If you hadn’t yet guessed it a shipping container in its raw state has pretty poor insulation values, and as such needs some help to create a comfortable space internally.
If you are just learning about insulation there are two main terms that are used in the building world that relate to insulation and they are intrinsically related to each other.
Here is their basic meaning without having to get too mathematical on you..
For example most people would know that glass and steel are poor insulators – you can see their low R values below
Similarly fiberglass batts, foam, and strawbales (which also hold a good amount of air) all have good insulation properties, as is shown by their higher R values.
There are many good insulators available in stiff (rigid foam), flexible (batts) and spray forms. The space available and budget will influence which insulation materials are chosen for each building.
You also need to consider how materials sit next to each other and whether 'thermal bridging' is occurring.
* Note - earth is also a great insulator, which is why earth/green roofs perform extremely well as a thermal barrier.
There is software to help you work out these value calculations, and tables exist with the R values of materials.
For example the R value of the following materials (per inch);
Double Glazing (with ½” air gap)
Air Space Between Materials (½ to 4”)
Steel (used in containers)
Strawbale (450mm width without render)
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