Container Homes

07 Aug

With the green theme growing in popularity across every stretch of the world, more and more people are turning to cargo container homes for green alternatives for office, and even new home construction. There are countless numbers of empty, unused shipping containers around the world just sitting on the shipping docks and taking up space. The reason for this is that it’s too expensive for a country to ship empty containers back to the their origin; it’s just cheaper to buy new containers from Asia. The result is an extremely high surplus of empty shipping containers that are just waiting to become someone’s home or office.

I think it’s a pretty neat concept. I came across these photos of a container that was converted into a guesthouse, located in TX.

There are plenty of benefits of to the so-called shipping container architecture model. A few of these advantages are that they are plentiful, they are easily transported, they’re stackable, relatively inexpensive (as little as $900 for a used container), they can be prefabricated, and they’re extremely durable. Residential applications are also becoming a popular topic of conversation among green supporters.

The first official 2-story shipping container home (photos below) in the US was designed by SoCal architect Peter DeMaria in 2006. Located in Redondo beach, it received the 2007 AIA Honor Award for Design Excellence/Special Innovation. This project gave birth to a new residential product line called Packaged Architecture™.

This container home/office was created by architects Pieter Peelings and Silvia Mertens of Sculpt(IT). They live and work in these shipping containers which are stacked four high. The entire space is 2.4 meters wide by 5.5 meters deep by 12 meters high. The bottom floor is used for work, dining room is located on the second floor, relaxation room on the third, and spectacular rooftop views from the fourth – including a relaxing spa.

This 2,000 sq ft home, built in 2001, is actually built around a smaller cottage-style house that has stood in that location for decades. The cottage house almost looks like a gigantic version of a dollhouse inside of the huge storage shed that forms the exterior of this innovative house. The 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home is also made from 5 large shipping containers – 3 on the bottom, and 2 stacked on top of those. This place also contains all of the modern features of a ‘normal’ home, but it’s supposedly built to last much longer. The creator of this innovative home called “Bunny Lane” is architect/artist Adam Kalkin, and he’s actually selling these homes for as little as $76,000, or less than $100 per square foot .. not a bad deal considering traditional construction of a new home averages about double that amount.

illy collaborated with Adam Kalkin to create a dramatic work of living art – the illy Push Button House, a five-room home with a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, living room and library constructed within a standard industrial shipping container. The home, which transforms at the push of a button, is created from recycled and recyclable materials and is the physical representation of illy’s dedication to sustainability, art and innovation.

Check out this retro-looking prefabricated house located in the Austrian countryside. This inexpensive home was created by Espace Mobile who sell prefab homes like this one for between 55,000 and 95,000 Euros. Each one of these homes comes with a 3-year warranty, and each section of the house is 4 meters wide by 1-15 meters long. Each section can be pieced together to the customer’s liking. This place offers spectacular views of the countryside through its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Also check out Smart Green Home 2010 in Malaysia…

Here’s a very informative and educational video on “building green”. Maybe we should all start building homes this way…


Posted by on August 7, 2010 in Home


2 responses to “Container Homes

  1. Container Homes

    August 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Great profile with some fantastic container home projects – thanks !

    • Joyce C.

      August 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      I love the concept & truly hope to see more of these everywhere.


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