Cottonwood Meadow Hybrid Container Home on Sierra Nevada Blueberry Farm

Cottonwood Meadow Hybrid Container Home on Sierra Nevada Blueberry Farm


Kyle and Hannah have been building a hybrid container home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California where they are attempting to grow blueberries. Their blog at chronicles the design, site preparation, and construction of the home that incorporates shipping containers with traditional construction methods and their previous home that was relocated onto the new property.


Cottonwood Meadow is a collaborative project between the couple and several local construction and building companies. They have been incorporating a variety of recycle-reuse-repurpose methodologies in the design and build of the home, with some decisions being made as needs arise. When new materials are needed, they are trying to make ecologically responsible decisions. When their framer suggested FSC-certified flooring, Hannah decided to contact local wood salvage yards but found that the work involved to find, dismantle, clean, plane, and prepare wood from salvage can be more time-consuming and costly than it could be worth.

They completed the structural part of the construction in January of this year with the installation of the ice and snow cover to provide waterproofing for the roof and finish the steel stud around the shipping containers.



As winter drew to a close, they discovered that the calculations that had been made for the snow load were accurate and the work-in-progress held up to the layers of snowflakes.


The Cottonwood Meadow blog and its companion Facebook page are an excellent resource and case study in sustainable custom home design and construction. Hannah has done a wonderful job of describing their process and providing quality images to illustrate the progress.

Solar Shipping Container House in Colorado

Solar Shipping Container House in Colorado



This is a solar-powered shipping container house in Nederland, Colorado.  It was designed by Studio H:T and completed in 2010 with two shipping containers that straddle a social and open central area with the kitchen, living room, and a loft, according to ArchDaily.  Studio H:T designed to award-winning home to be off-grid with a combination of solar orientation, passive cooling, a green roof, pellet-stove heating, and solar PV.





Residencia de estudiantes en containers


Hemos visto muchos ejemplos de arquitectura modular realizada con contenedores que cumplía con los estandares de construcción y las normas de seguridad mas exigentes. Proyectos que estaban destinados albergar los mas diversos usos, residencial, educativo, comercial, cultural, institucional…etc. Demostrando que la arquitectura modular reune cualidades extraordinarias. 
El proyecto firmado por el estudio belga DmvA nos ofrece una lectura  diferente. Hub 01 es una estructura pensada para cubrir integramente las necesidades de residentes universitarios, tanto de alojamiento, como de ocio, como de autonomía energética y eficiencia energética, implicando al inquilino en la administración y  mantenimiento del inmueble.


Hub 01 es una estructura dinámica que reune  diferentes ambientes, su distribución contempla tres áreas cada una destinada a una actividad especifica. Compuestas por contenedores de carga las tres zonas, cada una presenta una decoración diferente que define su función proporcionándole una identidad única. 


En la nave central se concentra la actividad social y docente propiamente dicha, una extensa sala mutiusos acristalada por los flancos, sirve como hall del conjunto residencial además de lugar de estudio y ocio. Sin necesidad de salir al exterior accedemos a las unidades residenciales por un corredor facilitando el transito por sus instalaciones.   


En el modulo auxiliar , un laboratorio cubierto de paredes vegetales, es desde donde se gestiona la red de energía que consta de una instalación fotovoltaica además de un aerogenerador eólico. Su diseño minimalista no es incompatible con unas formas osadas que aprovechen lugares que tradicionalmente carecen de actividad.


Un ejemplo es la cubierta donde se ha construido una pista de skate, disponiendo de una terraza donde pasar las tarde de buen tiempo. Los jóvenes hoy en día son conscientes de sus limitaciones, presupuestos más bajos los obligan a abordar proyectos acordes con un presupuesto ajustado.

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First Container House in Mojave Desert



This is the first permitted shipping container house in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree, California, according to a statement by the architect, Walter Scott Perry, principal of ecotechdesign.  The home, also known as The Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, was built with re-purposed shipping containers and some impressive green elements such as a steel shade system, a living roof, and a 10,000 gallon water storage tank.


The desert compound has 2,300 square feet with one bedroom, one-and-a-half bathrooms, and a studio.  It was built like a kit house with prefabricated parts by ecotechbuild, a design-build subsidiary of ecotechdesign, in conjunction with 44West construction.

Tim Palen Studio is made with six ISO containers (five in the living area and one as an appendage to the studio to hold photography equipment) and a Butler pre-engineered studio building.

On one side, the studio is naturally lit with six, 22-inch, dimmable solar tubes, while on the other side, an 18-foot stairwell is clad in corrugated, recycled steel and a tall, slit window.  The stairwell doubles as a gallery for the owner’s studio.

Other than the obvious reuse of shipping containers, this project has some unique and impressive green features.  The roof is white in parts and living in others with 4′x4′ green modules.  The 160-square foot living roof has native desert plants and sedums sustained with gray water.

A recycled tank harvests up to 3,000 gallons of rainwater from the roof for watering plants in the breezeway, while a 10,000 gallon tank holds water for potable water use or as a backup in the event of a fire.

The Tim Palen Studio has rigid-foam insulation in some of the walls and roof (Title 24+) and heat-treated, low-E, double-glazed windows.  Otherwise — this is the desert after all — the project is heated and cooled with a mini-split heat pump system.

To deflect some of the Mojave Desert sun, a steel Unistrut structure is bolted to the house to secure a skin of modular, perforated, metal panels.  These panels blanket the south, west, and breezeway portions and they’re transparent.  Which is to say, the skin balances views, natural ventilation, and a 50% reduction in heat and glare.

The Tim Palen Studio was built for about $200 per square foot, including the foundation, according to an email from a representative for the architect.  Ecotechdesign intends to design and build more container projects in the price range of about $150-250 per square foot, depending on the site and other options.

Solar Powered Sunset Idea House 2011

Solar Powered Sunset Idea House 2011

This is Sunset‘s Idea House, or Cargotecture, which was just on display recently during  Celebration Weekend in Menlo Park.  It’s a tiny living space of 192 square-feet, though there’s room to sleep up to four.  It’s also solar-powered and ultra-modern, yet the nine-year old container structure has visited dozens of countries and traveled more than a half million nautical miles.

The modern home was designed and fabricated by Seattle-based HyBrid, which offers a base model of the c192 Nomad from $59,500.  The 24′ shipping container has a galley kitchen, micro bathroom, and large openings for blended indoor, outdoor space.

HyBrid finished the structure with an exterior of primary yellow and Andersen windows and doors.  Inside, the kitchen features wood counters and simple, functional cabinets, while the bathroom has a dual-flush toilet, Duravit sink, and ceiling-mounted shower.  There’s also a sofa and fold-down bed.