Green Container House in Houston


Some of you may be tired of container homes, but this one, the Cordell House, is too interesting not to talk about.  Designed by Christopher Robertson and developed by Numen Development, L.P., it’s a 1,858 square-foot pad with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.  And in addition to being built with a number of green elements (described below), the developer was able to keep construction waste to a minimum with ten contractor trash bags total.


It’s hard to tell from the images, but the driveway was made with a FilterPave system of 70-80 percent post-consumer recycled glass, 20-30 percent granite, and a polymer binder in a four inch layer.  Plus, in addition to the low-maintenance landscaping and passive solar design of the home, some other green elements include:

  • Built with four used shipping containers
  • SIPs incorporated in roof and floors
  • On-demand hot water heater
  • Efficient Unico AC system
  • An energy recovery ventilation system
  • Bamboo flooring and low-VOC paints
  • Use of fiberboard products
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Dual-flush toilets and efficient plumbing/fixtures

In addition, the most expensive elements of the home, the structural elements and mechanical core, were partially prefabricated in a shop for efficiency.  The Cordell House is a fascinating display of containers, SIPs, energy efficiency, and green materials.








All photos here are credit to Jack Thompson with more photos at Dwell.

Article tags:
  • Anonymous

    LOL What is it with these photographers? I can’t believe she wouldn’t let you use her photos….

    I really love everything about this house. And no, I never get tired of hearing about container homes;^)

  • Facebook User

    Any idea on the total cost to build?

    • Preston

      I wasn’t able to get that info on this project. Still trying.

    • Preston

      From the developer: “The Cordell House was $128/sq ft construction only (no land), but we did receive some discounts and would expect it to cost $150/sq ft if we had paid full price for everything. The house has many custom features and as it states on our website, our finished projects have ranged from $100 sq/ft to $150 sq/ft.”

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious to see the layout of the containers etc as the inner looking courtyard and dining area look good.

  • Anonymous

    Did you have a floor plan or at least a sketch showing the container configuration ? It looks like an amazing space I am curious the see where the containers “start and stop” and where conventional construction begins to get the volume of space with just 4 containers ?

  • Bman

    For the record… I will NEVER get sick of container home articles, so please KEEP ‘EM COMING!

    This house offers an interesting design. So far, I have designed 8 unique container home designs (with many more on the way), ranging from simple 2-container designs to inviting 8-container duplex designs.

    The fact is, I’m hooked on container homes and fully intend on helping bring them into “mainstream” home design. Keeping this unique construction method low-cost and highly efficient will help ensure it’s place in home (and some commercial) construction and design.

    Thanks Preston for continuing to provide me with additional examples of why I should continue my ISO design model.

    Anyone interested in my current designs and ideas? Please provide contact info and I’ll be happy to explain what I’m putting together… it’s really great stuff!

  • Portland Real Estate

    great house! I always knew that there were better uses for those shipping containers. I also really like the special pavement that they were using. I had never heard about it before but now Im reading everything that I can find.


  • Facebook User
    • Preston

      Thanks Michael, you make some good points. This stuff is still a little edgy for some. Facade control can go a long way with approvals, but it takes away some of the affordability possibly associated with using containers (and the exposed exterior).

  • Anonymous

    What about snow load and -30 temps? Here in Minnesota the extremes are great 100 in summer and -30 to 40 in winter with high levels of wind. Is this design and construction for our climate? Also, where we live soil is limited, but granite and bedrock aren’t. What foundation system do you recommend for freeze/thaw cycles? The frost line is 4 to 4.5 feet by code. Also, screening in outside areas is very important due to mosquitoes. Which needs to also bear the weight of snow….Just wondering if this design, which my husband and I like, is practical for our area. Thanks, d

    • Preston

      The house was designed for a Houston location, but you could always get in touch with the architect, Robertson Design, to talk about localizing it to your location.

  • Anonymous

    hey designers, any of you had designed container house? im designing a car accessories shop and cafe using container/cabin for my own use and already done with it. just waiting for construction/fabrication. but i want to try to design other things beside that. so i want to ask, what software do you use? im from architecture background and got diploma in architecture. so basically i familiar with the softwares and if its new to me i can catch up with the software quick. i just want to know what software do you guys use.

  • Anonymous

    I want one….

  • Pingback: The Freeman Feldmann Shipping Container Home

  • Chris Thomas

    nice concept for new ways of building homes.

  • Conrad Tips

    Has anyone built a shipping container home here in Houston? We are interested on having a shipping container home in our lot here in Houston. Can we see one?

    • linda

      This house is in Houston

  • disqus_4T2oUAeqdV

    yes there is a place call hunter biulds in houston tx i work there

Popular Topics on Jetson Green