger spaces. A variation using tempered double-pane glass can be employed as a solarium unit for combining with housing units or for use as enclosed atriums.
Tank Unit: a 20' or 40' container stripped to bare frame which is used to support various sized poly tanks or bins used for bulk storage. Similar bare frames can be used to host other kinds of equipment or as frames of large machines, such as solar distillers, or evaporator units.
Using these components, a sophisticated, tough, and completely interconnected community structure can be built from what is essentially industrial cast-offs -a very powerful statement for what would basically be a type of eco-village project. The Container Mod Complex would represent one of the most sophisticated demonstrations of the Post-Industrial principle of adaptive reuse. Though very industrial-looking, containers have already proven themselves as comfortable -even luxurious- housing and are commonly available all over the world. And their common role as housing for arctic facilities and on research vessels and oil rigs makes this form of Seed settlement suited to temperate climate regions or bays with high winds or slightly rougher water conditions. The tough frames are also readily useable as mounting for all types of equipment such as solar panels, wind turbines, and the like with these uses aided by a number of off-the-shelf container accessories. The container modules would remain completely demountable and reconfigurable but, owing to their size, require the use of heavy lifting equipment for this task, the community possibly employing some kind of deployable crane stored on-site for this purpose. Initial structures could be very compact owing to the ability to start with two and three storey structures, multiple and relatively small area enclosed atriums replacing the large central garden typical of other Seed settlements. More sprawling configurations with docking berths integrated into buildings are also a possibility. The chief design limitation would be the somewhat cumbersome 8'x20' container grid geometry which would tend to force most buildings to be aligned on a common axis.
The ability to support tougher multistorey structures and to employ a float structure stacking float modules several levels deep would allow the Container Mod Complex to achieve a much larger scale than other Seed structure types before being compelled to adopt a very different structural system better suited to the open sea. But when this does come, very little of the original complex would be reusable for the new structure nor would other platform types integrate well with these container platforms, which could present a problem for a complex which might by then be comprised of thousands of containers. The community may need to deploy its new structure as a completely separate structure which residents would transition to as space is built, the older complex ultimately abandoned whole. But considering the potential economy of the original complex this may not be that severe a complication.
- Utilihab Complex
- Resort Prefab Complex
- Commercial Frame Complex
- Commercial Concrete Complex
- Organic/Ferro-cement Complex