Shipping Container Homes


Shipping Container Book Reviews-

Shipping Container Architecture and Construction Books- Read this before you buy!

Do you feel you are ripped off by some of the new books out there regarding Shipping Containers, ISBU, Container
construction, Shipping container homes, Prefabs or Container architecture?'re not alone.

For those of you who haven't bought one yet, this Book Review is for you.

Am I qualified to review these books? Absolutely? I don't write books but I read them; I have been a media consultant for
"green energy" companies for the past 20 years; my husband is a successful building contractor here in Southern California,
my son is an architectural engineer in Denver; we all know construction and container construction and we are all current
members of the international shipping container organization (ISBA). Having said that, you only need to be an intelligent
consumer to review books, videos and movies. Here's our professional and DIY consumer opinions about the books.
We also had much influence from friends who have also read them and offered opinions.

Rating System: The highest rating is 5 suns, but read "Comments" to understand the book content.  In alphabetical order.

Architecture and Hygiene                                                               
Adam Kalkin (self published)  $110 - $135

180 pages (2004)

COMMENTS: We didn't buy it but found it in the library. It's nice if you are interested in container art and if you are an avid fan of Kalkin
styles, thoughts and architecture. But unless you are a "super fan" of Kalkin's work you would be quite disappointed.

NOTE: This is good art and history but has virtually nothing to do with construction methods.

Container Architecture
Jure Kotnik (self published ) $24.07 - $34.95

200 pages (December 10, 2008)

COMMENTS Thousands of photos of shipping containers. We didn't buy it but a friend had a copy. It's no longer in publication since there
wasn't much except for photos. He may be a very good architect, however his crisscross stacking concept is quite misunderstood by most and
can be dangerous and not acceptable to most engineers without considerable reinforcement. Reinforcement is a very costly element in 
architectural designs and will often defeat the purpose of container construction.

Container 4 Home
Michael Schwarcz (A.musing Arts) $49.95

200 pages (Revised April 2010)

COMMENTS: The quality and content of Container4Home is very far from what is claimed. 

Although highly pomoted by many websites, they only promote it because of receiving commissions. The greatest complaints are that you are 
simply paying for a $49.95 "Info-mercial" and not un-bias content.  If you see the website design you can imagine the quality of the book.

Virtaually all of my contacts with the NPSA organization and the ISBU Association are outraged that this book is being promoted by Google Ad 
websites.They feel it is causing a great deal of damage to the credibility of Container education and construction.

There is too much focus on just normal, general construction information like plumbing and electrical and not some of the other important 
issues regarding shipping container construction. And you think you're getting "free" CAD software and plans? ...another 
surprise there! Readers are directed to another website to pay more.
The bulk of the publication is geared towards promoting a brand of siding for an aluminum siding manufacturer. Don't expect an easy refund.


Container Technology A-Z
ISBU Association (GreenCube Publishing)  Free w/ $18 Membership package

320 pages (Revised Feb 2012)

COMMENTS: Without a doubt, the overall best yet if you are looking for real meat of "how to" for every type shipping container construction 
project. This is a very usable format with great detail and experince which seems to cover every aspect of actual use and construction methods.

Contains great graphics, priceless CAD drawings, very properly priced, and easy to read with searchable topics and updated Q&A section.


Intermodal Shipping Container Small Steel Buildings
Paul Sawyers (self published) $19.98

112 pages (Revised September 2008)

COMMENTS: Paul is a great guy and does a lot of research. The book itself is about average though and the information quite out of date. 
I believe most readers are a little disappointed. The graphics are nice but quite elementary and not sufficient for real construction. 

When it was originally published it may have been quite enlightening. Today most of what is there is freely available on the internet.

This again, is a book being promoted mostly by websites who recieve a commission for the sale of the book.


Lot-Ek: Mobile Dwelling
Various contributors (DAP) $19.98 - $24.95

160 pages (June 2003)

COMMENTS: We would actually give this a "one Sun" rating if we were buying this for accurate construction ideas. For an "art" type book it is
still only a "two Sun" publication especially in 2009.


Quik Build: ABC of Container Architecture
Adam Kalkin (Biblioteque McLean/London) $49.95

120 pages (Revised March 2, 2009)

COMMENTS: We've not sure where the focus was on this but certainly not worth $49.95 or even $24.95. It was very, very far from the ABC's of
Container Architecture since most we spoke to were expecting a construction tutorial.

The Box
Marc Levinson (Princeton University Press) $10.17 - $14.95

404 pages (August 2007)

COMMENTS: This is "not" meant to be a tutorial or container construction book.  This is a book about the history of the "Box" and as such is 
excellent! The research and content is thorough, and the price is appropriate. 

Again, excellent for shipping container history, not meant for a container construction manual but an excellent history of the Box.

A warning regarding Book Reviews:
I notice many websites out there that give great reviews to some of the above books even those that are terrible. 

You need to understand that most websites and blogs earn big bucks from giving a book a great review, because they also earn up to 50% when you 
click on the link. The worst books actually pay the highest commissions.

I don't link to any books. I don't receive any commissions or "click through" money such as Google ads. The above book review comments 
are based on my true opinion and the opinions of friends and associates in the industry, not because I'm earning huge commissions.

Next time you read a Book Review you will notice a link to the book website. That's how they get paid for the good reviews. There is a commission
code in the link.