The Canadian firm Ecopods makes sustainable, fully recycled short term container dwellings. Ecopods are an excellent choice as cabins, guesthouses or other accessory buildings, or showrooms. All ecopods houses are designed to function off the grid, and can easily be transported anywhere.
Power to the ecopod is supplied via a 80 watt solar panel and 12 volt battery, which eliminates any need to run power lines or trench power cables to the unit, meaning that it is ready to live in right after set up. One of the 20-foot side walls of the ecopod can be lowered by 2 hydraulic cylinders to form a sturdy deck. This wall is lowered with the use of a solar-powered electric winch. The deck can be raised to secure the ecopod when leaving the dwelling for a longer period of time.
The outer shell and structure of an ecopod is made from a standard 8’x20’ steel shipping container. For the interior walls the Magnesiacore Technology is used. This technology uses proprietary processes with magnesium oxide compounds to deliver a multi-purpose, non-combustible, and versatile board material, which provides full LEED credit for all uses. Magnesiacore boards are made primarily from Magnesium Oxide (MgO), which is a naturally occurring compound.
The wall insulation of ecopods is soy-based and water-blown into walls and ceiling cavities to provide the needed thermal protection to the home. This type of insulation contains no formaldehyde or other harmful and irritating matter. It is also mold resistant and is not a food source for rodents or insects. This type of insulation is also Class 1 fire rated, meaning it will char but won’t sustain a flame. The soy-based insulation gives the ecopod an airtight seal, and the 1” inch insulation used gives the house walls an R-value of R-9.
The interior walls are finished with Supertherm, which features a combination of high performance aliphatic urethanes, elastomeric acrylics, resin additives and standard acrylics in a water borne formula. This finish contains no co-solvents and dries by evaporation. Supertherm is also made with four separate ceramic compounds for insulation from radiant heat, reflection, conduction and convection. The Supertherm is applied over the Magnesiacore wall panels and raises the ecopods’ R value to R-28.
The floors of ecopods are covered by ECOsurfaces flooring which is made of recycled tire rubber and ColorMill EPDM, which is comprised of pre-consumer waste and organic fillers. Together these two materials form a water based polyurethane polymer. The resulting flooring has low-VOC emissions and is recyclable and can contribute toward earning 9 LEED points.
Ecopods are also equipped with Sun-Mar composting toilets, which evaporate the water from the toilet waste and carry it back to the atmosphere via a specially designed vent system. The household water needs are taken care of by a WaterMill, which is an atmospheric water collection device that works to condense water vapor, while also purifying it. This system works by drawing in moist, outside air through an air filter. This air then passes over a cooling element, and condenses the moist air into water droplets. These are then collected and pass through a specialized carbon filter, which is finally exposed to an ultraviolet sterilizer that eliminates all bacteria to provide drinking water.
Article tags: alternative energy, container homes, container house, ecopods, energy efficiency, green building, LEED, modern design, modular, residential