Spherical Oil Silos Into Homes

oil silo home conversion

The initial thoughts would be contamination but then again depends where in the world the oil silo’s are as environmental laws may actually force things beyond what most people would assume.

oil silo house interior

This idea by PinkCloud.DK is a clever one where it sees new sustainable buildings and homes developed out of portable and already well sealed structures.

oil silo detail zoom

Never seen one before? That’s what I was thinking but at least 50,000 of these structures are in existence.

oil silo building systems

May not seem practical today but may be tomorrow, the important thing is people are thinking out of the box with recycling and practical usage of obsolete buildings.

Sliced Steel Silo Turned Into A home.


silo green home conversion

When I look at grain silo’s and then seeing these images its not hard to look at them in a completely different way than before. Taking a tall cylindrical building you can either utilize it on multiple levels or slice it up into ground level units.

silo home farm exterior

Elevated solar panels provide shade and power at the same time adding different shapes to the home design.

silo kitchen living room

Each cylinder has been utilised as a specific room and its not hard to see how amazing the place looks and more importantly how you could do a similar project and get some fantastic affects.

silo wood patio deck

The Cornell students on this project were using it as part of the Solar Decathlon utilising both architectural and interior design teams to maximise the home design.

silo solar decathlon house

Amazing design developing the new with the old can’t see any downside.

silo home construction plan

Well maybe one downside, this isn’t a real recycling project but a custom made cylinder prototype of what you could do with a real silo.

silo home architect drawing

Whatever way you look at it is doable at the same time I do have concerns on cutting a silo into sections as this could affect the basic structure especially in the central area. At the same time could be dismantled and reassembled.

Grain Silo–Converted Into Home

Grain Silo’s are often left abandoned after the demise of a farm or the farm itself changes the way it works. But why destroy them why not create a beautiful contemporary home from one?


Out in the Midwest of the U.S. you will find this contemporary designed home but what is rather unique is the use of two silo’s to create the home. Does show how you can create a silo house and it doesn’t look odd. If anything it seems to give the thought of “what a good idea”.


Although designed for a single man to live in its also got space for guests and family visiting. The natural design of the silo also means that there is not only great views throughout the home but also a lot of natural light is able to travel through.


The downside being that everything has to be custom made and as a carpenter myself I wouldn’t have any issue in building the home but I know if your not into DIY this could be rather expensive for some.


The metal interior of the silo adds a bit of interest to the kitchen area with its original metal work exposed. Adds a bit of a sheen to the kitchen.


How many kids would love a rounded bed like these? Not only that it does give a bit of a quiet space for reading or taking a time out.


Great home and a great idea, I am sure its got some others thinking “where are the nearest silo’s?”

Grain Silo’s Into Container Homes

silo homes converted

Many farms are doing just as bad as everything else in the economy right now and it makes sense if you have got a grain silo to put it to better use than sat there empty. Its probably even more value these days as a rental space than storing grain.

The world is getting smaller and more things like silo’s are also being swallowed up by new housing developments that see the farms disappear. But what is there to say the silo has to go? Why not convert it into a rather unique and interesting home instead?

grain silo house conversion

grain silo home converted

Although the design is almost seems like its done as a fad I do wonder how the sound reflection is due to the rounded walls. Does it help with noise in the home? One thing is for sure though is its a low cost home especially if the Silo’s are destined for the scrap heap.

grain silos

The triple silo unit above is actually a hotel complex and not a unique home. Does show what you can do with a bit of land and old farm buildings though.

grain silo rustic home

For the simple and green minded this grain silo home is rather unique but simplistic in design. At the same time does show what you can do with a bit of thought.

Princeton’s Answer To Disaster Relief Power.

Princeton’s shipping container disaster relief wind and solar power generators.

Princeton’s shipping container disaster relief wind and solar power generators.

The prototype system was a winner of an EPA-sponsored sustainable design competition. The entry in the competition was for a “rapidly deployable renewable energy system”. Its primary role to be used in disaster hit areas which lose infrastructure and power.

Princeton’s shipping container disaster relief wind and solar power generators.

Image by Frank Wojciechowski, courtesy of Princeton University

The solar and wind turbine is 40 foot tall and capable of providing 10kW of wind and solar power. Within the container also capable of storing the batteries and mechanical systems required to make the unit functional. There is a hope the unit will actually take off and replace diesel-powered generators in relief camps in disaster zones. Which can often be hazardous due to air pollution, ground pollution and the issue of a constant supply of fuel.

