Thinking out of the box and natural cooling for shipping container homes

shipping container homes natural cooling

Natural cooling is something I will be covering in more detail in the future but I wanted to open up with this concept design which doesn’t look 100% in the garage access for example but the way its built into a hill side does throw up some very good natural cooling abilities. The fact that it appears 3/4 of the modules or shipping containers are underground allows the natural surrounding earth to not only keep it cool during the day but also warm at night. I originally was looking at an underground shipping container in a similar way for cheese making back in 2007 to keep an ambient temperature here in the Philippines. Also constructing inside the hillside does give a lower impact visually on the construction of the home which is also very appealing.

Shipping container for smoking

Although this shipping container isn’t a home I thought its design was a bit interesting in the use of trellis work to hide the metal side at the same time still allowing air to grow through no doubt once the plants develop it will give the building a bit of shade similar in the way I was talking before about building trellis slightly away from the sides of containers to allow airflow as well along the gap formed between trellis and container side. But also looking at the container more closely it becomes pretty obvious a simple restaurant or canteen can be formed without too much work with the ability to add extension roof canopies off the shipping container to extend the seating area etc. Which many people may assume isn’t ideal at the same time like here in the Philippines most people are concerned about the quality of the food and a bit of shade over most other things. So for a budget restaurant could easily see it working here.Shipping container for smoking

The Periscope project – San Diego shipping container art centre

Periscope Project - San Diego, Shipping container Art centre

The Periscope project is a funky modern container art centre which resides on a small lot in San Diego. Constructed with 5 shipping containers (recycled). The art space also offers living and working spaces as well as the shop front and exhibition area. The original concept started in 2007 by the late Petar Perisi. An interesting use of a shipping container that enhances its environment as well as gives a place that offers regular meetings and discussion workshops.

It offers up a mix of industrial feel with clean fresh art display in an interesting blend of building use. The narrow slit windows I also like as on other container designs this style of window would be very useful for allowing hot air to escape. Its kept much of the container buildings in basic form while utilizing spaces between and above the containers for garden spaces and an outdoor area.

container art centre projector garden area, shipping container art studio ShippingContainerArtStudioLandscaping container art workshop

KLC Ready home – shipping container home manufacturer

KLC READY HOME  I came across this video earlier today which covers many things in a simple process of why shipping containers make a good home but also issues regarding use of ventilation to help cool the home naturally which in budget housing is critical to keeping costs down. The video has also been put together very professionally which also helps in its marketing. The company is based in Jamaica probably where the name ““Kingston Logistics Center Limited” comes from.

The setup is no doubt internationally but also I believe for organizations looking at helping develop shanty towns for example its solutions are viable.


Prefabricated or shipping container conversion home?

green prefabricated home

Prefabrication is one way to go in the modular housing industry but primarily it has another function for myself as I look at what has been done to get ideas on how to convert shipping containers and this prefabricated home is being constructed by Clayton Homes, based in Maryville, Tenn., is one of America’s largest manufacturers of mobile homes and prefabricated housing. They are looking at green architecture as it is a market that is opening up especially with rising costs of living many people are looking at smaller homes to either downsize or for their first homes. Although this home isn’t cheap at an estimated sale price of around $100,000 its design and concept is based round a more up market home buyer compared to the usual mobile home buyer. Giving something in between luxury home and mobile housing.

Its design offers a home that can be run on $1 per day due to energy efficent appliances as well as superior insulation and E rated windows this will no doubt be an expanding market in the forthcoming years due to rising costs of energy and large homes finding their prices collapse in the current market. The I-House is no doubt going to fit into many peoples ideas for the future as well as a very capable home.

Digicel, container school – Haiti

digicel container school haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Seen its first partnership school construction project with shipping containers as a joint venture between Digicel and USAID.

École Louis de Borno in Léogâne  the town located at the epicentre when an earthquake hit will be utilizing the new school for 600 primary school students.

Part of this project involved utilizing local youth between the ages of 15 – 24 which don’t have vocational training and from a non-formal education to assist in the construction.

There is also 100 people being employed at a pre-fabrication plant to assist with the projects as the project is looking to construct 50 such schools to educate upto 30,000 children per a 2 shift schooling system.

