Containers for Living - Offshore

Windfair had an interview with Hans Gatzemeier, Managing Director of ELA Container Offshore GmbH, about the necessity of good recreational values while living on the open sea.

Please, tell us something about your company regarding your product line, number of employees and world-wide operations.

Hans Gatzemeier: 50 employees. More than 40 years of experience. ELA Container is active across Europe when it comes to mobile room solutions in container form. Since its founding in 1972, the rental service for mobile rooms and container technology has been the object of continuous further development. The container park currently encompasses more than 22,000 rental containers. The diversity of products makes it possible to realise any room size, no matter what the requirements.

Rent or buy, new or used - mobile rooms from ELA are needed in all industries. We offer tailor-made solutions for all requirements in the form of office, living, sleeping, change room, sanitary, storage or workshop containers. In the offshore industry, ELA is your specialist for accommodations and working at sea. Fully equipped, delivered and installed, ELA containers are operational immediately and anywhere - often on the same day.

Where exactly are containers required in the offshore wind business?

ELA Offshore Container are mainly used on transformer platforms, riggs, supply vessels, container ships, pontons etc.


Considering a container in its function as a space for living - not only as a giant transport box – is quite an unusual thing for most people. But of course especially the offshore branch would be lost without them. What is the special thing about your containers?

Already in 1976 it was known that transporting goods in ISO certified transport boxes offers major advantages. Easier and faster loading and unloading of ships and a flexible usage of those boxes favored the increasing use of 20 feet containers.

At the same time ELA had the idea of developing and using these “transport boxes” as mobile multipurpose rooms. Including an entrance door, windows and furniture made those “boxes” become a real alternative for temporary on-and offshore usage.

Especially for the offshore industry ELA Container Offshore GmbH has been founded in order to deal in depth with all requirements and needs of this industry. The need for 20 ft. container as temporary living units, offices and conference rooms, recreation and changing rooms, as well as galleys and dining facilities within the offshore industry is tremendous. With the help of your 20 ft. containers every client is able to flexibly react to individual demands to accommodate staff.

You can buy or rent ELA Offshore containers. By the use of stairway and gangway container also bigger complexes can be realized. Every ELA Offshore Container can be stacked up to 4 levels high.

All used materials comply to the high requirements of the CSC and DNV 2.7-1 / EN 12079 certification in which fire detection, safety, sustainability and the required living space per person are defined.

We always promise a fast reaction to enquiries, high availability of our containers and an uncomplicated and fast order processing.


How does a mobile living container for construction workers out at sea look like, let's say in a standard version?

How big is the container, how much space do users have (in their 'single rooms') and what options on interior design do you offer?

With a length of 6058 mm, a width of 2438 mm and a height of 2896 mm our standard containers comply to the measures of a 20 ft. ISO Norm container. Every container has an area of about 15 m².


What about heating and bathrooms?

As a standard, every Living Quarter is equipped with all necessary installations for electricity and water supply. Once the container is electrically connected all electrical devices inside are working. Same applies to fresh and sewage water.


People working on offshore platforms have to face difficult living conditions. Things are reduced to practical matters. There isn't much space. They also live with artificial light most of the time which can become a true burden after a while. So are there (enough) windows in your containers to let natural light in as this might be an important factor for the users well-being?

In one ELA Offshore Living Quarter two people can be accommodated. The shared sanitary unit is in the middle of the container. Each person has its own separate entry door in which a window is included. Both living units are separated and hence, each person has its own room for privacy. Nobody is disturbed by the other. This is a crucial aspect for the relaxation and well-being of the offshore crew. After a hard working day everybody can just close the door and be for himself.


Security is one of the most important aspects, especially in regard to rough sea. How does a container used in this environment differ from the ones used on shore?

The requirements for offshore containers are defined in the CSC and DNV 2.7-1 / EN 12079 norms. Next to a high quality construction of the container strict fire-safety regulations are given and have to be looked at. Even the whole interior including furniture has to be certified according to a specific fire protection class.
Besides, every cabin is equipped with an automatic system for incoming and outcoming air in order to create a comfortable living climate. Information systems and loudspeakers keep the user up to date. Of course also entertainment and the access to the world wide web is being provided since this is the way how the offshore crew communicates with their friends and family.


Are there special aspects in the construction of offshore containers regarding e.g. salt water?

ELA Offshore Containers are sustainable. The materials used are high quality products made in Germany and the whole production process is strictly monitored and documented. Even the exterior painting receives a C5 offshore certification which assures the suitability for offshore use and also the longevity at rough conditions, high humidity and aggressive salt water environments.
The fact that most of the containers are being rented by our customers leads to a regular maintenance of the containers. Often the containers will be in use for about 25 years.


Surely a challenge but do you care to run the containers with renewable energy?

The power use of the container always depends on the board system. If renewable energies are used on board also the container can profit from it. Also independent systems can be applied that work by the use of wind or solar energy.


What about the containers' ecobalance especially in regard to heat insulation and indoor temperature?

This is as well defined by specific regulations. All ELA Offshore Containers have an A60 classification (60 minutes fire resistance), an automatic ventilation system, fire damper and fire proof cables. The sound pressure level of 37 dB is a very good value. Everything combined offers a high housing comfort for employees working offshore.


Pictures: Copyright ELA Container


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