I can never understand the appeal of these things. They're usually made with a lot of toxic chemicals that need to be removed in the conversion process, which leaves a mountain of really bad stuff that has to be disposed of. They bake in the sun and freeze in the winter, so they have to be well insulated to be habitable, which reduces an already narrow interior space. They're very heavy and require a lot of fossil fuels to deliver and to move. They certainly are not a "green" choice for building and regular stick frame construction always seems like a more sensible solution in terms of final costs.
The appeal is only to people who want to get the most out of life and live! So they purge themselves of useless possessions and their oversized home. Then after much research and they decide to convert a container into a home you buy a container that does NOT have chemically treated floors or that has NOT been coated with a treated painted, yes you can purchase NON-treated container do you research. And even if you do end up with a container that has been treated with "Toxic Chemicals" they do not have to be removed during construction. The Floor can be sealed or covered with many different options of sealant or underlayment and flooring. The walls and ceiling can be sealed with paint and spray foam insulation to block the “Toxic Chemicals” and making it safe to live in. And just like any dwelling you plan to live in your going to need insulation to make it comfortable to live in, that's a no brainer and a total loss of 6"-8" of interior space isn't going to turn your home into a closet. And speaking of moving the container, I just relocated a container and cost me $250 and 1 man in 1 truck moved it. So when someone does the research on converting a container into a home and chooses the right options, Container homes are a good choice for "Green" Building.
I have seen similar ones stacked 2 high in Germany near construction sites way back in the 80s. These also had removable ladders and motor home style utility and services connections for water. electricity and drainage.
Island Architect
Gizmag has been wonderful and ever since my best friend recommended it to me I have enjoyed it immensely. It's a bit like getting a new Popular Science and Popular Mechanics every day and for that I would never stop applauding.
But I am an Architect and this is so disgusting and reprehensible as to be demeaning and deriding the human race. How on earth can anyone be interested in such a method of housing with horrible small house designs.
Maybe OK for a week in the woods in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but no way, no where, anywere else in the world. This is beyond disgusting!
Please stop publishing all these vapid, ill designed, tiny houses. None of them have any real value at all... They simply demean humanity!
Bill Dickens
I agree with the sentiments expressed about these containers being questionable solutions to the problem of providing high performance, healthy habitats for people. A major mistake that a lot of "design pundits" and others - usually in policy-making or urban planning roles - make when recommending these containers is that the structures are almost perfect Faraday cages. Try receiving or sending a cell phone call or a text from within one of them and you will run into signifiant problems - unless you put your cell phone or a special antenna outside the container so you can in fact send and receive signals. The same applies for situations where you have free public WiFi....Good luck ever getting a signal!
These containers are ovens and to make them safe of human habitation need extraordinary efforts in insulation, radiant barriers and so on.
I think we can and need to do better than to herald shipping containers as habitats for the future....
Clearly an architect with a distinct lack of imagination! Try googling container homes and you´ll find some amazing constructions. These can be stacked many stories high (look how they´re stacked on container ships, and those are full of cargo!) You don't need planning permission for these in some countries, as they don´t count as a permanent structure, so you don´t have to pay rates and the land you place them on can be rustic rather than urban.
Interesting. Quick search westerncontainersales came up with a $2000 price tag for basic container. So they put in $40,000 work into transforming it. I wonder though, would it be possible to put insulation on the outside? My father and I did that for telescope building down in east San Diego. 1/2" solid foam sheets with netting already on it. Glued and fastened it to outside of building and stuccoed it. worked wonders for cooling a heating. Also if you buried the container, (you might have to reinforce the roof), it would keep temperatures tolerable. Similar to the Earthships in Arizona. When I was younger I built a 10' x 12' room in a garage, in exchange for that and taking care of the yard and repairs/upkeep I got live there for a number of years rent free. That was a lot smaller than a container, its very doable as a living space. Don't forget solar panels help with heat as well, or you could have tree shade.
While I have seen a few well-executed container structures with unique architectural features, these usually involved multiple containers, with spacious glass and creative trim. However, this one is nothing more than a mobile job-site trailer. Nothing wrong with tiny homes per se, but for the money spent on such a conversion, there is a much more beautiful and sustainable, re-purpose solution... buy an older Airstream trailer and upgrade it to modern standards. It is not only more aesthetically pleasing but lighter and more portable as well. Keeping one from being relegated to the landfill is rewarding as well.
The beauty (!) of this approach is the high structural strength of the container. This would allow these apartments to be stacked say 5 containers high requiring very little real estate.
Advantages of container based houses; fire proof, rodent proof, termite proof, theft resistant, earthquake proof. I think Ikea could do ,and has done similar interiors for five, not fifty thousand. Steam clean the inside, insulate outside with foam board, cover with Hardiboard, glue on 55 gal. drums cut in half for a giant Lego look. Think inside the box. Lee Greenberg/ Capt. Marble/ Rancho Shazam/ Greenbrae, Calif.