May seem a waste of energy at first but then again if this type of building is utilized for other buildings off it or back to the grid it may actually pay itself off over time for its generator use or payment from the grid.
Portability is also something people overlook when thinking shipping container buildings as well as “solar power is too expensive”. Well for a friend of mine who’s moving to a remote island he doesn’t have electricity there and generally the buildings are traditional bamboo or concrete. Either way building a home will take time, shipping something like this in however would give him a base of operations until things got underway. As well as a place to charge his power tools. Now this shipping container building by Adaptive Container’s SPACE buildings also has the ease of loading and unloading which many other shipping container building manufacturers are still trying to work round the problem. Add to that the solar rack can be loaded and unloaded in around 30 minutes the whole system is practical as well as thought out.
The name of the type of building is called SPACE which stands for Solar Powered Adaptive Containers for Everyone. Which in reality is a 140sqm of workspace with 20 solar panels on the roof that give out 350 kWh of power a month. Air conditioning is also installed as standard so the “its too hot in a shipping container” defeatists will find they are happy at home inside a shipping container that isn’t racking up the electric bill.
I’m pretty impressed with the layout and the Swiss army approach to design with a basic shipping container attached to one of these would make it a more viable option as the “powered” one would give its excess energy to run the other low cost shipping container unit.
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.
Ruby Sketch has come up with this ingenious shipping container home which looks very modern while offering energy saving that can allow this home to run off grid without mains electricity for up to 2 weeks at a time. Takes less than 3 weeks to construct and easy to crane lift its definitely an option for many looking for either an off grid container home or a starter home. I keep hearing the tiny home or house movement. But I think containers are more suited to pods and “pod living” may be a better concept name for small shipping container homes.
I for one support this type of living as it helps keep people debt free. But also as a student before in the UK and knowing many the prices for rents in the area I lived were scandalous as well as house pricing. Maybe these types of homes are more suited for the new generations over large costly homes that are currently being built.
There are several companies out there now offering tubular skylights but the reason I picked this one to show is that the video shows its basic functions but also the fact it has a dimmer feature and LED light installation available means you only need to install one setup. Often you end up with skylights running alongside another set of lights. Having this type of unit allows everything to be in one which is not only more economical but its also better cosmetic wise on your shipping container home. I came across these style of skylights mainly on large corporate buildings I was involved in previously to help reduce electrical costs on the buildings. Introducing redirected sunlight saves companies fortunes on electricity at the same time why can’t it be saving us all a bit of money? I would recommend looking at adding in skylights into any shipping container home design. If your going into a multi levelled home its also worth looking into ways of moving the light down inside the cavity walls that are less obtrusive than tubes that may not fit inside the cavities. Using fibre optics is a good way to get light to travel inside walling and worth a scout round the internet net for information on gathering light from skylights for your shipping container home to move the light to other parts. This gets things away from having to be directly below where the skylights sit making it more practical.
ALSO BEFORE ORDERING ANY SKYLIGHT MAKE SURE ITS SUITABLE FOR A SHIPPING CONTAINER FLAT ROOF AS MANY ARE DESIGNED FOR PITCHED ROOFS.
Designboom‘s summer offices are located on the island of Sardinia away from their main base in Milan. Bit of a retreat from the city living the team started to work on their idea of building the summer offices out of shipping containers. An ideal solution to the problems with Sardinia’s strict building codes as shipping containers like many other parts of the world fall into “temporary” accommodation. The three 20ft shipping containers were adapted for a live and work space for the team during the summer months. Not a shack on a hill but fully working and functioning electricity,water, air conditioning and high speed internet.
Two of the containers are set in an L shape manner with a gap between them used as an outdoor kitchen diner unit being made in the gap. The third container is used for the bathroom and shower room complete with composting toilet,washing machine and sink.
The containers have also had sliding doors installed that fit snug behind the shipping container doors to allow plenty of daylight and cross ventilation into the structures. The added bonus of the L shape layout being that if too much wind comes off the waters they can open the shipping container doors to create a windbreak for the eating area.
The containers were painted with ceramic paint SUPERTHERM® but no insulation has been added.
The designs above are by Tempohousing which are sold for around 20,000 Euros they come complete delivered to site, completely fitted out with bathroom, kitchen, heating, electricity, isolation, windows and doors. Via the local brand ‘Keetwonen’, the company last year finished a student village in Amsterdam. It consists of a thousand shipping containers, distributed among 6 apartment buildings.
But I just wanted to show what can be done with a bit of design with a shipping container and on top of that a lot of the facilities on the buildings can be reduced here in the Philippines as they simply aren’t needed which heavily reduces the costs of the construction. This year we are looking to develop several designs for “factory construction” here in Cebu where things will be either made to order or from stock allowing quick transportation of housing. This part of the market is primarily for students, offices and small homes which we look to build on over the forthcoming years to offer a broad variety of designs as well as options on each model.
The thing about this concept is its something we are looking to do in the near future depending how the rest of our projects go. The roofing for example could have another use due to its span and that’s to add rainwater harvesting either for irrigation or things like toilets. The complete project came in at $200,000 and could have been halved if it wasn’t for the issues of location which left no man power in the area and access difficulties for transportation/machinery.
The concept has been simple which has raised the containers from the ground to reduce risks of bugs, snakes and rainwater but also to keep them individual units as this allows for moving to another site without too much damage to the environment. The inside of the units have been fitted out but at the same time the exteriors have been left pretty much intact.
All units are joined together by a simple decking area which I could see the opportunity of something like this in the Philippines as a simple retreat or cheap accommodation rentals with a bit of privacy.
All in all the whole idea makes a lot of sense to me with the maximising of space which also throws up the question how much stuff do we really need when most Western homes are at least 4 x the size of a container. Not only would downsizing save on the obvious of electricity, gas etc it also helps to reduce consumerism.