Shipping Container Homes?

By Scott Van Voorhis

A new home by Hive Modular inspired by shipping container architecture.

"Ready for shipping container living? You know the big crates piled high atop massive oceangoing ships. No joke, shipping containers are fast emerging as one of the hottest new trends in housing. So says James Roche, chief executive of Houseplans.com, an architectural firm that drafts and sells thousands of house plans for the DIY crowd..."

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Adapting shipping containers for modern living is part of the larger trend toward pre-fabricated design: shipping containers are one of many sources of inspiration. Designers and architects are always looking for ways to streamline the home building process, and prefabrication of part, or all, of a home is a key element. That can mean thinking of the house as a kit of parts -- which might include SIPs (structural insulated panels) as the primary wall system, or some other prefabricated part.

Some designers take a modular approach, which means that a design is organized as a series of easy to repeat modules, usually making it more economical and quicker to build. Hive Modular takes this approach, as shown below in Plan 909-7 shown at the top of this post, and in the floor plan, below.



The One Penny Homes series of plans by architect Lucia Strona aptly illustrates the use of standardized

 parts to make an efficient and economical design, as shown here in Plan 542-8. The 543 sq. ft. design

includes two bedrooms and one bath, with a carport on one side and a covered terrace on the other.

Plan 897-1 by the Framework Design Collective also uses the simple rectangle as the starting pont, while

including outdoor space. The designer explains: "The cabin is the tiny house version of the floating modern box. Raising the cabin on a pier foundation eliminates the need for a costly concrete slab and allows the landscape to flow underneath making this design ideal for sloped and uneven sites.

The cabin can also be easily adapted to modular prefab building for delivery to remote locations." This design would work well for a vacation cabin where outdoor living is the main activity.


Originally Published in Boston Real Estate Now

08/04/2014

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