It's always nice to hear how good companies are helping the world.* I've just learned about one to keep an eye on: Containers to Clinics. C2C is a start-up non-profit that's retrofitting shipping containers for use as health clinics that cater to women and children's needs in the developing world. Their prototype container clinic is currently under construction with Stack Design Build in Rhode Island and should be complete in mid-November.
Today at West Coast Green 2009, Green Horizon showcased their new SFH40 on-demand housing, and it's an impressive unit. Designed to be a self-sustaining home for a family of four, it can be shipped anywhere in the world in a standard shipping container and set up in less than two hours by unskilled people. Each unit has two bedrooms with built in furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchen area. But it's also designed to be a self-sustaining shelter in the aftermath of a disaster when infrastructure may be damaged, so it includes solar panels and batteries, a bio-diesel generator as backup, and water purification equipment. Units can be interconnected to share power and water.
Earlier this year, the OC Register highlighted one company's efforts to transform unused warehouse space in Santa Ana, California. Orange County based Marketing Via Postal Group, Inc. needed offices for their new warehouse and decided to reuse 10 twenty-foot shipping containers as offices and a kitchen. MVP's employees did the work and the container spaces now have porthole windows, office furniture, plants, and bathrooms/sinks.
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.
Update 10/2/2009: Check out the SFH40 Premiere at WCG 2009!
Last year, West Coast Green had an awesome shipping container home exhibit, and it appears that this year will bring something similar. Yet a little different. As confirmed by Michelle Kaufmann (who will be speaking on Friday of WCG), start up Green Horizon will exhibit their green emergency / container housing unit at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. The design of the Green Horizon unit is pretty incredible — it knocks the socks off of FEMA trailers — so you’re going to want to see this in person.*
There's something about the simple design of this small container home that I really like. It was mentioned on A Site-Specific Experiment, which is run by Chutayaves Sinthuphan out of Bangkok, Thailand. The one-bedroom, one bathroom home was built using two, 20-foot containers with cutouts for windows and doors. There's a prefab bathroom inside and the interior is insulated with a recycled content material.