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Shipping Container Recycled Into a Cozy Home



It’s been awhile since we featured a shipping container home on this site, but this recently completed project by the tiny home company Walker Wilderness Enterprises from Brighton, Colorado deserves a mention. It is called Container Tiny House and can even be taken off-the-grid. It makes for a great vacation home, though it could also easily be used as a full time residence.


To make the Container Tiny House they used a decommissioned 40 ft (12 m) high cube container. They left most of its original structure intact, save for installing a door, and several fully-operable windows along the sides. The total floorspace is a modest 320 sq ft (29 sq m), but they added quite a few clever space saving features. To properly insulate the containers, they framed and drywalled it as well as used 3 – 4 in (7.62 – 10.16 cm) of closed cell spray foam insulation to shield the interior from extreme external temperatures.





The tiny home has two bedrooms, which are located on opposite sides of the container. There is also a kitchen and dining area, as well as a bathroom and even a small utility room. The bathroom is equipped with a composting toilet and a shower, while the home is wired to be hooked up to the grid and also features all the necessary plumbing fittings.



To heat the water, they installed a tankless propane water heater, while all the lighting is in the form of efficient LED lights. Customers can also choose from extra features and appliances, such as an oven, dishwasher, a wood burning stove, as well as a solar panel setup, generator, and also a game cleaning station.

The basic version of the Container Tiny House is selling for $50,000.


Towers Built of Shipping Containers

Towers Built of Shipping Containers

By Christine Walsh


The core of both towers will be made with containers in a vertical position, allowing elevator units to be housed in one of each of the containers in an upright position. From the renders it appears the shipping containers used to build these structures will not be modified a lot, apart from cutting out windows and doors. The shipping containers will simply be stacked in a way that grants the towers the necessary stability.




The structure will also have a number of vertical gardens placed along the height of the building. These gardens will work to separate the apartment units and aid in the dissipation of heat in the summer. The facade will also be colored according to the orientation of the buildings and in relation to the sun, namely warm colors on the south facing side, and cold colors on the north facing side. This is also meant to offset the heat buildup in the units. Still, I am not convinced that in a hot climate like this, comfortable interior temperatures can be reached without some air conditioning.


Shipping Container Apartments Coming to Downtown Phoenix

By Christine Walsh


The architecture firm StarkJames LLC has designed an apartment complex made from recycled shipping containers, which is currently being built in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The primary reason behind this project was providing affordable and sustainable housing near the city’s busy downtown area.


The complex is called Containers on Grand and is located at 12th Avenue and Grand Avenue, in Phoenix. A total of 16 decommissioned shipping containers will be used to build eight apartment units. Each of the apartments will be made of 2 recycled shipping containers, yielding 740 square feet per apartment.

The architects will keep the floor plan open and modern, while at the same time celebrating the fact that shipping containers were used to build these homes. The apartments will all be one-bedroom units. A kitchen island will be located in the middle of each apartment, with a large living area on one side of it and the bedroom and bathroom on the other. To achieve adequate space, one of the longer sides of each container will be cut away and two containers will then be welded together to form a single apartment.


The living area will open out into the central courtyard in the center of the complex via double French windows. These large windows will also allow plenty of natural daylight to enter the home, making it appear more spacious and open. The apartments will also offer plenty of storage along one side of the central corridor.


According to the architects the Containers on Grand complex will be finished and open by the end of spring. They also say, that they already have a lot of interest from he young professionals and students at Arizona State University’s downtown campus. They are expecting to rent the apartments for $950-$1000 a month.

Taco Bell Builds a Restaurant out of Shipping Containers

By Christine Walsh

The fast food company Taco Bell has unveiled a new restaurant at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX. What sets this one apart is the fact that it was constructed entirely out of shipping containers. It seems more and more business are starting to adopt this new architecture trend, which given the surplus of shipping containers piling up in US ports each month truly is great news!

In the case of Taco Bell, we can perhaps expect more of these types of cargotecture restaurants, since they’re planning to open 2,000 new locations in the US by 2022, which means they are looking to cut costs wherever they can.

The new shipping container Taco Bell only has about half the footprint of a traditional Taco Bell, and the one in Austin was built in just three days, with most of the pre-prep done off site, of course. They have also opted to leave the containers in the original industrial condition, and even though they have been repainted, the company chose a color very similar to the original finish.

They also did not alter the original shapes of the containers very much, apart from cutting out the openings for doors, windows and ventilation. The main shipping container is the one where food is ordered and picked up, and this container also houses one entire food prep line. If an additional food prep line is needed, such as in areas of higher traffic, a second shipping container could easily be attached to the structure to provide it. To fight the feeling of claustrophobia felt by the workers in the back of the container, they added a window to the food prep area, so the backs of the employees as they prepare food is visible to the customers ordering the food.

They placed the storage and operations area into a second container, which also houses the manager’s office. The third container rests atop the bottom two and houses all the necessary cooling equipment. It would appear they also cut one container in half, and then welded the two parts to the main structure. One of these contains the bathrooms and the other the freezer.

However, this restaurant has no indoor space for the customers to sit. There is an outdoor eating area equipped with tables built from refinished wood pallets and giant wire spools laid on their sides, which is also a nice way to repurpose these materials.

Students Promoting Shipping Containers as Affordable Housing Solutions

By Christine Walsh


Shipping containers might be a great way to build affordable homes fast and cheaply, but one of the problems is spreading awareness that such an affordable solution exists. To solve this, a team of University of Florida (UF) students is building a simple shipping container home in a month long campaign called “Imagine … a Place called Home,” which they hope will bring greater awareness to this architectural solution. They have the home on display at the Reitz Union North Lawn at UF where they invite people inside to learn more about this type of architecture.

The main aim of the project is to also promote the fact that affordable housing is more than just finding a good place to live, but also creating stability and community. They borrowed the shipping container from modular construction company Williams Scotsman and, with the help of Professor Stephen Bender and the UF organization Catalysts for Change, transformed it into a cozy home.




They fitted it with windows and doors, and furnished it just like a real home, which includes a comfortable living area, a TV, and even an Air Conditioning unit. The interior walls of the shipping container were covered with drywall panels, while the floor is white tile. On the outside they left the container in it’s original condition so passersby know right away that this is actually a home made from a shipping container.

Given the shortage of affordable housing and the economy being what it is, it’s good to see more and more projects like this popping out. The solution to offering everyone a decent place to live might well be in raising awareness of all the possibilities. While shipping container architecture might be very popular right now, a lot of people are still a bit put off by the idea of living in a metal box especially if they have never seen such a home in real life. Projects like these, which invite people to see this type of architecture for themselves, are great way to promote shipping container homes.