[permaculture] shipping container house - insulated, cheap and quick!

yarrow at sfo.com yarrow at sfo.com
Wed Jan 6 00:52:43 EST 2010


Shipping Containers as Homes? Design Students Say Yes

Class project shows Cañada College design 
students that shipping containers are livable

Turning used shipping containers into affordable, 
eco-friendly housing is the latest trend with 
innovative architects and a recent class project 
has convinced some Cañada College interior design 
students that the used metal boxes can have all 
the comforts of home.

Annie Cronin, the green design and sustainable 
concepts instructor at the college, challenged 
her students this semester to think inside the 
box - as in designing a livable space inside a 
metal cube. Cronin used shipping containers 
because they are routinely going back to Asia 
empty out of the Bay Area, they can be purchased 
for about $900, and they are strong enough to 
resist winds of up to 170 miles per hour.

While the local hipsters might consider living in 
a metal box trendy, is it realistic to think a 
shipping container can serve as a home?

"If you lose your home in an earthquake, flood, 
hurricane or some other natural disaster, you 
begin to look at a well-designed shipping 
container in a different light," Cronin said. 
"That's what I told my students. They need to 
take the interior of a shipping container and 
make it into a home. They all remembered the 
images from Hurricane Katrina and they understand 
that living in the Bay Area we are not immune to 
natural disasters."

Cronin said her students embraced the project and 
provided creative designs ranging from a 
solar-powered container home to an entire planned 
community that included a garden, kitchen, 
laundry room, play area, clinic and support 

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