There are tons of prefab design firms, manufacturers, and developers churning out cutting-edge modern modular designs, many using reclaimed shipping containers. We often hear complaints from you guys that good green prefab architecture is a bit out of reach for the average homeowner, so it’s great to see a small, family-oriented project that shows how you can do it yourself with a little ingenuity. The DIY Zigloo Domestique integrates shipping containers, personal and sustainable touches, and lots of hard work. Keith Dewey, an architect based in British Columbia, designed, built, and documented the construction of his Zigloo Domestique home that epitomizes accessible, green, reclaimed, yet comfortable contemporary prefab architecture.
The home is located in Fernwood, one of Victoria’s oldest and funkiest areas, and proves that shipping containers are more than just modules for cargo transport or emergency housing. The designer has done a wonderful job of documenting the entire design process, from initial plans to delivery of the containers and final construction and furnishing. The project spans almost two years, and the final residence consists of 8 containers, 1800 square feet, and 3 stories of homey prefab space. Keith’s family home design is a great example of shipping containers and prefab techniques as a viable and accessible building approach for just about anyone.
After installing the containers in place, Keith strategically cut pieces of the containers to create an open floor plan, windows, and sliding deck doors. He hopes that the Zigloo Domestique, his own family home, will serve as a comfortable and affordable prototype for the construction of many other family residences.
“We’re seeing some really creative solutions in the world and I’m just hoping to be one of them,” Dewey said. “It takes a lot of energy to recycle steel shipping containers. Or you could take those six million decommissioned shipping containers and build a million houses.”
Check out this news coverage video of the project’s progress and completion:
Keith also has some great conceptual projects on his website, all of which employ shipping containers, green design materials and techniques. + Zigloo