Chapter VIII -Rough Mechanical Systems for Shipping Container Home Construction

Rough Plumbing

Install the shower pans before cutting the shower floor drains, then locate and mark your water closet and shower drain holes on the floor. The process is the same as used for the electrical, working from above and underneath do the cutouts as indicated on the plans and then secure the water closet drains and shower drains on their way through the floor.

To avoid routing waste pipes through the thick steel side rails it’s easiest to locate your waste stacks just outside the exterior wall, and locate your water closets on an exterior wall, as near the stack as possible allowing as short a run to route your waste plumbing as possible.  These vertical stacks can easily be framed (insulated if called for in the local code) and covered with the exterior sheathing. When working to position waste pipes for the proper pitch as they run beneath the containers it may be necessary at times to remove material from the forklift pockets, the gooseneck slot walls or cross members. Avoid this if at all possible, but if unavoidable reinforce the area afterwards. Always try to remove as little material as possible; while the structure is inherently strong, you can weaken it considerably if you make a Swiss cheese out of it.

Follow the same steps for the hot and cold water systems, marking drilling the holes on the floors and running the vertical pipes through the floor holes where they connect to the horizontal pipes underneath the structure. Stub out for faucets and regulators as per manufacturers specs. Shipping Container plumbing will take more time than traditional plumbing because the pipe has to be fitted under and between existing elements like floor joists and side rails rather than fitting into the actual walls while they are being built.

HV/AC Rough

In container construction the roof of the container will act as the ceiling of the finished structure, traditional roofing trusses and sloped metal roof are framed above the container roof. This method creates a void between the two roofs, which will give you a convenient place to position the HVAC ducting, as well as plenty of insulation. Holes will need to be cut as chases through the container roof, and the ductwork run above the steel ceiling. Provisions for fresh air intake and ventilation of the HV/AC unit location will also require consideration. Ideally your design will allow short duct runs, which rise through the ceiling and run on the flat exterior surface of the ceiling to the registers in each room or zone.

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