German architect Han Slawik created his Homebox design based on the shipping container building model, taking into consideration the ease of transport, universal dimensions and general usefulness of shipping containers. However, the Homebox is not made from an actual steel shipping container. Slawik simply took all the best parts of shipping container architecture and modified it to be easier to build and maintain. Modification of steel structures during the building process, as well as the subsequent repair and maintenance is costly, which is one of the drawbacks of building homes from shipping containers.
The Nomad Micro home is the brainchild of Vancouver architect Ian Kent, who is currently raising funds to begin producing the home through an Indie Go Go campaign. The Nomad Micro Home can be described as a sustainable tiny house kit. It is so small and lightweight that the buyer can ship it anywhere in the world, and once it arrives, anyone with some basic carpentry skills can assemble it on their own.
The Nomad Micro Home measures a measly 10×10 feet and features a living room, kitchen, and an upstairs sleeping loft. However, due to the size constraints, several of these serve a double purpose. For example, the shelves in the kitchen are also the stairs to the loft area and the whole bathroom is also a shower. The Nomad is designed to house one or two people, though several house kits can be assembled together to make a larger home.
Julio Garcia, an artist, architect and designer famous for his mixed media prints built for himself a home and studio from shipping containers in Savannah, Georgia. In creating his home, he drew inspiration from his art in trying to create a house that joins disparate elements into a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The industrial recycled shipping containers he used to build his home are juxtaposed against the lush natural environments of the Savannah wilds. To create his home, Garcia used two shipping containers made obsolete by the one-way flow of goods from China to the US through the Savannah port.
American architect David Randall Hertz, owner of the Studio of Environmental Architecture firm, completed a one-of-a-kind home using the wings of a decommissioned PAN AM Boeing 747-100 airplane. The 747 Wing House, as the project is called, stands on 55-acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains, near Malibu, California. The area was hit by the Green Meadows fire of 1993, resulting in total destruction of all the structures the owner had built there.
Team Middlebury is one of the twenty teams chosen to compete in this year’s US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition and their entry is the design and building of a socially and environmentally sustainable house called the InSite house. The team is made up of more than 100 Middlebury College undergraduate students from over 25 different academic disciplines. The finished two bedroom and one bathroom house will measure 956 square feet, while the building costs are $250,000.
The first team from the Czech Republic to enter the Solar Decathlon is Team CTU, made up of 26 students who set their sights on designing and building a prototype for future housing while raising awareness of solar energy, energy efficiency, and Czech architecture and engineering.
Their submission in the Solar Decathlon 2013, for which judging takes place in October 2013 in Irvine, California, is AIR House, which stands for Affordable – Innovative – Recyclable. Utilizing energy effective materials and technologies, AIR House provides a comfortable environment for older generations that appeals to the senses and respects the environment.