Shipping Container Hydroponic Farming The Way Forward?

shipping container farm

For me its a bit of an odd one for sustainable development as an assessment of multi-crops is needed to see if it really is viable for every day use in city dwelling surroundings. Ok we are saving on transportation and lighting,pumps and heat come from solar panels but is it viable?

Many neighbourhoods would see kids running around on the roofs of these units damaging the solar panels at the same time in an upmarket area they don’t blend in. So where do they go?

Not scrapping the idea just trying to see where its viable in urban surroundings as the concept seems mainly to do with reduced travel. Places such as the middle east without a doubt these would be highly useful and productive but in the middle of New York or London?

I think if anything they would be more suited to being hidden away in things like railway arches and other spaces that are often not practical for other use as daylight doesn’t seem to be needed although if doing it myself I have to admit I would look at Louvre ventilation and a roof that allows light to pass. I’m out in the Philippines my main issues are electricity and bugs container farming would work urban scale here but the way things are developed to the West is very different.

Mono-cropping with shipping container farms may be useful for locations such as hospitals,military bases and other high volume and subsidised food locations but still trying to see how this concept fits into Joe public’s way of life. I can see how it works but like many things with shipping container homes and other buildings its to do with planning and surrounding areas more than anything else. Roof top gardens are probably a more viable project in many locations which makes me wonder are we better trying to get people away from daily gardening introducing automated systems or trying to educate people to be more green with the land they have?

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.


Research facility made from Shipping containers – Northern Queensland,Australia

Doesn’t look like much in the photo below but as you see the end result is a nice retreat in the wilderness allowing natural cooling,ventilation and also importantly functional.Research facility made from shipping containers - Nothern Queensland, Australia

What I liked about the design is that’s its all been done on a practical basis with no money wasted on things not needed. I also like the raised deck as it allows water to pass underneath in heavy rain but also would help with cooling the building. The roof deck is also a great idea for seating as well as clothes drying etc. This shipping container building is used as a research facility in a rainforest that is only accessible on a small dirt track used by wood loggers in Northern Queensland. So getting things there as well as being able to build the facility with limited tools made the shipping containers ideal for this role. The other thing you will notice on the left hand side of the building below is that a rainwater harvesting system has been introduced for the needs of the facility.Research facility made from shipping containers - Nothern Queensland, Australia  Another important factor for it being on stilts by the way is its location as there are many snakes as well as white tail rats. On top of that building on stilts also means you don’t have to level the ground which in this instance was also very important as they didn’t want to cause soil erosion.

To read more about the design and see more of the photos of the building being built please take a look at their site here.

Our shipping container home

Currently we haven’t constructed one here although I have worked in the modular industry as well as container buildings in the UK previously. Reason for being slow off the mark is simply been busy with daily life and also looking for the right location to construct. My wife sent me these photos a few years back of someone’s house construction and as you can see (probably the way I am) it would make one fantastic container home.

multi layered container home idea

The whole design is lots of open spaces blended with modular units giving space for a growing family as people can be on their own floor and at meal times etc. be able to all be in the same place. The other factor I like about this home is the amount of land it takes up on its lower level as it will fit on many lot areas here in the Philippines easily and this one is already here in Talisay, Cebu (near us). The other important thing here though is generally city planning isn’t a problem below 4 levels which also fits in with this home and our requirements.

multi layered container home idea

An interesting home that doesn’t look over complicated and if placed right will have the benefit of shade on an embankment or hill during the day giving it a cool airy feel to the home. The other thing I like about it is gaps between floors as it all helps with ventilation. You can either live in an insulated box here for air conditioning or work with the elements to cool the house. If I can find the house will try and visit the owner to discuss the construction and any problems they had but I can see our container home being built with a similar design in mind using concrete pillars for framing.

Sleep Box – For Weary Travellers

Airport Sleep box modular building

Not exactly a modular home but its still modular in form. These would be a welcome sight in many an airport as it would allow a quick nap with all your luggage secure, making those long haul flights with long waits between destinations at airports bearable. Arch Group came up with this novel idea and its size is only 4 square metres in floor space. Mood setting LED’s adjust to give you the ambience you need to relax and it has just enough room to suit 3 people to have a power nap before carrying on with the journey.

Thing is travellers are more concerned about time and money. Going to a hotel takes both and shelling out on an overpriced airport hotel at that. These temporary and moveable structures offer up a very viable solution as you can rent it for as little as 30 minutes. Good ventilation also helps keep the Sleepbox fresh as well as electric blinds to help shut out unwanted light and a bit of privacy to get changed.

Airport Sleep box modular building Airport Sleep box modular building Airport Sleep box modular building Airport Sleep box modular building

Future Shack – Sean Godsell designed emergency and relief housing out of a shipping container


Sean Godsell designed emergency and relief housing that utilize recycled shipping containers. They can be mass produced, inexpensive to construct and maintain, and easy to ship and stockpile, the containers are a standard 8 feet wide by 8 feet high by 20 feet long. Adequate for temporary housing and relief in an emergency situation. and adequate size for temporary housing. The future shack design also allows for use of local products for such things as the formation of the roof.image



The front of the building offers a ramp for access due to its raised height as the legs also allow adjustment for uneven ground. The walls also raise to provide extra shade and create a makeshift balcony. There is also roof openings to allow ventilation as well as the roof canopy. Making the building not only functional in an emergency but also so it feels more like “home”.


Inside the container the walls are lined with plywood and features built in furniture. A table and bed that folds down from the wall and another wall that contains the plumbing fixtures for the kitchen and bathroom. This design allows maximising space as folding the table/bed away allows the room to be multi purpose as well as space and functionality when needed.

The design of the building offers functionality with a simple but homely experience. It may not be the greatest of interior designs but its not supposed to be, practicality and costs are the main concern here and it meets those issues well and on budget.