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living in containers - modern prefab homes

a briefing document

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Living in containers - modern prefab homes is part of a series of briefing documents on housing and making living systems ecological.
This grouping is contained within a set of documents on global concerns at abelard.org.
eco-building Distributed energy systems and micro-generation
Living in containers - modern prefab homes
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Living in containers - modern prefab homes

As pressures on space and resources become ever greater, the need to be efficient and effective with housing is increasingly important. Some original solutions showing what can be done.

Here is an on-line catalogue of a large number of container-based, cheap housing.

Cargotecture Studio 320   
Zigloo Domestique

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Here’s a container-based home with shade and room for PV!

The Future Shack modular home. Photography by Earl Carter

In fact, it is better than a sardine can!

Container internal and externnal dimensions.

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Want or need to move, then

“[...] stick your house on a boat (contents and all), move across the world [...]”

The Seatrain House, 2003. Image: Jennifer Seigal

“Strong but slender, containers can be wedged into small plots and stacked up to 9 units high [...]” [Quoted from treehugger.com]

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There is a recommended slide show at the Office of Mobile Design site, as well as this useful video.

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the zeroHouse

The zeroHouse. Credit: zerohouse.net
The zeroHouse. Credit: zerohouse.net

“Conceived as a small, prefabricated abode, zeroHouse could be shipped easily and quickly erected on site with a helical anchor foundation.”

“The 650-square-foot home features a full kitchen, bath, and two bedrooms that can accommodate four adults, plus ample livable exterior decking. The architect says that he designed all of the furniture and accessory storage to be built into the walls to maximize the space and give it a roomy feel on a small footprint.” [Quoted from aia.org]

    The construction includes:

  • Closed-cell foam structure building envelope that rates R-58.
  • Power generated from the photovoltaic array is stored in batteries, allowing one week’s operation without sunshine.
  • Rainwater retention system that collects and stores 2,200 gallons.
  • Organic waste materials are stored and broken down in a compost container located under the home.
  • Estimated cost: approximately $350,000, or $530 per square foot.

Cut-away view of zeroHouse. Image: Scott Specht for Specht Harpman
Cut-away view of zeroHouse. Image: Scott Specht for Specht Harpman

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