Shipping Container House Plans

There has been a lot of shipping container house plans and ideas hitting the web and to be honest the majority of them are simply not practical. The design of a shipping container is for interlocking into other containers but often you will find architects and design enthusiastic letting their minds run wild without thinking of the practical uses of the shipping container and if the house plans will actually be usable.


Twisting out the side of the container such as the 3D image above is typical where the modular form of the shipping container is stepped away from and instead a second section added in a strange shape. Not only is this difficult to join onto the existing container its also likely to suffer with problems with the roof structure including leaks as you will have to alter the original design to make it work. As well as the issue of weight and the welds all hanging in mid air.


Adding to this is this shipping container house plan in sketch form. Although obviously an idea the staircase costs and issues of development of the shipping container building with its crane simply don’t make any sense.

Ideally when looking for shipping container house plans they should be based on interlocking containers into each other in the way containers were designed. Or on spans using the containers as exterior walls as this is also practical. Generally if it seems more hassle than its worth it probably is and likely to be more expensive than you need to be investing. Architects do have a habit of going overboard as chasing a prestigious award that brings them in more business can often be on their mind more than giving you a practical and functional home.

Ruby Sketch’s Compact Shipping Container Home

Ruby Sketch’s Compact Shipping Container Home

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.

Natural airflow cooling for a shipping container home


One of the things that often gets overlooked is the cooling systems on shipping container homes and its one of the reasons that puts many people off having one in hot climates. But if you take the picture above you can see the utilization of several natural ways to cool a building.

A- Is using a ducting system to allow hot air out and cold air into a building which could be utilized on a multiple stacked container home by adding ducting to the exterior rear of the building. You will also notice they have added ceiling ducting to help drive the hot air out.

B- As hot air naturally rises you can see from the sketch that creating a vent at the tip of your secondary roof (adding a secondary roof to shipping container homes drastically helps reduce heat build up as it provides shade) helps let the hot air build up out but even this is assisted by the ventilation ducts to help keep cooler air running along the inside of the roof.

C- The one that may seem obvious but I haven’t seen utilized in most of the designs I have seen is vented windows. As you can see the cool air flows into the property while the hot air travels along the ceiling and out.

These may not be ideal solutions in all locations and due to the extra costs of installation I would look at the general wind conditions of where your planning your container home and if this technology will work for the property or not. Another idea if very “breezy” for cooling is using the pitched roof for gathering cold air and forcing it into the property at a low level and thus allowing full use of the roof space you install for cooling.