Studio H:T's off-grid Shipping Container House
Studio H:T's Shipping Container House is, unsurprisingly, a house made from shipping containers - at least partially. But perhaps most impressive about the design is that it operates entirely off-grid.
First, let's clear up where the shipping containers fit in. The taller central section (which is clearly wedge-shaped in plan view) is not a container. Nor is it fashioned from parts of containers. No, this specially-constructed space houses the living and dining areas, with some storage space above.
But two containers flank this central living space on either side, and these make up the Shipping Container House's bedrooms and home office spaces - as well as the kitchen judging by the interior photography.
If the Shipping Container House does indeed constitute an entirely off-grid abode then this is the design's main achievement - incorporating passive (i.e. non-mechanized) design approaches such as passive cooling and green roofs, while the building's orientation and window design has attempted to minimize solar heat gain (the house is located in Colorado USA). It also appears some form of exterior cladding has been applied to the containers themselves in an additional effort to mitigate solar heating.
Power is provided by a pellet stove (so though the house may be off-grid, it isn't entirely self-sufficient) and on-site photovoltaic solar power.
Previously on Gizmag, and potentially of interest to the container-inclined, the Port-a-bach shipping container mobile home, APHIDoIDEA's 65-container education center plan, and Tsai Design's shipping container classroom.
Source: Studio H:T, via Arch Daily
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I was a very frequent visitor to Cologne, Germany. Some 20 years ago I saw a whole row of containers stacked, 2 high near a construction site. I did not pay any attention to them. Then one day I saw a construction worker coming out of one. I just stopped and stared at the whole row ow of these double stacked containers and realised that there were literally fully self contained living quarters for the construction workers which could literally be relocated at less than 5 minutes notice. Now that is what I would call Container house !
If you want really fast home deployment, get a Winnebago. They've been at it a very long time and know how to make a great mobile living environment. Resale value is good too. I'd hate to try to resell one of these houses mentioned in this article.
In my projects, books and blogs, I often urge builders and families to think about the materials on hand and then combine them to cost effectively take advantage of their strengths. That's what Studio H:T has set their sights on.
It's a far cry from the "trailer parks" that some have referred to. The base unit, the ISBU, is a Corten Steel construct that is (by design) weather resistant, durable, scalable and robust. Trailers are nothing more than "cheaply made shelters waiting for failure". The differences are night and day. What we're looking at here is a"hybrid" home, one that uses many diverse materials to build a strong, stable housing platform. And by pushing the envelope, it just makes us think about other ways to accomplish "housing"... hopefully affordably.
Real container housing is something like pmshah mentioned earlier. To get some idea of what can be done you only have to look at the student housing in Amsterdam (I'm surprised that Gizmag hasn't mentioned them) http://www.tempohousing.com/projects/keetwonen.html