Containers in a previous life – Homes Part 1

Irish Container House
Possible one of the most common use of containers once they have finished their shipping life is transforming them into a liveable family home. Shipping containers appear to inspire not just your average home builder but leading architects. There are now multiple different homes of all different shapes and designs all based around a container. The UK home building show Grand Designs has featured them several times. One of the most famous one was the award wining home in Northern Ireland, the Grillagh Water House. Constructed out of four previously used containers, this house shows just what an amazing design can be created out of a standard shipping container, with some very heavy modification of course.

A single container tiny house
Making a container a liveable space does require some effort. A shipping container is just a metal box, so very hot in summer, very cold in winter and not very large comapared to a normal house. The metal construction means they attract a lot of condensation and therefore damp. However this has not deterred one group of builders who are following the current trend of creating tiny homes to live in. This tiny home trend is being driven by high land prices and people wanting cheap homes but not poor quality. The shipping container is seen as a great framework to start with and can be easily modified. A container is self supporting and very strong, so the conversion does not require any structural construction work, meaning any person with some DIY skills can fit it out. There are many support groups out on the Internet giving hints and tips on the best way to convert the container. Finally for these builders the important factor is that shipping containers are very common, so finding one is easy and they are relatively inexpensive to purchase.

Some of these tiny homes are used as off grid homes constructed in the rural countryside and are fully self sufficient in water and electric. They designed to have as small as possible environmental impact in the location they are placed. Other tiny homes are in towns and cities and there owners live in them all year round. With clever designing they are fitted out with all the modern conveniences and impressive view inside. You can often not belive that this was once a shipping container

Of course all these homes are fixed to one location. But if you are looking for a mobile container home then there plans for these as well. A design from atelierworkshop which is not yet in full production is based on one container. It is made to be sufficient for a small family and unlike other home designs keeps all of its container parts. When the owners want to move to another location, the container is just packed up on it self and just looks like and normal shipping container. It can then be loaded and moved on any container fitted trailer to its new location. While maybe not quite as efficient or as easy to use compared to a caravan, it is certainly a unique design for the versatile shipping container.

Portable Container Design

A mobile container