Sukup Manufacturing is a small company based in Sheffield, Iowa, which primarily manufactures agricultural products, which includes grain bins. About three years ago, Sukup also began manufacturing grain silo homes to be used as disaster relief housing in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. They called this grain silo home a Safe T Home, and it was developed in partnership with Global Compassion Network and Iowa residents. In 2012 a shipment of these homes was transported to Haiti where volunteers and residents built the so-called “Village of Hope” from the silos. Safe T Homes proved very successful as relief housing, and they are now also available for purchase in the US through Sukup Manufacturing. Safe T homes can easily be used as vacation houses, or even tiny sustainable homes.
Some years ago the architecture firm LOT EK completed an innovative expansion on the NYC residence of the Guzman family. The resulting 1500 square foot penthouse is made up of a transformed mechanical room and a 20-foot shipping container. The bedroom is located inside the container part of the structure, while the designers also added a patio, and now the whole penthouse has a spectacular view of the Empire State Building.
The transformed mechanical room serves as the main living area of the home, while the master bedroom was moved to the upstairs shipping container part of the penthouse. The bay window at the main level, which is made from the back part of the shipping container, was wedged into the south wall of the building. The shipping container bedroom was then placed atop this structure.
The Spanish architecture studio Abaton has developed a simple housing unit, the design of which was inspired by shipping container homes. The largest home in the company’s APH80 series, also known as Transportable House (Casa Transportable) as it is called, measures 27 square meters (9mx3m), and consists of 3 different spaces, namely a living room/kitchen, a bathroom, with a full, shower and a double bedroom, with a bed included. The house also has a gabled roof, which is 3.5 meters high and provides an added sense of spaciousness.
Hank Butitta converted a typical yellow school bus into a small mobile dwelling for his grad school Master Final Project. He bought the school bus on Craigslist for $3000, and invested another $6000 into its transformation into mobile home. All together, this is less than a downpayment on a home, and the school bus can function as a normal house.
The transformation started with breaking down the bus into 4 sections, namely the bathroom, kitchen, seating area, and bedroom. Since the window bays in a school bus are evenly spaced, the interior space can be broken down into modular units of 28 square inches, which also leaves space for a center aisle that is also 28 inches wide.
The unique tiny house builder Hobbitat Spaces from Maryland is now taking individual orders for their hand-built homes. The company is the brainchild of Bill Thomas, and the homes are hand crafted and built to withstand even the harshest Northeastern winters. Hobbitat Spaces recently completed 13 Hobbitat cabins for Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat in Maryland. All of the houses in the retreat were built with reclaimed, local and recycled materials.
Karl Wanaselja and his business partner and wife Cate Leger from Berkley, California opted to build a home office using a retired shipping container. They chose to do so primarily because they live in an earthquake prone area, which makes shipping containers the perfect choice as building blocks. They purchased the 40 foot container, which was once a refrigerated unit, for just $1800 from the Port of Oakland.