For the contest the shipping container and its equipment were taken on a flatbed truck from Princeton to Washington DC. The unit was erected and tested with the first day seeing no wind but a sunny day allowing good solar energy. While on the second day it was windy and rainy it put its wind turbine into action and was capable of providing power on both days. A grant of $90,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency, will see the project being developed further and the team hope to take the finished model on a tour of Africa.

The contest has highlighted the need for new solutions and developments and seen students from 165 academic institutions submit proposals to the competition. 15 of those were given awards for pursuing sustainable design solutions to issues ranging from erosion control to a seeking out a biodegradable alternative to plastics.

For me I support a lot of these ideas but things do come back to some basic issues, a lot of disaster areas and problems are preventable. Haiti seems to be a big favourite in U.S. circles to mention for aid yet has anyone even started looking at common sense things like reforestation? Land can protect itself but it needs people to stop destroying it.

Mazda Shipping Container Car Dealership–Site Specific

When Bangkok based Site Specific were approached for a Mazda dealership building they were not only looking at a shipping container project but also a client that needed the building yesterday.

The modular shipping container car dealership was designed to be constructed in six stages. The main objective was as soon as the first container hit the ground the dealer could start selling cars and the other shipping container units would be added in phases at a later date. This resulted in the first shipping container and sales room being installed then over the next 5 months adding extra rooms and facilities until it was complete.

Site specific had gone down the route of shipping containers due to the fact they reduce the carbon footprint in not only construction but the use of recycled materials. The shipping container design sits comfortably alongside a car dealership and blends in nicely. But just as importantly they could work with the project in modular sections by utilizing the easy construction methods associated with shipping containers. For the dealership they have the added bonus of being able to move the whole building when the lease expired if they decided to relocate.

Site Specific

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Why Not To Live In A Shipping Container House.

The whole concept of shipping container houses are people get it and understand the idea and concept wanting to put it into practice and show how its done.

But why not live in a shipping container? First thing is you listen to other people and how being different is a bad thing. The same people advising you in what to do are mortgaged up to the hilt and generally like to have trending items that are the latest gadget, car or any other thing that costs more than they can afford.

Shipping containers make sense for people with a budget and a vision consumer speculation doesn’t fit into that and its why maybe its not for you. Swapping your budget for a new iPad for a sink or maybe the foundations of a shipping container home? Doesn’t sound so good but then again maybe can get both with a credit card? But for many of the container community they are trying to get away from any kind of debt as they are well aware of how banks and other finance houses manipulate people into thinking its ok to be in debt.

But debt isn’t ok if you go back to your grandparents was debt acceptable then? Did they run up such big debts their grandchildren couldn’t pay? Answer is no as it was shunned upon and shameful to owe money or be seen to be borrowing. The mortgage is one thing people may stretch to but generally riding on debt was never the way forward except for the last 50years. Which makes me wonder how much has people really been spending when the estimates economies are looking at 20 years of debt have we really been spending 70 or 100 years of debt and governments have just been signing it off with inflation and over evaluations of businesses and property?

The shipping container home is too small even before you ever looked at the idea as you knew it was a shipping container. Nobody thinks they are taking up 3/4 more space on the planet in the West than they used to though do they? Need to convert the loft, convert the garage, add a conservatory but for what? Gets back to consumerism as in reality as a child I had no extras and we were content because ok we didn’t know better but even today I would much rather my kids experienced the rain and sunshine than constantly indoors. A shipping container is more of a central pod which opens up areas of the outdoor world.

There is nowhere to put all my excess stuff? Agree with you as I have lots of stuff too at the same time when I am working I can carry nearly everything in one suitcase. I don’t watch TV and can use a laptop for most things I need. Even more ultra modern is my new tab that is probably 1/4 the size of a laptop but supplies me everything I need. Ok but what about the plasma? You can still keep it hanging on the wall in a shipping container home but like most things I have found over time the question in my mind is “Do you really need it?”.

When you start doing that its surprising not only how much excess you already have but when buying how much stuff you just don’t buy and find your wallet goes from battered credit cards to real money and buying what you need.

Shipping container homes are about not only a home but changing your way of life if you can’t adapt to it then your right its not for you. At the same time look at what others want in life and not go through life with blinkers.

Why I Love Modular Home Construction.

