In a bid to bolster the importance of sustainable development, General Motors is building a tiny urban homestead out of a recycled shipping container in Detroit. Along with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), TAKD Design and Integrity Building Group, GM is transforming the container into an agricultural research center that a student caretaker will manage for one year. The tiny home will sit on an urban farm plot, which the student will be responsible for maintaining and harvesting.
The tiny shipping container homestead will show locals in Detroit that repurposing and recycling materials are an integral part of urban agriculture. The 320 square foot home will have two small bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom that will face the urban farm plot. Over 85 percent of the materials that will be used to build the home will be comprised of recycled scraps collected from various General Motors facilities.
Aside from the recycled shipping container that will serve as the home’s shell, old lockers, small fastener containers, metal parts bins and Chevrolet Volt battery cases will be transformed into bird houses, planters and tool storage. Sound-deadening vehicle insulation will be transferred into the walls of the home and wood pallets will be reused to build furniture, such as the bed frame and table.
Along with the recycled materials, the $3,000 shipping container will require an extra $20-25,000 in labor to upgrade it into a livable, finished home. The shipping container homestead is slated for completion by the Fall, when you can track the resident student’s container life on their blog.