Gallery: Brooklyn Couple Moves into Stacked Shipping Container Home in ...

Over the last ten years, rising property values in Williamsburg, Brooklyn have made home ownership difficult or impossible for many. But one couple, David Boyle and wife Michele Bertomen, decided to get around the high pricetags in the area by turning to cargotecture. In 2008, the couple bought a small 20 by 40 foot plot on Keap Street along with six shipping containers, and began to build their stacked container home, which they were finally able to move into recently.

Image ©BenFractenberg forDNA Info

Boyle and Bertomen decided to go for a shipping container home as a way to be able to design (and afford) their own digs. Since Boyle is a contractor and Bertomen is an architect, they were poised to created the home of their dreams on their tiny south Williamsburg plot.

The couple purchased six shipping containers for $1,500 each, and designed a 1,600 square foot residence that stacks three of the shipping containers on one side and two on the other, connected by an interior staircase. In addition to the incredibly low cost of shipping containers, the home was also very easy to erect in just a few days, rather than months of construction.

But halfway into the building process, the couple received a stop work order from the Department of Buildings, citing lawn space to home ratio issues, as well as a long list of other necessary design changes. Since a private shipping container residence had not been built in New York before, the home was serving as a model for future constructions – making it subject to meticulous review by the city.

But luckily, the changes were made more easily with Bertomen’s architectural experience, cutting costs drastically compared to hiring an outside architect. At the end of the day, the home ended up costing the couple $400,000 (with an estimated $100,000 due to the interest accrued during the delays caused by the Department of Buildings).

Last fall, the couple was granted a certificate of occupancy with a move-in date of February 28, 2013. The energy efficient home, which features radiant heat and Super Therm insulation, will serve as a model and inspiration that will hopefully encourage more shipping container homes to pop up in New York.

Via DNA Info

Images ©Ben Fractenberg for DNA Info


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  1. Florin Anghel September 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Wait a minute.. The total cost was 400.000$??
    Why so much?

  2. BrianneH May 17, 2013 at 9:35 am

    More photos, please!

  3. Mark A. Griffin March 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Very cool idea and great reuse of materials! Would love to see more pictures of how the interior turned out. This has been an idea of mine for awhile to do in a remote location to use as a cabin/retreat.