SNAP Hydroponics is something that has been developed in the Philippines for sustainable living and livelihood. What makes it a little unique compared to most hydroponics setups is that it doesn’t need any electricity which is a huge difference in money cost for production. Obviously the Philippines climate is a country receiving 12 hours of sunshine as well as constant heat which helps. But the SNAP solution which is mixed with water is a cheap solution for plant production that is initially designed for leafy plants. Maybe this is the first step towards developing different solutions for different types of plant to get maximum growth while still being organic. But for me living out in the Philippines with these lightweight boxes how many would you fit on a shipping container home roof? The boxes themselves come from discarded fruit boxes normally carrying grapes which means your recycling a product that is normally scrapped. How to make a SNAP hydroponics setup from a fruit box can be found here.
SNAP Hydroponics Ideal For Off Grid Living (No Electric Needed)
A system developed in the Philippines which involves nutrient solutions seems to have answered one of the big issues here in the Philippines but also makes it an ideal grow method for container housing or other off grid homes, it doesn’t need electric! Basically the method involves a polystyrene tray that has a lid (often found for food delivery) that you cut circular holes for polystyrene cups to use as plant pots in it before lining the bottom of the tray with plastic sheet to waterproof it. In goes the cheap solution mixed with water and pretty much that’s the pots near enough setup except for a bit of medium to secure the plants but also means that once you have established your tray garden you can literally pick your food from the leaves for lettuce and other crops. I am sure the formula can be adapted for other types of plants as well.
Now bearing in mind a shipping container home has a large roof area which is not only flat but suffers with heat build up I am sure this may be a solution to help drop that temperature down while keeping your greens out of the reach of many garden pests. Adding a ladder to the side of your container means your plants are happily growing away on your roof and the fact they are self watering from the solution your not constantly worrying they dry out continuously. The other obvious benefits of SNAP Hydroponics is it can be up scaled or downscaled for winter or personal needs. I am currently researching it more here and going to put an order in for the SNAP solution so I can trial it but it does appear to be a very cheap option of growing greens, which are often overpriced in the Philippines.
1. Utilizes wasted shipping containers that may never see any other use.
2. Economically its a cheap solution to home building.
3. Ideal for emergency and disaster relief.
4. Quick to construct and even fast if modular internal fittings.
5. Stackable giving a quick and easy solution to “adding the games room!”.
6. Easy to source shipping containers to buy internationally.
7. It will give a unique and interesting home.
8. Creates minimalist living allowing people to de-clutter their lives.
9. Almost anyone can build a container home or at least design it within basic metrics.
10. Ease of conversion from a shipping container to a home.
11. Able to say “I did that” when its finished.
12. Environmentally friendly and a symbol of environmental awareness.
13. Fashionable building concept.
14. Smaller homes mean a small land needed either giving a cheaper purchase price on land or a bigger garden.
15. going minimalistic also means that your electrical and water supply could go off grid due to drastically reducing your use/waste.
16. Sets the standard to show your kids you are doing your bit in helping the planet.
17. Friendly community of shipping container home builders professional and DIY.
18. Brings a house within reach of people who cannot afford one otherwise.
19. Hurricane resistant.
20. Earthquake resistant.
21. Typhoon resistant.
22. Can be constructed in modular form then transported to site making it easier to build.
23. Lots of great ideas on how and what to build on the internet to help you with your first shipping container home.
24. Can be made mobile or semi-mobile for those travelling such as in the construction industry.
25. Practical and in a frame structure that is easy to understand.
A debate sprung up regarding the usage of containers as jail cells as New Zealand is looking to use its inmates to build them. Primarily because part of breaking the cycle of crime is gaining skills and self worth. Teaching the prisoners how to construct will also give them a level of satisfaction. You can read more about it here.
Now I want to continue with the jail concept for another reason though as I spent some time in Brixton Prison in the UK. Nope not as an inmate! but there doing an evaluation on the structure and infrastructure of the buildings. There has been major problems there due to a high suicide rate and living conditions being very poor. The main reasons for the problems within the prison walls is firstly some of the buildings are 200 years old and on top of that the capacity of prisoners is doubled compared to its original capacity. This normally means a single toilet and cell shared between 2 – 3 prisoners which if you imagine a bunk bed with a toilet pan next to it besides that you have less than 1 1/2mtrs of space left to move around.
Shipping containers could offer a cheap solution in the UK as well as many other countries as well as being cost affective in the long run as there isn’t a lot to repair or replace in a steel building.
At first it may not seem relevant to a shipping container home but then when you start to see the design uses, size, shapes and overall use of space they do fit into container homes as either something that can be done with shipping container homes or for getting some ideas. At the same time modular floating homes also bring up some new questions such as why aren’t more people doing this. Here in the Philippines there are plenty of locations these types of homes would be safe from tidal damage or bad weather but also may be a cheap solution to some of the housing issues in the Philippines or even space for those yachting enthusiasts looking for a weekend getaway with friends or somewhere to return to in the evenings.
Or for waterways that aren’t prone to heavy flooding or rapid waters they could also make an ideal stop off floating hotel for boat tours or a bit more of a unique experience. The natural cooling of the water will help keep these buildings at an ambient temperature although the power connections could initially be an issue to get to the homes at first unless solar/wind is used.