Apartment Building Made of Shipping Containers Goes Up in Washington DC

By Christine Walsh on Nov. 25, 2014

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Washington D.C. recently got it’s first piece of residential shipping container architecture in the form of a Brookland apartment building. The project was the brainchild of DC-based architect Travis Price and his partner Kelly Davies, who did the work for owners Matthew Grave and Sean Joiner. The residential building, located at 3305 7th Street NE, was built to replace a run down family home that once occupied the spot.

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The architects used 18 recycled shipping containers to construct the 24 one-bedroom units, which are intended to be rented out as student housing. The containers they used are 10-feet high, which make them perfect for small apartments. By using repurposed shipping containers they were also able to keep the cost of construction down, and below that of traditional construction prices.

But being built out of shipping containers isn’t the only sustainable part of these homes. The architects also used recycled materials for the interiors, such as the flooring, which is made from welded metal and wide-plank. They used corrugated plastic on the exterior of the building.

Large French windows were installed on the shorter side of each container, allowing plenty of daylight to enter the home. The longer sides were also fitted with large windows, to lessen the feeling of living in a box that can sometimes come from living in a shipping container. The units themselves are very sparsely furnished, and each features a bedroom and a bathroom, with a communal living area and kitchen on each of the floors. Though the units are meant for a single person, they could easily house two as well.

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The entire project took seven months to complete, from design idea to finished building. Despite protests from the neighborhood they were able to stay on track with the construction.

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A Gorgeous Shipping Container-Like Beach House

By Christine Walsh on Sep. 18, 2014
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The so-called Coromandel Bach beach home was designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, who drew inspiration from shipping container architecture. The home, which was built like a container, is located in the picturesque region of Coromandel, New Zealand. In building the home the architects wanted to stay true to the traditional New Zealand building methods by designing a structure that was both raw and unique, when it comes to cladding, lining and joinery.

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The container house is clad in unadorned natural timber, which is a sustainable and renewable resource and serves to link the home to its natural environment. An open plan living area takes up most of the interior of the house and it is open on both sides to make the space appear larger and provide stunning views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. The house has four bedrooms: three smaller ones on one side of the container-like structure, and a master bedroom on the other side.

There is also a large fireplace in the living room, which is enough to heat the house during the winter. The home also has a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, which features a removable bathtub, that can be placed anywhere in the home or on the deck.

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The builders also installed a simple mechanism, which allows the sides to open and close. When opened, they provide a spacious deck, and when closed they keep the home secure. Apart from the two large windows, there is also a series of projections and cutouts, which punctuate the walls, providing natural light and capturing specific views. Inside, the floors are made of white oiled American oak, and the walls are lined with hoop pine. Building wooden houses was also a tradition in New Zealand and the architects wanted to reflect that.

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G-pod Dwell is a Spacious Shipping Container Home

By Christine Walsh on Oct. 31, 2014 

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G-pod Dwell is yet another modular shipping container offering, and it was designed and constructed by the company G-Pod. The units are rather unique in that they offer a larger interior living area compared to much of the competition. The G-pod Dwell can also be taken off-the-grid with an array of optional upgrades and extras. The first units are still in production, but are expected to be available for shipping soon.

The G-pod Dwell is made from a single shipping container, but features a unique expandable design, that calls for manually pushing out side “push-out” areas, which the company claims can be done by a single person. The entire setting-up process takes three hours, according to the company, as does the packing-up process. A hydraulic system that does this at a push of a button is also available as an added extra. The units feature a deck, which must also be lowered manually and has a spring compensator system. These tasks increase the living area of the G-pod Dwell from 160 square feet to 400 square feet, which includes the deck.

The G-pod Dwell comes furnished with a fully-functional kitchen, a dining area, bathroom, a bed and couch, as well as a study area, and a laundry. All the furniture is made from sustainably-sourced bamboo.

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These units can operate on or off-the-grid, making it possible to assemble them in remote areas. The off-the-grid options include a solar panel array, a rainwater catchment system, and a composting toilet. The solar power array also has an integrated battery system, which can store enough energy to power the home for a maximum of three days with no sun. The Dwell is well insulated too, using various glazing, insulation and screening options, with air-con being an option as well, which makes these units suitable for all climate conditions.