Shipping Container House

I have had an obsession with the adaptation of buildings (as in a former warehouse converted to residential etc) and alternative housing since uni.

One of my big obsessions is housing from shipping containers. Apparently used shipping containers have become a small problem in many areas of the world because of trade inbalances between different countries and (so I have read) that it is cheaper to make a new container in China than pay to ship a used one back to refill. So what do we do with all those empty containers building up in storage sites?

Anyway, I have collected pictures over a couple of years of shipping container houses, some of them truly woeful, a few with merit and a couple of really good ones. Came across this one recently and thought it was about the best I've seen so far, very stylish and alot of thought gone into it.

I have put up 3 of the best pics but there is about 28 of them on this site, have a look. It will amaze you what some people can do. It is called the Shipping Muse.

http://www.dwell.com/slideshows/the-shipping-muse.html?slide=1&paused=true

Every one has their weird quirky obsessions and this is mine. What do you all think (not planning on building one any time soon). Would be interesting trying to explain this building concept to the local council :D

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Onya Bespoke

I too have a quirky housing obsession, I love yurts.... cant get enough of them. This is really good. Love peoples imagination and the recycling aspect.

Bring on the quirky, alternative home.......

Luvvit.
 
I have an obsession with building a house out of old tyres and ramming earth inside them for insulation.

I nearly did this last year. I've been studying the techniques for ages and even got as far as talking to some local tyre shops and they will supply me with the tyres for free - they will even deliver them to my block (normally they have to pay to dispose of tyres and iwas going to take them off their hands fro free).

Anyway i talked to council about it and they balked. in fact, they didn't like the idea at all. I tried to tell them off the benfits, no insulation costs, the place would last for hundreds and maybe thousands of years, i even went as far as showing that i would like to build one as a proof of concept experiement and then use the knowledge to grow a home grown industry in their shire.

I even showed them the plans for some guy in lithgow who has done the same thing.

But they didn't like it. This particular council is renown for being a bit backward and they kept arguiing about the fire aspects of it etc....I gave up on them but still would like to do it but just have to find a decent and forward thinking council.

Speaknig of yurts though, i met with the guy in goulburn who runs the Yurt Works. he has built a yurt village on his 1000 acre block in goulburn and he has students go there and he shows them bushcraft etc. he also runs a yurt construction mcompany and will sell you the kit to mbuild your own yurt. He is an old hippy but he is still a bit spaced out in some ways but he does have a fair bit of knowledge.

He was even building his own tyre place as an experiment and i asked him about the council and he said that he didn't and won't tell them. because he has 1000 acres, he is building his tyre place where no one can see it so that he can learn the process.

oh well. one day I'll build my tyre place. the raw material is free, you don't need to woprry about insulation at all as your walls will be about 18" thick and filled with rammed earth. just some councils don't lkike it. One big issue with rammed earth tyre homes though - there is a HUGE amount of labour involved in building them.

One day....



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Tyre house

Have you heard of a programme on TV (well foxtel actually) called Grand Designs? Well Foxtel had a Grand Designs marathon on the long weekend and one of the episodes was a Tyre house. The couple were building it somewhere if France because they said of "the retrictive building conditions in the UK". They didn't state if they had tried to get it passed or not in the UK, but they built it in France because they said basically the French authorities considered how you built your house to be your business!

Anyway, I thought at the beginning that it was going to be some sort of ramshackle hippy looking thing but it actually turned out to be quite nice. It was no Masterton project home with a 2 pac kitchen, but it was very liveable and I could definately live in it.

The owners kept refering to the building method/movement as a "earth ship". They built up behind where the tyres were with earth and the inside was done with a sort of earth plaster. They had also done a "bottle" wall. Its worth getting a hold of a copy ot the episode if you can (if your really into it).

When I was at uni, you only had to mention local councils to any of the lectureres (who were all practicing Architects) and they would go of in a tirade about how some idiot who had no training in design would be able to veto an inovative architecturally desined masterpiece and effectively decide what a person would live in and what was "in good taste".

I would love to build a shipping container house but don't have to time or guts at the moment to fight a council. My parents have a few acres in the country that they use for holidays so maybe I can convince the hubbie to drag a container up there and convert it to a convertable camping shed. That should satisfy my urge to build something.
 
I've got that episode of Grand Designs as i downloaded it from one of those naughty torrent places. Plus i've got a few books and other dvds on it too.

The Earth Ship term is a popular term for tyre house builders. There is a guy in Arizona who has been doing this for years and he builds them as a means to reduce the need to use ACs in that part of the world. In fact, his local council is 100% behind him and they have allowed him to build a comlete estate using them.

The guy who starred in Gentle Ben and Duel (cannot remember his name) also built his house using this method. He swears by it.



g
 
My second favorite shipping container house

Here is my 2nd favorite one. Its in Canada, built and designed by a husband and wife architect who now specialise in building with the containers. There are quite a few companies in Northern america who only build with containers.

I have fond a couple here who sort of do it but they are frightfully expensive. Trouble here too is a standard container is only 2200 internally from floor to ceiling so if you wanted to try to build with shipping containers and keep within the BCA youd have to get Hi top ones which are around 2600 I think, and not as easily come by.

Anyway .... the pics. The first is the house under construction


Copy of maison-2.jpg Copy of maison-1ab.jpg Copy of maison-5ab.jpg
 
I love those earthships. My sister got some books about it from the library and they were very beautiful, there was even a mansion in one book. I think it was 3 levels. Just magic.
 
The Earth Ship term is a popular term for tyre house builders. There is a guy in Arizona who has been doing this for years and he builds them as a means to reduce the need to use ACs in that part of the world. In fact, his local council is 100% behind him and they have allowed him to build a comlete estate using them.g

The guy who started these earth ship designs is the same dude featured in the movie "Garbage Warrior" which chronicles his fight with planning authorities to build these things. I also have ALL the grand designs to date....Happy to ensure you see them, if you get my drift :)
 
Wonderful thread - some of those ideas in Grand Designs are breathtaking. Great program.

I've had an idea floating about in my head to look into shipping containers or relocatables joined together in such a way to make a moroccan courtyard style house.

Like your blog HandyAndy - keep it going.
 
Im surprised to see the thread I started being bumped. Like your blog handy andy, keep it up.

For those of you addicted to Grand Designs (like me), Foxtel is screening new episodes of Grand Designs revisited.
 
Oooh, this is - to me - the most exciting thread I've read on Somersoft, because I have a burning passion about unusual building techniques. Though I must confess I'm much more motivated by aesthetics and a desire to do something different than by environmental considerations (they're an added bonus ;)).

HA888, love your cube design; great work!
 
ive researched homes that are the same dimensions as a shipping container

They are ex Chima come fully built with double glazing, fully tiled wet areas and granite kitchens built to meet the BCA.

Cost is around $1000m2
 
ive researched homes that are the same dimensions as a shipping container

They are ex Chima come fully built with double glazing, fully tiled wet areas and granite kitchens built to meet the BCA.

Cost is around $1000m2

Sounds interesting. Any details of manufacturer? Website?
 
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