Shipping Container: Exterior Panel Application Endwall

Exterior Endwall Instructions:

Insulating Exterior Endwalls;

Insulating the exterior endwall of the shipping container is a multi-step process. Starting with endwall Inserts and the choosing either the UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 flat panel. 

Chose either the UX 2.0 or EXi 2.5 Flat Panels

These panels are 48″ x 24″ and are installed on end wall.

UX 2.0 Flat Panels

2″ thick  of closed-cell, injection-molded EPS foam body achieves R-8.5 insulation The UX2.0 is our thinnest flat profile panel, optimized for flat surface finishing. The UX 2.0 is adapted for shipping container construction or other unique applications.

EXi 2.5 Flat Panels

2 1/2″ thick of closed-cell, injection-molded EPS foam body achieves R-10 insulation. The EXi Flat Panel is optimized for flat surface finishing. The panel  can be adapted for shipping container construction or other unique applications. It is a good choice as a base panel for the exterior applications.

Insulated Panel Systems
Install all openings like window before you insulate;

First Things First

Safety Precaution: Cut out all openings in the container and complete any welding, cutting or grinding operations prior to installing InSoFast panels. Do not expose the foam insulation or plastic studs of InSoFast panels to the flames, heat or sparks generated by welding, grinding or cutting on the steel container after panels have been installed. See this page for in depth instruction for installing wood bucks. MORE

Determine your window layout first.

Once the window bucks are complete and ready to finish the next step is to insulate the walls with the sidewall Inserts and the flat panels.

Before you glue make sure your panels lay flat and flush;

It is best to modify the panels before you glue the panels or inserts. Here a corner block sticks out about 1/4".  

Corner blocks and other irregularities can be easily modified using a foam rasp.

For information about foam rasps click on the picture

Make sure that the panel are flat and true.

Glue the Endwall Inserts;

Lay a bead of adhesive in an “S” pattern down the center of the backside of the End Wall Insert.

It is recommended that a continuous bead of spray foam or adhesive along is placed the bottom of the wall of the container this will help air seal the insulation. Continue to cut, fit and glue all the insert into the end wall. Cut the inserts with a razor knife to fit the opening.

How to handle the outside corner;

The outside corner present a few challenges as you turn the corner you have to choose how far the panel will have to extend beyond the end wall. The UX 2.0 it is 2" and the Ex 2.5 2 1/2"

Here Ed is using a flat panel trimmed to fit and orientating the studs to providing a method of attachment for the metal corner angle (3" x 3", 25ga sheet metal)

Adding the metal corner with the fast setting spray foam and screws.

For outside corners use a 25-gauge utility angle to provide solid attachment for the siding materials. See Utility Angle:

Screw attach the 25-gauge utility angle, note that the InSoFast studs run horizontally along the end wall.

Glue and mist the flat panels to the end wall;

We recommend installing panels standing on end with the embedded studs running perpendicular to a shipping containers corrugated ribs. The goal is to provide as much contact between the studs and steel in order to maximize the holding power of the studs.

A simple trick of using duct tape to hold the panels in place to keep the from sliding down the wall is quick and effective.

Use a generous 3/8" bead of Loctite PL 3x on the studs and supplemental bead of spray foam on the EPS panel as a fast setting helper adhesive to reduce bracing time. Additionally, misting the panels with water will reduce bracing time.

On the back of the panel, run a 3/8″ bead of adhesive along dove-tailed ribbing of each stud.

You can trim the end of the UX or EX panel to “move” the stud up or down to provide custom attachment placement. 

Foam and seal around all openings like the window and gaps in the insulation

Install the bump-out framing

Allow the adhesive to fully cure prior to attaching additional finishes.

In this example a buildout frame is added for architectural interest. On the end walls the studs run horizontally. This will change the fastening pattern.

 Attach the pre-framed wood wall to the InSoFast stud using standard exterior decking screws.

 The framing bump out is screwed in place with construction screws long enough to fully penetrate the InSoFast studs. This application we chose to predrill, and counter sink the fasteners.

Fasten the exterior sheathing with nails or coated deck screws as per APA (American Plywood Associations) guidelines.

Adding attachment flange and water redirected flashing where needed. The studs are running horizontally, so the flange was added for finishing the vertical siding later.

Follow standard frame construction details and apply a weather resistant barrier to the manufacturer's recommended procedures. Weather resistant barriers is important to protect the wood frame assembly from moisture damage it deflects and drain moisture away from the wood frame build-out.

Protect and flash any unprotected exposed insulation;

Next we installed a decorative tapered wood sill to control moisture away from the container.An important detail is to install metal flashing to the underside of the container and wall transition. It is best practice to cover and protect any exposed insulation from the elements.

A decorative red flashing was installed to protect the wood sill.

The Shipping container is now ready for the finished siding. InSoFast's design approach is to provide a superior moisture managed drainage system for all exterior wall surfaces.  We believe that an engineered and redundant systems approach is the best way to assure the long term durability of your project. So the details we are using reflect harsh and wet climate zones. Best practice and application methods can vary from climate zone to climate zone.

Cor-ten steel siding installation;

The shipping container is now ready for installing the finished siding.  For in-depth information on the siding process see this webpage.

The weathered steel we chose is heavier than most available material siding. Weathered steel, often referred to as *(Cor-Ten). Corten develops a light rust layer that once formed, will protect the underlying material and prevent further corrosion.

For cutting the metal panel use a 14-gauge swivel head shear or other appropriate cutting tools.

Why we chose it for this InSoFast project we are hoping for a dramatic yet rustic finished shipping container.

The metal battens are attached using square head lag bolts. An aluminum oxide cut-off disc was used to trim the heavy gauge metal accent piece.

Board and batten siding;

InSoFast stable insulation panel will work well with the board and batten siding's natural expansion and contraction and the system and will be super durable. This application also demonstrates the placement of horizontal furring strips to facilitate the vertical siding application. The completed system as shown is a rain screen with the furring strip stand-off, that allows for air flow and drying of the board and batten siding.Begin by air sealing the steel container with spray foam to reduce cold spots and the possibility of hidden condensation.

The CX44 panels studs run vertically every 22” on center. To attach vertical siding to vertical studs we installed horizontal furring strips 16" on center.

The bumped-out rain screen design added to the energy efficiency and durability to the natural wood siding.Use enough fasteners to properly secure the siding material to the wall.

No furring strips are required when the InSoFast studs are horizontal.  A temporary shim was placed on the red metal flashing to assure that the vertical siding's cut edge will be able to dry.


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InSoFast Plus Method

Need a higher R-value? No Problem! Start with a base of InSoFast continuous insulation panels they are feature-rich and easy to install. Then add rigid foam insulation over top of InSoFast panels.