One of the more unique recycled home ideas is certainly the Morton Loft in New York City, which was constructed from a disused petroleum trailer tank. The architecture firm LOT-EK, which specializes in building homes from shipping containers, completed this project back in 2000. They used the tank to create 2 sleeping pods, which come complete with hydraulic piston hatchback doors, and 2 capsule bathrooms, which were placed on top of each other. The home was commissioned by Joshua Morton. To build the loft, the architects used a decommissioned tanker trailer, which still shows signs of wear and tear from its days on the road. It once carried 7,200 gallons of gasoline and weighs roughly 100 pounds per linear foot.
Boat builder Steve White from Belfast, Irland has recently constructed a houseboat made from shipping containers. He intends to live in it and has parked it in the Brooklin marina. White was helped in bringing his project into existence by SnapSpace Solutions, which is a Brewer company specializing in repurposing containers for living and office space, as well as Ellsworth container homeowners Jennifer Sansosti and Trevor Seip, and boat builder Andrew Baldwin.
The premade container home maker Cargotecture now offers a prefab home that is a perfect way to downsize yet retain the comforts of living in a larger space. The c-series 640 Lookout model measures 640 square feet, and features a large living area with a kitchen, a spacious bedroom and bathroom, a media room and a lofted sleeping area for guests.
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.
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.