Shipping Container Home–Gainesville,Fla in the U.S.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A Gainesville, Fla., man explains the benefits of owning a home made of old shipping containers. WTLV’s Heather Crawford reports.

Viability of shipping container homes is contested on a regular basis yet we are finding more and more examples of people who have already made the leap into container living. The fact is the negativities people come up with for not living in a container are always sorted out before people who actually “live” in a container home even move in.

Even the look of a home that is seen as ugly by some will find others see it as an industrial look that breaks up the look of the area. In reality a shipping container home because they are primarily built by the people who live in them they aren’t like normal homes. I think there is more thought going into them as profit isn’t the key to the home but environmentally friendly, cost affective and functional. As you can see in the video the guy is more than happy with his shipping container home to the point he has nothing negative to say about living in one.

With house prices still struggling in the recession moving away from borrowing and into cash buying a lot then buying in sections seems more viable for many.

Should the UK look seriously at container housing for homelessness?

Brighton,homeless

Big problem in the UK these days is the fact housing prices are over valued. You will still get people argue the fact that there is a huge demand but at the end of the day the market cannot support the pricing structure that is currently in place.

In fact so much so things like the government buy back schemes that were introduced when the last Labour government were on their last legs politically are a prime example of propping up the market.

In reality though many people struggle to make it on the housing ladder or in a lot of cases are literally living destitute in the streets all over the United Kingdom. For years now though I have been watching to see if anyone will grapple with the strict housing laws to introduce a bit of common sense on. Because lets face it a container house is better than no house at all.

Also after working as a Building Surveyor for many local authorities and housing associations I can see a market for these types of home and I will explain why.

Its not from the clean bit of promotion of container living but dealing with parts of society that are often difficult. For example drug addicts that have rights of housing often destroy the place they call “home”. Containers are easy to strip out and refit due to their design. The minimalist structure also reduces costs on refits.

But what about the people don’t they deserve better than this? Have you seen the container homes that exist in Amsterdam? They are more than sufficient for housing needs and its supposed to be a home not a palace.

 container housing,shipping container home,container,shipping container

You have a nice size kitchen, functional bathroom and sleeping area how big do you need to have a property when living alone? Even as a couple these homes are extremely functional.

Now I take you back to what I was saying earlier about damage done to properties because often these figures get hidden from the public eye. Imagine this home with the plasterboard punched through, a lighter used to burn names in the ceiling, kitchen smashed out, door on the toilet punched, windows smashed.

Now your talking about many properties I have dealt with over the years. But the advantage of a container home is you can rip it out same day and start a complete refit the following. Because lets face it one of the key factors here is that everything is to shipping specifications which means all the dimensions are fixed. No measuring of the kitchen counter as you know how big it is. No funny shaped walls or doors being a different size. You can refit as modular units.

These types of homes could save councils and local authorities a fortune for the rough tenants they often get stuck with. But moving forward from that you also have care in the community projects. These are also ideal for that part of the community as they can be easily adapted for people with special needs who still want independence.

Students, first time buyers you name it there is someone who would say I would live there! So what is stopping it happening?

Planning regulations and artificial inflation of property prices. That’s pretty much it because the need for it is there and personally if I was single I wouldn’t have an issue with living in one as my first home. In fact I know many working men (I say men because its primarily them!) that are stuck in crappy old bedsits due to the costs of maintaining an ex-partner and at least one child. These could be a cost affective,clean modern solution to housing problems all over the place for multiple needs.

Yet I think we would have to argue with the government and protest to actually get them to accept that these types of homes are a real solution to part of the UK housing issues.

Container Homes Hit Vancouver!

container house,vancouver,shipping container housing,shipping container,home

We have had a few container homes in Canada but this is definitely the most recent. 12 Containers are being utilised to form social housing for women in the downtown Eastside of the city.

The project is looking to complete by April 2013 and is the brainchild of the Atira Women’s Resource society, which bought a lot in 2009 to build traditional housing.

The idea was put forward by the society to BC Hydro who were giving away two containers to a non-profit organisation. Which eventually seen a further two containers donated by Atira with the remainder being purchased from the Port of Vancouver.

