Danielle Rago

Prefab Sustainable Housing Made From Recycled Shipping Containers

by , 10/30/09

E-House, Envision Prefab, shipping container architecture, prefab housing, shipping containers, sustainable affordable housing, recycled materials housing, prefabricated materials housing, green residence, eco friendly residence, eco friendly home

Shipping containers are known for their inherent strength, wide availability and relatively low cost — making them a practical and sustainable option for affordable housing. Last year, South Florida-based design, manufacturing and retail company, Envision Prefab set out to create a eco-conscious home, the “E-House,” constructed of sturdy cargo containers. They also wanted to educate homeowners about sustainability, so they recorded all the steps involved in retro-fitting shipping containers to construct the home and shared it with Jetson Green.

E-House, Envision Prefab, shipping container architecture, prefab housing, shipping containers, sustainable affordable housing, recycled materials housing, prefabricated materials housing, green residence, eco friendly residence, eco friendly home

Using the framework of shipping containers to create the basic structure of the residential house, the E-House successfully combines container architecture with residential housing to provide environmentally-responsible design and construction to the housing marketplace. Ranging in size from 740-square-feet to 1300-square-feet, the homes are assembled off-site and then shipped to the specified location.

Following typical construction procedures, the assembly begins with the layout of standard cargo containers. Windows, doors, mechanical, and plumbing vents are marked out at the onset and are cut out of the corrugated metal of the containers walls. Prior to the start of construction, container walls are sand-blasted and coated with an anti-rust primer to insure maximum durability. Exterior walls are then welded together to create the desired form of the structure. When the walls of the house are in place, framing begins. Using steel studs, the exterior walls and the ceiling are framed. Subsequently, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems are then added to the structure, as well as proper insulating. Lastly, the exterior walls are covered in the proper sheathing and house wrap while sheetrock is hung on the walls and ceilings.

Developed to meet the standards of all major green building programs and to retain the smallest carbon footprint as possible, the E-House contains a number of green features, including: energy efficient appliances, a split air conditioning system, low-flow toilets, HEPA air quality filters, tankless hot water heaters, grid-tied solar panels, an electric car charger, LED lighting, low-VOC paints, non-toxic insulation, a Solar Energy system, smart home lighting, greywater recycling, an organic waste composting machine and a custom made recycling center.

+ Envision Prefab

Via Jetson Green

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5 Comments

  1. Pete A. Feka July 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    First, let me say what a great presentaion and design concept. The only thing that would add to the over all efficiency would be the use of a spray fiberglass/foam to replace the sheetmetal framing the insulation even the Tyvek sheeting possibly even the exterior sheething.
    The foam /fiberglass spray would be of one consistency for the general surface ares of the exterior and a more dense consistency for the doorjams and window frames. Aside from addressing the energy efficiency of the dwelling over all the cost of the construction should also decrease. This would even add to the buoyance of the dwelling assisting in high water areas. Cost wise I thought it was worth mentioning. The only new aspect would be determining the time required for proper clean lev eling of the sprayed on material.

  2. koothoff August 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I live in South Africa and would like to purchase some to erect on my Small holding. To rent out as homes.

  3. MarcJ. May 9, 2010 at 4:04 am

    That’s just stunning. Simple and effective. I would love to recommend great e-book to anyone interested in build-your-own shipping container house. Take a look at the http://steelhouseplan.com

  4. medel November 22, 2009 at 6:34 am

    hi there..im an architecture student from the Philippines..ive just want to ask, how do you put the structural aspect of this container houses. thanks.pls reply at my add. bautistamedel98@yahoo.com maraming salamat at mabuhay!!!!

  5. mo8ius November 2, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    This is sooooo annoying! argh!

    They ruin the container by cutting holes in it, then build an entirely new structure around it, which they then have to clad and waterproof–What a waste of a container.

    They could use a lot less material if they just built the house without the container. This is honestly some of the worst greenwash I’ve seen yet.

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