In the world of green architecture and affordable housing, shipping container homes are often considered to be practical, cost-effective and even environmentally-friendly. In Dubai, however, the prospect seems a bit dubious. Gulf Newsreported today on a contracting firm in Dubai that has built housing for workers out of shipping containers, which can become unbearably hot in desert environments if they aren’t properly insulated. On the other hand, the containers probably didn’t cost that much, can be easily relocated to the next job, they can withstand sand storms, and the contracting firm says that the containers have sufficient insulation against the scorching desert sun.

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Dubai-based construction firm Alsahel Contracting Company LLC (ACC) noticed its employees had to drive long distances to and from the job site each day and were coming to work tired. To combat this, they built employee housing from 40′ shipping containers that house 8 people each, with two separate rooms on either side outfitted with bunk beds. The containers are also equipped with an air conditioner per side, exhaust fans, and “decoration wood”, which is meant to help insulate the container. In the hot desert, the metal containers are likely to soak up a lot of heat, although they are better suited to withstand sand storms than wood cabins, which are more likely to degrade.

The Gulf News article seems to insinuate that the workers are being mistreated by being housed in shipping containers, although it is never blatantly said. Granted, these containers are certainly not luxury condos — but they do seem to provide adequate housing for a temporary workforce. The construction firm says that the containers are safe and have governmental approval and they have tried to make them look respectable. What do you think — does the Gulf News article raise a red flag or is this a cool use of shipping containers?

Via Gulf News