Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson has become an expert in many areas of this life, from financial analysis, to investments, to capital raises, to out-of-the-box thinking to arrive at unusual, yet highly effective solutions for some of the most complicated problems, and more.
One particular expertise in the understanding and practical use of Inter Model Steel Building Units (ISBU) as housing structures for shelter. These ISBUs are commonly known as shipping containers, and are among the strongest stationary structures in the world, able to withstand hurricanes, tornados, typhoons and even earthquakes, largely in thanks to their corten steel construction.
Shipping containers tend to be discarded for a variety of reasons, whether it’s not meeting the high standards of product transportation or the simple economic realities of imports exceeding exports. When shipping containers run out of their usefulness for product delivery, they are simply put aside in empty shipping yard space, where they sit, at times for decades.
Since the 1960s, discarded shipping containers have found a purpose, popularized initially the by the United States military as fully functioning, secure and mobile hospital. Some decades thereafter, trends developed to where they are today, utilized by all factions of society, such as the wealthy elite, the fashion statement making hipster and yes, even those who are actually in need of low cost housing.
The average container is designed to carry at least 30 tons of cargo and able to withstand the rigors of sea travel, making them very durable to any climate condition. They are 40 feet in length by 8 feet wide and 9.5 feet high. The materials added to make the shipping container “fashionable” or feel like a home are incredibly inexpensive by comparison to other labor and materials intensive housing construction. Additionally, numerous figures have concluded that fitting a container for housing use takes only one-twentieth the amount of energy of reprocessing the same amount of steel, resulting in an additional hundred years of lifetime.
In 2002, Amsterdam launched a temporary housing project entitled Keetwonen, which became one of the world’s largest shipping container cities. The results were an astounding success, providing students significantly reduced housing costs, with all of the same amenities traditional housing offered, but at a fraction of the overhead.
It is in a similar spirit that Lord Neil Gibson has been working to arrange, what has been coined as low income housing, for the needy and homeless around the world. “Affordable housing, especially for the needy, impoverished and completely homeless, doesn’t have to cost a fortune in labor and materials. Shipping containers are essentially ready-made, and in many ways, far more intelligent than traditional construction methods,” commented Lord Gibson.
Neil Gibson and SFBBL AG through the SEED Foundation have been working with a number of governments. One such country of late has been Pakistan, with Lahore tentatively identified as the first roll out ISBU housing.