The construction of the school unit is simple as its only 2 x 20ft containers with an additional ventilated roof structure. Simple but functional as well as a cheap hardy option.

The USAID partnership procured 100 containers for the shipping container school projects in Haiti and is part of the joint task force in Haiti’s humanitarian aid mission, in response to the earthquake.

Interior Design Ideas For Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container on truck

When looking at shipping container spaces the first thing you will normally hear is “they are too small”. At the same time in the UK there is a love of garden sheds as workshops,cabins,offices,storage all a lot smaller and less comfortable than a shipping container conversion. Here we can see the same space being used by for many different uses. Showing that it can be a comfortable addition to a home as well as a retreat or even a budget hotel room. I quite like the idea of the building design being used as a beach house sitting high up to allow the cool breeze to pass through the building. offices at industrial estate offices at industrial offices at industrial offices at industrial offices at industrial estateShipping container kitchen areaShipping container bedroom easy conversion for hotel roomsShipping container childrens playroom or weekend retreatShipping container childrens playroom or weekend retreatShipping Container Office Shipping Container Office Shipping Container Entertainment RoomShipping Container Entertainment RoomShipping Container Weekend RetreatShipping Container Weekend Retreat

Source :-

Lots of layout and design ideas to show even a single 20ft Shipping Container can be a very usable space.

Share your shipping container project

This blog came about due to looking to build our home here in the Philippines as well as looking into the viability of shipping container homes for low cost housing. Currently the low cost housing is looking more likely to go with modular kits due to the logistic issues of shipping containers and the purchase price of used containers in the Philippines. This sort of slows our projects currently down to a snails pace as we start to look for land capable of dropping container units onto as generally for the budget we have the land is very uneven and access difficult by road.

But this also gives a platform for people to send in their own projects and designs to share them with everybody else if your interested. Building the blog site as more of a community rather than a single writer is important to showing other alternatives and ideas of shipping container home developments and we want you to be part of it.

If you would like to submit an article please email

shipping container office (32 inter connected containers) Road Island – Box Office 460



This is a rather interestingly designed building that makes a colourful modern statement. Built from 32 recycled shipping containers it offers 12 office/studio units for business rentals. Constructed on a waste piece of land in road island previously the Harris Lumber yard. you can see how swiftly the construction came about in the video below. Another reason why shipping containers make an ideal modular framework.

Shipping Container Police Station – Polizei Germany

Originally the police used to use a Volkswagen van outside the Turkish consulate in Hannover but a new idea was put forward by an architect from Gesamtkonzept to use a shipping container as a police outpost. Part of his response on the idea to the police in the matter is shown below from the architect :-

Because this police car is placed at an exposed location and did not look particularly attractive in the cityscape, Mr. Wilhelmsen had the idea of designing a new, modern solution for a mobile station. His claim here was both to create a high quality and mobile architecture, as well as to establish an open and transparent working place for the police officers, that also can be produced quickly and inexpensively.


With these ideas and a first feasibility study we approached the heads of the local police commissioner’s office. Other than initially expected, the officials enthusiastically accepted the design, because they too were of the opinion that there was need for action concerning the old aged police bus.


Quickly they managed to overcome the bureaucratic, which often bar the way to project realization. Because all the responsible bodies indicated their approval we soon were able to carry on with the planning in close cooperation with the police to a ready for implementation state.

Dealing with local government in the UK I have had many issues over all I can say stupidity. For example contracts have to have a minimum of 3 bids from an approved contractor list for which this sort of building wouldn’t fit into as the providers of such buildings wouldn’t be on the contractor list in the first place. At the same time getting on the list also has a lot of strange requirements such as a minimum of 6 employees where for a maintenance company it may only need 2 to service an entire county for schools  and colleges. Which is why this “common sense” approach where an architect can contact the correct people and get the work done without all the usual headaches is an achievement in itself but more so it shows that an old bus has now become a functioning police station that enhances the area instead of making it look worse. Good going on the architect and would be nice to see more shipping container police stations that are obviously a visual deterrent but also something that can look good as well.


shipping container - police outpost shipping container - police outpost   shipping container - police outpost shipping container - police outpost image

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Images credit Nils Günther