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Our future home?!

Given the state of the economy and those in charge who seem to be oblivious to the destruction they're wreaking economically, I could see the missus and I living in one of these Container Guest Houses upon retirement (or sooner):


A bonus is that I'd be making Al Gore happy:

This project originated from 's client's wish to experiment with shipping containers. She lives in a small warehouse on a former industrial site just south of downtown. The finished project serves as a guesthouse and is fitted with a shower/WC and a custom stainless sink. The large steel and glass lift/slide and end window wall open the interior to the surrounding landscape. The remainder of the interior is used as a garden shed.


The emphasis was on sustainable strategies- first, the recycling of a "one-way" container for a new and permanent use. The planted roof is held off the container top, providing shade and air-flow to reduce heat gain. The interior is insulated with spray foam then lined with bamboo plywood, equally appropriate for the floor as the walls. The grey water from the sink and shower is captured for roof irrigation. The WC is a composting toilet. The rear of the container is screened by wire mesh panels which will eventually be covered in evergreen vines.

Other innovative material choices informed the design: the container "floats" on a foundation of recycled telephone poles. The deck is made up of HVAC equipment pads (made of recycled soda bottles) set in a steel frame. The exterior light fixtures are blades from a tractor disc plow--a common sight in south Texas.


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Comments (29)

To cross the USA just load ... (Below threshold)

To cross the USA just load it on a railway flatbed. Joe Biden approved.

When Al Gore, the Hollyweed... (Below threshold)

When Al Gore, the Hollyweed elites, and the talking heads of the MSM start living in these, then I'll believe in global warming.

However, I think it's just the opposite. It is we, the great unwashed who would be expected to live in one of these hovels.

The elite would continue to enjoy their mansions and private jets.

Oh yeah. That's what I loo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oh yeah. That's what I look for in a guest house: a bathroom that is little more than a glorified port-o-potty. You could cut to the chase and just have your guests relieve themselves in the garden.

Couldn't find anyt... (Below threshold)

Couldn't find anything about construction costs for the privilege of living in 320 sq ft of luxury. I wonder who would repo one of these?


Guess they'd make moving to a different city easy,tho'.

We use containerized living... (Below threshold)

We use containerized living/Work units, or CLU's & CWU's while on deployments. They don't have all the features seen above, but it could be much worse. They are comfortable, cool and dry. Beats the hell out of using tents!

Y'know what... greenie hors... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Y'know what... greenie horseshit about sustainability and recycling aside, I kinda like these places. Of course, if I was going to recycle something into a home, I'd do what this guy did:


You'd probably have to trad... (Below threshold)

You'd probably have to trade in that gas guzzler parked in the driveway (visible in the third photo). That may be the mythical eight miles per gallon car The One was talking about!

I can think of one good use... (Below threshold)

I can think of one good use, and there was talk about it after Haiti: Temporary emergency housing. They had a lot of advantages, not the least of which is that by their nature they are pretty resistant to earthquakes.

That's a genius idea. Hard... (Below threshold)

That's a genius idea. Hard to complain about a good idea people.

I want to convert a portapo... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

I want to convert a portapotty into a small hideaway office. I know, it already is, but you know what I mean.

[cue Lionel Jeffries]

"This is livin'! This is style!
"This is elegance by the miiiiile!...
"...Oh the posh, posh travelin' life, the travelin' life for me,
"First cabin and captain's table, regal company,
"Whenever I'm bored, I travel abroad, but ever so properly...
"Port out! Starboard home! Posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh..."

I like innovations like thi... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I like innovations like this. However, you can forget using your little "guest house." Don't you know that the government controls every aspect of your property including its use? Building permits, zoning laws, subdivision regs, and nosy neighbors will see to it that your quaint abode never sees the light of day. Back to the drawing board. If you're lucky, maybe they'll permit you to live in a whole a la Saddam Hussein, but I doubt it.

Funny...you never see cost ... (Below threshold)

Funny...you never see cost info on these cute little pipedreams.

Ooooh, finally a place to e... (Below threshold)
Jane Fonda:

Ooooh, finally a place to eat skittles and watch for unicorns.

I've always dreamed of livi... (Below threshold)
Kool aid Klan:

I've always dreamed of living in a sardine can. Now I can.

This is in Texas? RIIIIGHT!... (Below threshold)

This is in Texas? RIIIIGHT! I want to live in one of these in tornado alley!!

Good point.It does... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

Good point.

It does look like a one-way ticket to Oz to see Dorothy and Toto.