The design has been modelled on existing shipping container homes in the Netherlands and Europe. Which to me makes sense as you learn from other peoples mistakes and experiences.

The residents will be women over the age of 55 who currently reside in a shelter.

“What we hope is to set up an intergenerational program,” Abbott said. “We have housing for young women next door and we’d like to set up mentoring relationships between them.”

The accommodation will see the older women paying $375 a month rent while younger tenants will be charged 30% of the market value to help pay the $500,000 mortgage on the project.

The containers which give a floor area of 320sqft are going to be stacked 3 high and offer private bathroom, kitchen and in-suite laundry to the tenants. Window coverings from floor to ceiling offer up a lot of light on the ends of the unit with an external staircase linking each unit.

There will be an open house on completion before the properties become occupied with an estimated $100,000 per unit in construction and material costs.

“While getting them here and getting them stacked is extremely satisfying and exciting, what I’m really looking forward to is handing over the keys to the women who will live there,” Abbott said from the site where the containers were being unloaded Friday.

On a green note if the containers hadn’t become housing they would have very likely been shipped back to Asia and eventually melted down as scrap. That’s if they didn’t sit at some port rusting away.

Shipping container houses are still a bit of a Taboo subject when people talk and think about housing but good to see the market is changing. Not only for recycling but also container housing often means downsizing the excess that people often live with. So whatever way you look at it container housing offers some valuable and environmental lessons for sustainable living.

House from a box – Roese Sunshower SSIP house

In one of the worst hit areas from Hurricane Katrina which left heavy flooding in its aftermath developers have come up with a new prototype home that is designed for rapid deployment for areas blown away by hurricanes and tornadoes or knocked down by earthquakes.

The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans  

The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans is designed to be shipped in a single shipping container as well as for rapid deployment as a quick housing solution that is also permanent as well as strong enough to withstand other calamaties. Adding to this a solar panel array to help with recovery as it can operate off grid.

 The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans

As you can see the wall sections are formed from SIP eps foam core encased in a Galvalume steel skin. I have used similar in the construction of large freezer/chiller buildings and factory units in the UK as the method is not only light but very easy to work with. Adding to that its also moisture resistant and works as a hydroscopic thermal mass which helps to remove heat from the building.

The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans

Models were submitted as part of a design competition and the winning entry was the Roese Sunshower SSIP house. Lots of good ideas and rapid deployment is always key to disasters due to the camera switching off generally public interest does to. So getting it done quickly while  there is still public support and funds is always critical.

The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans  The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans  

  The Roese Sunshower SSIP house in New Orleans

Beautiful Houseboat In Vancouver

Vancouver Marina is the home of todays floating house, owned by Doug McClelland and Anthony Tucker they decided to position they’re newly constructed boat house alongside some amazing yachts and boats of the rich and famous. The new home stands out as the most modern and newest of additions to the marina but also taking on extra windows for natural light and its sleek modern design makes it hard not to ignore especially with its panoramic views from the roof deck seating area.

beautiful house boat in Vancouver

The exterior of the house although modern still takes on a nortical nature due to its cedar wood panelling with clear coat finish which contrasts against the the corrugated steel which was an addition to pay hommage to the old boat sheds that once existed along the old Coal harbour marina. Although a shiny mirror type finish was used instead of the dull grey finish normally associated with the old boat sheds. The house is sited on a 8ft deep concrete floatation that is filled with styrofoam. "It was pretty tricky for the engineers and the architects to fit everything we wanted and needed into a 20′ x 45′ footprint, while still keeping the house stable and floating levelly," McClelland says.

sitting room

Although a little limited in space the use of natural light as well as natural colours in the home gives it a feeling of being much larger than it is. All spaces have been maximised which gives it a homely feel.

dining room

The Dining area seated next to the sliding doors means that when entertaining guests or choosing to eat out on the terrace is always an option to relax or entertain within easy reach of the kitchen.

IKEA kitchen

The kitchen is spacious and well laid out utilizing a JennAir down-draft fan behind the cooker top has allowed the saving of space compared to a normal full cooker hood."We really wanted the cooktop in front of the window, but we didn’t want to have a conventional fan hanging over it," says McClelland. The down-draft fan rises out of the counter and outputs exhaust below the counter.

