Jimmy from Costa Rica, the man behind the ContainerHome.net company, has successfully recycled plenty of shipping containers into comfortable, small apartments. One of his biggest successes is the home introduced in this post, which is basically a small apartment made from a standard 20-foot ISO shipping container.
The shipping container home features a huge unfolding door, which creates a deck area and extends the effective living space of the home considerably. One of the longer sides of this home is covered by large French windows, which open onto the deck and allow plenty of light to enter the home. The unfolding sidewall door weighs about 1000 pounds, and is operated by a 12V wench and a pulley system, which is normally used to operate small bridges and very large doors.
The shipping container home is well insulated, and features a fully functional kitchen and bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink. The container is also freshly painted from the inside and the outside and takes about 6 weeks to build all told.
Optionally, the home can also be taken off-the-grid, using a solar power array to provide electricity, a propane powered refrigerator, and a composting toilet. A rain catchment system can also be used to take care of the water needs of the occupant. Alternatively, a wind turbine could also be installed to provide the needed energy, depending on the future owners needs and the wind conditions in the location where the home will be placed.
To minimize the home’s heat gain issues, these units also feature an A-frame roof system, which creates space between insulation and wallboard and minimizes the heat gain problem. To further alleviate this problem, the home should also be placed in a location that maximizes wind exposure and minimizes sun exposure.