Modular construction isn’t a new method of home construction but does seem to be catching on in a much bigger way in recent years.

For me originally looking at modular and prefabricated it reminded me of the 50s and 60s videos I watched with the rise of British industry and council estates after WW2. The homes were bland and all similar in design which is something people these days are trying to move away from. Even developers working on the same concepts of designs try to make houses look slightly different but at the same time in keeping with an area.

But even this isn’t enough for those that really do like to be different and modular construction seems to be a cost affective solution for many peoples homes due to not only saving on production costs to a traditional house due to generally being factory constructed but also the fact you can decide how many modules you want or more importantly can afford for a specific budget. Over the years the market has moved from a bit of a rough and ready business with a lot of finishing work being done on site to today where many homes are near enough complete and come with the bathroom,pipes and electrics pretty much all ready for hooking straight up to the mains. I believe this may be the way things are going for the future especially for mass production of homes due to the way modular construction is easy to adapt to its market demand.

As the businesses have progressed due to also being “factory based” also means sourcing recyclable, locally sourced and sustainable materials are all a realistic goal that companies are looking to achieve. Small developers or even medium size may not have the luxury of choice and time to be doing the same which are other good reasons for modular home construction.

All Quiet On The Shipping Container Home Front?

With a lot of things going on lately its been difficult to get on with the blog as we have had a lot of visitors. At the same time we have had an increasing amount of interest in shipping container housing which has started me looking at fabrication rather than recycling here in Cebu,Philippines due to one major issue the shipping containers here are holding a high value which can make fabrication of new containers cheaper. At the moment we are in the assessment stages but also we are looking at purchasing some land for another project. If the land deal goes through though it may actually give us some working space for the first unit to be constructed and test some of my theories.

Back in the UK a lot of the issues relating to the climate and other problems are extremely different to the Philippines. For a start we are reversing from heating to cooling but also we generally only construct for a lifespan of 10 years in the UK as the container buildings are designed for temporary use only. Doesn’t mean they will fall apart as some have been standing for over 30 years already but does mean that construction methods need to be looked at and assessments of materials properly. Paints, woods, metals all have to be assessed that they aren’t going to break down over a period of time. Which isn’t normally a problem in the UK market as a guarantee actually guarantees something but here in the Philippines its not so cut and dry and making sure things aren’t going to fail takes time and research.

But I am sure we will get there in the end, the project was never something we wanted to rush into but more importantly was something originally for discussion and idea debate. Getting the right sort of methods could be not only a lucrative business, a home but also a solution to sustainable housing issues within the Philippines islands and other countries.

Fabricating Container Homes In The Philippines Over Shipping Container Conversions.

People are always pushing the recycling of shipping containers as the main concern in the container home building circuit but over here in the Philippines they are rather battered and over priced in general.

You can find prices fluctuate depending on the time of year and even old containers seem to survive here decades after they should have been scrapped, bruised battered and the rust is cut out and new plates welded in but its a market people don’t realise exists that see’s the old containers surviving. International shipping standards keep the containers at a high quality standard but we live in the Philippines with over 7,000 islands how much goods move island to island?

This is why we see inflated prices on old containers that go back as far as the 70s and 80s is the fact they are used between islands and not internationally. If you see the state of them they would never leave the docks on an international vessel. But its this that creates our problem as a good container is always in demand as even the oldest roughest container never seems to see an end of life but simply patched up and shipped off.

Which got me back to a system I used in the UK before which is basically a frame setup and you simply slot the wall sections in. Being open already means that you can then adapt sections from adding staircases,windows and doors to complete sides being left open as unlike shipping containers these are built for the job of container homes. In essence its moving away from shipping containers into modular home construction.


Makes a bit more sense when you see the photo above as these can be manufactured on site or in a factory depending where the final location will be adding to that they are still stackable and get used more than people realise already in places like the UK. Temporary clinics,doctors surgeries, classrooms are all commonly using a similar system and I am looking at this as being the serious way forward with construction in the Philippines due to the costs of buying second hand units. No issues of toxic floors or damaged side panels but simply starting from the frame upwards.

But what about the walls? This is where the tricky bit comes in but is also how its practical. Getting the stuff here may not be as easy as I would like but basically I am looking for foam panels that can either be injected with foam or preformed foam panels that we can glue cladding sheets to externally. Light weight and extremely easy to construct with as well as strong and fire retardant.