Typically you would secure ... (Below threshold)
Don Curton:

Typically you would secure the "recycled" telephone poles to the ground using 6' spikes driven at an angle, then secure the pod to the poles using metal straps. It would actually be more tornado proof than most tract houses.

I'd love something like this for a cabin on the lake type vacation place. As long as it had real shower and toilet. It'd be great for a weekend get-away.

Back to the "recycled" telephone poles. Really? We used to "recycle" railroad cross-timbers all the time, 'cept we didn't call it "recycling" and we had to get them at night. Funny, I was green before it was green!

I found this sight that sho... (Below threshold)

I found this sight that shows how the military is using them in Africa. They are not big, but comfortable.

Since they are anchored to the concrete, they are very durable in a storm.


After years of seeing tens ... (Below threshold)

After years of seeing tens of thousands of these shipping containers, filled with goods from china, pass from the left coast thru Arizona via BNSF, I can now entertain myself with the fantasy of those same tens of thousands of containers filled with social programs sponges heading back to the left coast to be shipped to china. If chico and poop will paint their names on theirs, I will wave bye bye to them as they pass thru.

Imhotep, it IS a coo... (Below threshold)

Imhotep, it IS a cool idea. As some commenters have pointed out, it might not be ideal for Tornado Alley, but no idea is perfect.

I have no problem with the idea of reusing things and conserving resources - every scrap of wood, pipe, wire or whatnot that I could ever conceivably reuse is retained in my garage. I have no problem with recycling (IN CONCEPT - keep reading) for the same reason.

The problem is that governments on all levels have a disgusting habit of latching on to a good idea and turning it into a crappy idea by making it mandatory. Seat belts, helmet laws, water flow restrictions, blue laws, it's an endless stream.

Thus, we get "recycling" programs where people are charged for it, but the material ends up at a dump anyway. There are those out there who would do something similar with an idea like this - urban planners and anti-sprawl type would love it. This isn't a stretch - lots of these folks would have no problem declaring that X square feet is all you're allowed to have.

I do see the designer has d... (Below threshold)

I do see the designer has done something right - put a gap between the cool roof and the structural roof. I don't care how energy-efficient they are - the idea of placing tons of wet soil directly on the structure isn't smart. All those first-generation cool roofs are going to cave in or leak in the not-too-distant future

That's a genius id... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
That's a genius idea. Hard to complain about a good idea people.

9. Posted by Imhotep | April 16, 2011 2:09 PM | Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 1 (1 votes cast)

Agreed. I have seen some pretty creative architects make some amazing houses out of weird materials like this. And they often look pretty cool.

Actually, I lived in a "con... (Below threshold)

Actually, I lived in a "container home" when I was stationed at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti. The outside looked horrible, but you can fixed up the inside and make them nice. Over there, you had to run the A/C 24/7 to keep it cool, which ran into lots of A/C problems and maintenance.

When I was there I inspected how it was done and the foundation was two slabs on concrete for each side and some plumbing tubes for the bathroom. To save space the CLUs (Compartmented Living Units) were stacked on each other and resembled a cheap motel. There are tons of these at Camp Lemmonier and it beats living in a tent (which can be very nice too).

Please rate/grade your elec... (Below threshold)

Please rate/grade your elected Congressmen/women:


Speaking of 'eco-friendly; ... (Below threshold)

Speaking of 'eco-friendly; here's an 'inconvenient truth'.


This is what we will all li... (Below threshold)

This is what we will all live in under a second Obama term. All housing will come under his czar of housing. The design allows the government to make sure you are living in an assigned lot and where the government needs you to live for access to the local mosque and Islamic school, the new state religion. No more garages needed as there will be no more cars allowed to be owned, only rental cars in the central lot where each is alloted to a certain number of miles per month according to you government approved job. All cars of course are furnished by government motors. media in each house will be controled and approved by government and access to alternative media on the internet is strictly controlled.

Please send 535 of these to... (Below threshold)

Please send 535 of these to DC ASAP!

"This is what we will... (Below threshold)
John S:

"This is what we will all live in under a second Obama term."

Keep dreaming. Now imagine this built from a refrigerator box and you're a lot closer to our real future.

This post is making me feel... (Below threshold)
NJ Mike:

This post is making me feel bad........I am in the process of turning my garage into a MIL Suite for my MIl........and it's only 300 square feet...
Oy!!! Are you all telling me I have to cede a portion of my den too????
If so, I better gets me lotsa invites for dinner, over-drinking, foo'ball....
I do great laundry....and cook too!!






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