Sunday, September 30, 2018

Adding a Roof to a Shipping Container

We have been storing supplies from our solar manufacturing operation in shipping containers left over from a cancelled contract. Over thirty years one of their flat tops deteriorated and leaked badly and needed a properly pitched roof. 

View of the side of the shipping container before starting construction

View inside the container with the righthand door open

View showing warped longitudinal upper corner beneath the straight aluminum support member
The upper 20 foot long corner members were no longer strong enough to support a roof with snow loads so two aluminum 3x4 inch "I" beams were fastened above them to the substantial cast steel corners that were used to pick up the container.
The two longitudinal members that support the roof trusses: Each has 11 pairs of 2x2x1/8 inch aluminum angles to sandwich each truss
Four 1/2 inch thick plates each tapped for four 3/8 x 2.5 inch bolts that together capture the corners of the shipping container
Eleven simple trusses were fabricated using 2x4's for rafters and a 2x6 by 8 feet for the horizontal member. The pitch is 45 degrees so that the metal roofing readily sheds snow and the south facing side can one day support photovoltaic panels.
Eleven trusses each with three pairs of 1/2 inch plywood gussets, glued and screwed to the members
On each side, five 2x4 horizontal purlins were screwed to the trusses to support the seven sheets of corrugated steel 38x80 inch 29 gauge roofing.
North side of roofing complete, with two sheets on the south side: The ridge cap was fastened as each sheet was installed so no ladders were needed
Roof complete
The triangular open ends were then protected with corrugated clear polycarbonate roofing to keep out the weather but let in light.
View showing end triangle covered with corrugated polycarbonate roofing with center vertical 2x4 added for support and blue aluminum flashing to cover the gap between the truss and short end of the container
 Waiting for delivery of supplies took longer than the six days it took to put it all together. Maybe next summer we'll paint the container barn red like of other outbuildings.

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