IKEA kitchen

Making the kitchen feel light, airy and clean the use of white granite worktops, glass subway tile splash backs and IKEA light maple cabinets keep the kitchen in keeping with the rest of the home while giving a real sense of space. Going for an extra tall refrigerator from Blomberg means you get more space utilized due to limited width in the house boat home. The lighting system from Robinson Lighting also finishes the kitchen off as it reflects off the worktops and brightens up the kitchen.

small office made to feel bigger by use of light and the use of rectangular paintingsMaster bedroom with beautiful viewsclean and airy bathroom using a large mirror to create a feeling of space as well as a rectangular sink to maximise the space.light and airy guest bedroom with windows on multiple walls to create the feeling of openness while allowing in lots of natural lightRelaxing roof deckRelaxing roof deck

The entire home has been thought out thoroughly and its dimensions aren’t far off a shipping container home at 20′ x 45′ and does show how a bit of thought on the design aspects before you start as well as sourcing the right materials can make all the difference on the finished product. A beautiful home that is fully functional on a small footprint.

Green Home Development

This design is rather interesting although not a shipping container home its modular formation can work as well as the use of wood and plywood construction would make it light for transportation but also renewable. The construction method is not overcomplicated and even someone on a low budget could piece one of these together bit by bit if they wanted to. I am also pretty sure most locations you would be able to get this through planning as a “temporary building” or even as a shed depending on the building codes.

Casa Alemana, Solar Energy Modular Home

The “Casa Alemana” is a prototype of an energy-efficient house based on the “Solar Decathlon” contest-winning design from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. The house demonstrates new, innovative German construction technologies for reducing home energy use by making the most of solar energy. Learn more about “Casa Alemana”. The “Casa Alemana” won, both in years 2007 and 2009, the international competition “Solar Decathlon” promoted by the United States Department of Energy.

For more information about the project you can visit them here at http://www.lacasaalemana.com/en

LoftCube Modular Home

An interesting concept for “roof sitting” by dropping these on top of empty roof spaces of buildings that are under utilized but for the most part not practical for most other places due to not being stackable and the size limitations. The weight limit of 9 tons though does mean it can be lifted by helicopter or crane into position which does make it a good idea if you have an odd space that it will fit.

For me though the video is more about the utilization of the space within and its glass walling more than the actual building itself. It does show what can be done within a small home.

Container prefab home – ConHouse from Slovenia

Not my first choice of colours and design for the exterior paintwork but the Conhouse was introduced to deal with high housing prices and a declining affordable living space in Trebnje, Slovenia. The worst affected and no doubt why the designs and colour schemes were directed in the way they are is towards the younger more upwardly mobile generations who are likely to be struggling to get onto the housing market.

The design is based on two containers placed on top of each other with the upper unit overhanging the entrance giving shade and a pathway area while the other side creates a patio or rear terrace. With the way the containers are positioned it also allows a small roof deck type balcony to be available on the upper floor via sliding glass doors.

The staircase has been designed in a minimalistic way which suits the design and age group of the buyers the home is aimed at. With the added floor to ceiling windows although small and compact I can see the appeal of this style of home.

 

 

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Simple Intermodal Design Solution For A Changing World

shipping container cabin, intermodal design

The interest in shipping container homes is increasing rapidly and no doubt its a mix of those looking for environmental homes as well as those suffering with the recession taking standard homes out of the financial reach of many. InterModal Design from Hive have come up with 6 shipping container cabin designs. Understanding the limitations of shipping container homes Intermodal Design studied Japanese home design as well as yacht interiors. This is mainly down to the fact that minimalist and functional are pretty much applied to both types of homes where much of the furniture is multi use and often will disappear into a wall or an opening to maximise space when not in use. On top of this Intermodal Design are looking to utilize green technologies such as LED lighting and low water consumption fixtures. Going off grid is also an available option within the design teams ability.

 

shipping container cabin, intermodal design

shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design shipping container cabin, intermodal design

Rendering credits: InterModal Design and Hive Modular.