This is an idea that I came across while doing an article for my other blog Tropicalhome.net I found this house which is based in India but after looking at its design more closely started to think you could replace the bottom unit easily with a shipping container or 2 x 20ft shipping container units. The design by using wood for the upper decks also allows the weight to be kept down and starts to become a great idea for a shipping container home in tropical areas as you can finish the bottom layer then add the next two layers as your budget allows and as you find materials. The other options obviously with something designed round the use of local materials is the upper decks will be cheaper and easier to source than many other materials but also the use of a lattice side and open planned roof deck means that you get a lot of natural light throughout the day as well as air flowing across the building. All in all would love to see this idea become a reality.
When building a shipping container home its important to look at the initial location and how you can blend and use the environment to your advantage. In this case you will see several green ideas that work very well in using nature to assist rather than hinder. Everything from rainwater harvesting and grey water treatment to using bladed windows on both sides of the container to allow natural airflow and light into the building. Initially the costs may be a bit higher than conventional home building but long term your looking at a home that needs no artificial light during daylight hours and its natural cooling means that air conditioning isn’t needed either. A video well worth watching for ideas on how to build a green shipping container home.
Although many shipping container housing designs are based round flat roofs those that are pitched can take advantage of the natural light sources available from the sun by inserting lighting tubes through the pitched roof and into the container home. Advantages of this is natural light being healthier for people as well as the fact its free. There are different types and shapes of the roof lights some being flat and others being dome type but either way they are a good idea for adding light into a home.
How it works is the light inlet (dome or flat roof window) gathers rays of light which beam down onto a tube that reflects light. You will have to check manufacturers for the types of tube available as some do have flexibility in bending to allow movement of the tubes to other areas besides directly below the inlet.
Another option I haven’t seen as well though looking at square designed inlet is using skylights for the same purpose but with the added benefit of adding hydraulic sides so that it can be raised to allow airflow as well as being able to close in bad weather. Those types of Skylight can be fitted on flat surfaces such as a shipping container home roof.