August 3, 2011
Ground Water Reclamation Facility Container Building – City of High Point, NC
This container building is composed of shipping containers that were modified to contain equipment for processing contaminated ground water. The containers are stacked side by side to make a one story facility. The foundation is a simple turn down slab with grade beams under the corners and center of the containers. The challenge in this project was that the equipment was installed in the containers up in Canada and transported down to North Carolina. That meant that after modification (removing much of the sides), it would be necessary to lift the containers to place them on trucks, and remove them from the trucks and set in place with a very heavy load inside.
In order to be able to accomplish this, the bottom rail had to be stiffened, and we had to stiffen the top of the openings so the forces would transfer. Since the container had to be shipped, and the containers were to be placed side by side, we had very limiting constraints on what we could do. So, what we did was stiffened the bottom rail by having a plate welded to the channel to make a box section, and welded rectangular members around the openings.
For setting the containers on the pad, we really didn’t need to tie them down since the weight is great enough to hold them in place. However, during placement it was important to tie them in place so they wouldn’t bump each other out of position. Also, local inspectors expect to see a tie down to the foundations, and it is easier to get along in such cases. So to tie the containers down to the foundations, we simply anchored steel angles to the concrete and welded them to the container corners. Here’s an example:
Here are the containers all set in place:
This was an interesting project because we normally don’t have to design modified containers that have to carry almost their full design load while being transported and put in place. It went very well, with no small thanks to the work from Piedmont Industrial Services (the contractor placing them), and Jamestown Engineering (civil engineer, surveyor, and construction manager), and of course Purifics, who fabricated the containers. It was a great team to work with, and they made this a success.
Here is the completed building: