I am extremely keen on this idea as we have started Hydroponics here in Cebu,Philippines and although sunlight isn’t an issue or heat often what is here is theft. Having lockable units may be the solution for that problem as prices in the Philippines for food are often inflated. We seem to get the lower grade stock at the same price people are paying for high grade in UK supermarkets. But back on tangent I do think they are onto something with the idea although likely more useful for government buildings such as schools and hospitals as a provider of good quality food than general population use. May yet to be proved wrong mind!
As i was checking my plants recently that we are growing inside drainage pipe I came across an idea that would make a lot of sense for the side of shipping container homes. One of the reasons people get put off with the idea as a home is down to the steel external walls yet if you set up plastic pipe with plants that will hang down or even extend out around 1ft onto a trellis before growing down the trellis you could end up with a natural cooling affect that also may reduce the needs/costs of insulation. Currently I haven’t tried it as the tomato plants we are currently growing are still going up and haven’t started to hang downwards. Their location offers them up to a 6ft drop if they will grow that much as well as in full sunlight which tells me that other plants could be used for the purpose of natural cooling on a shipping container as well as using the trellis space for a cool sitting area as air should flow along inside between the trellis and container wall.
just a thought..
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.
These units were provided for Cuffley school in the UK. to add a classroom and music studios to the existing building. The covered walkway is an added feature and one of the reasons I decided to add this to our growing collection of container buildings as here its good for rain but with me out in the Philippines a similar canopy could be used mainly for reducing sunlight on the side of the unit. The vibrant colours also instead of hiding the shipping container building it promotes and uses the walls as a feature giving a happy a bright feel to the buildings obviously inline with their use. Another key factor in this design is the installation time took 1 day no doubt needing a little bit of other work but the main structure was located in a day which in a school building is important in reducing disruption to classes.