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Friday, December 3, 2010

The Ultimate Recycle- Shipping Container Homes


About two years ago, I read of a contest in California, to create the best design for a shopping cart for the homeless to use. It had to be used of a day as a cart to move around their belongings, and convert for sleeping in the cart at night (or whenever a homeless person would want to sleep). The contest went well, and numerous charities purchased carts made from the winning design.
While that was a great idea and a noble effort, on a larger scale, builders and designers have gone green in a very large way, creating the ultimate recycle. Homes, restaurants, offices, weekend cottages, tree-houses, schools and virtually everything else we find ourselves inhabiting, are being designed and constructed from large metal shipping containers, of all things.  The idea of creating living spaces from shipping containers is not new, with builders and designers from all parts of the globe experimenting with them for at least 2 decades. The containers are environmentally friendly and sturdy. The cost of the containers has been minimal in comparison with other building materials, and construction being relatively simple and quick, with assembly being similar to playing with Lego toys (think modular). 
And  now for some inspiring images:


OK, so let's review what makes this such a fantastic concept:
1.    Cost: much less than average home, thus making homes affordable for many
2.    Durability (ability to stand up to extreme weather conditions)
3.    Eco-friendly and Green (recycling at its' best)
4.    Easily remodeled (modular units  placed on top of one another or joined easily)
5.    Quick Construction
6.    Transportable
7.    Easily relocated
With these benefits and more, it is no wonder so many of these Shipping Container Homes are being designed and built all across America and other regions of the globe.
I personally am inspired by the creativity and resourcefulness demonstrated by the builders and designers of these Shipping Container Homes.  It is refreshing to see energy spent in creating simple, humble and adequate living spaces. There may be hope for us yet. With a small movement under way across America to live in smaller and more affordable housing, these appear to be a great alternative to so many large, overbuilt homes.
For more information on this topic, please visit the following websites:   
Photos courtesy of Zigloo.  


John M. Wickline
JW Home Inspections, Inc.
Member of INTERNACHI

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