Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question:
Are there building codes (within Antelope Valley) against homes built from shipping containers? I have been researching this as a way to construct a home from these containers while using solar and/or wind power. I know that there is a company building these in San Fernando Valley but wondered where to start looking for the Antelope Valley for regulations and how "green" a house is allowed.

ANSWER:
Los Angeles County has policies in place to accept marine cargo containers used for incidental storage with certain agency approvals and container size requirements.

However, when marine cargo containers are proposed for construction of a single-family residence or other habitable structure, the containers themselves, their connections, as well as the overall design of the building must all meet the building requirements of the 2008 Los Angeles County Building Code.

Because the building code doesn't have specific provisions for marine cargo containers, it may be more challenging to justify their construction and use within your proposed application. A request for approval using Alternate Materials and Methods of Construction, as defined in section 104.2.8, may be required.

Regarding "green" construction, the County of Los Angeles encourages sustainable building and has recently implemented its Green Building Ordinance. New single-family construction falls into this ordinance in a number of fashions, including recycling demolition debris and limiting irrigation water waste. Going above and beyond these requirements is certainly allowed, but just as the shipping containers, you will need to comply with all aspects of the Los Angeles County Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Electrical Codes.

For more information, please contact your local Building and Safety Office and speak with a building plan check engineer. They will be able to assist you with site specific questions.

Antelope Valley Building and Safety District Office
335A East Avenue K-6
Lancaster, CA 93535
Phone (661) 723-4440
Fax (661) 723-4435

Thank you for your inquiry.

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