Shipping containers are an increasingly popular choice as the primary building material for homes in Australia. Part of the appeal is the ease and speed of construction and the intrinsic strength of the steel that they’re constructed from. Another big contributor to their appeal is that shipping containers are a recycled product, which is an important consideration for people who want to create a home that is sustainable and eco-friendly.
If you’re planning to build your own eco-friendly home, then you’ve no doubt given a lot of thought to the design and look you’d like to achieve. You’ve probably also planned out other ways that you can make your shipping container home as sustainable as possible. One feature that is often neglected in the planning and design stages is the roof.
Although shipping containers are watertight units that don’t require a roof to protect the interior of your home from the elements, a roof is still an important feature. Colorbond steel makes an ideal roof for a shipping container home, particularly one that aspires to be eco-friendly.
One of the few problems with shipping container homes is that the steel they’re made from offers very little in the way of insulation. This can be somewhat mitigated by the use of high-quality insulation, but the insulation may not be adequate to create a home with passive energy needs. This is even more relevant if you live in an area which has very hot or very cold weather.
A Colorbond steel roof over your shipping container structure is an excellent way to prevent heat transfer from the interior of your home. Colorbond steel is an insulating material that uses solar reflective technology to block the sun’s heat from entering your home and prevent the heat inside from escaping when it’s cold outside.
Colorbond steel also has a low thermal mass, which means that it won’t retain heat for long unlike other roofing materials such as tiles or asphalt. Opting for a pale colour for your roof will also help to keep the heat of the sun at bay.
One of the key features of a home with eco credentials is the ability to harness rainwater to supply the household with its water needs. To do this, your home will need a pitched roof that allows the rainwater to be collected in the gutters and delivered to your rainwater tank. The flat roofs of shipping containers make this task virtually impossible.
Colorbond steel is one of the safest materials to use for collecting rainwater that’s suitable for human consumption. It can be bought in a special grade that is approved for the collection of drinking water which won’t require any special treatment after it’s installed. Team your Colorbond roof up with guttering made from the same grade and you’ll have a healthy and tasty supply of water.