Do I still need to add ventilation to insulated shipping container?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Greenwood
10/9/2020 at 5:02:08 AM

Trusted Pro's,

Looking for some advice. I tend to over analyze details when adventuring into a new project. This being said, my newest project consists of converting (2) shipping containers on my property into a weekend "getaway" cabin. I've spent a good bit of time researching and want to make sure I cover all of my bases as good as possible.

My question..I plan on insulating the interior of the conex with Polyisocyanurate foam board and using expansion foam around the steel seams, corners, etc. With the rigid foam board insulation, would I still need or would it be wise to add cross vents to the structure as well so that any trapped air can escape rather than collecting between the steel and insulation board?

Orrr....Could I I simply do a 6 mil plastic sheeting moisture barrier on the interior walls (including roof), add cross vents to unit(s) then frame and use standard r-13 fiberglass insulation and sheetrock over?

Thank you in advance for any help or advice you may can give!

User Icon
Richard in Edmonton
Date/Time10/9/2020 at 11:03:14 AM

Not familiar with shipping container construction (have seen straw bale and other wacky things) but here are a few points to consider.

Of course you will require a building permit for this project (there is no exception for remote locations).

The plans examiner will be looking for professional involvement (architect/engineer) as the building does not fall under Part 9 Code rules.

You will need to satisfy the requirements for the new Energy Codes (contrary to popular belief, there is no exception for seasonally occupied buildings).

You require air and vapor barriers. Normally the vapor barrier is placed on the warm side of the insulation - with shipping container construction it can create a scenario where there are two vapor barriers with one on the exterior, In conventional construction an air barrier (i.e. building paper) is normally placed beneath the exterior finish.

Your question regarding venting of cavities in the structure would be best answered by the design professional you will be required to engage. Perhaps you can find forums on the subject where you can find experiences of others. There was a shipping container apartment building recently constructed close to me in Edmonton - got to see a little of the construction.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors