Modern day pioneer John Wells is doing some interesting work in Alpine, Texas. On his desert swath in The Field Lab, which is also referred to as The Southwest Texas Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living Field Laboratory, Wells is living off the grid and building an interesting live/work space of shipping containers.
Richard Hammond and Gensler's Santa Monica office contributed to a unique container project for a Boy Scouts' campground in Emerald Bay (on Catalina Island off the coast of southern California). According to Metropolis, the low-impact cabin was made with old shipping containers, reclaimed lumber, durable rubber flooring, LED lighting, and solar photovoltaics. The roof — which is, perhaps, more eye-catching than the transformed containers — was made with a stretched silicone-coated fiberglass material.
If there's something we're seeing more of it's container projects. And nothing brings out emotion like a shipping container project. Some argue that the benefits of using containers for a structure's framework are negligible, if any, while others argue that container projects are too austere. Or industrial. Nonetheless, as long as you're building with old containers, we'll likely keep talking about the greener ones. In the mean time, feel free to review the best of this year (click the text links for more images and information).
Mark Meyer of Austin-based designSTUDIO recently pointed us to one of his newest projects, la Boite. La Boite is a green, environmentally sensitive cafe with locally baked goods, sandwiches, and coffee. It was built from an old shipping container, and if you’re interested in details of the transformation, read more about it on designSTUDIO’s blog. For the project, DesignSTUDIO used Rainwater HOG’s for greywater collection, biobased spray foam insulation, and Forbo linoleum for the floor and one wall. You can find la Boite on 1700 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas. Looks fun, doesn’t it?
According to a recent press release, a sustainable energy company called Beautiful Earth Group just unveiled this containerized electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With a soaring array of photovoltaic panels, the BMW Mini E pictured runs exclusively on fresh, green power generated by the off-grid, modular station. You’ll note that the station just so happens to be built with recycled shipping containers, too.
Recently in The Oregonian, there was an article by Ruth Mullen about this upcycled container cabana built by Mike Corvi using a 8′ x 20′ steel shipping container. Corvi bought the container for $2,900; hired some craftsmen to cut out the windows and doors; installed dual-pane Jeld-wen windows and a sliding door; wired the place for electricity, cable, and heat; and installed rigid foam insulation and birch plywood paneling. He finished the space for ~$8,000, and Corvi wants to sell similar container cabanas for ~$16,000. He’s also working on a prototype with a kitchen and bathroom.