This cute and compact shipping container home was built to provide shelter for researchers studying the rainforest in Far North Queensland, Australia. Made of two conventional shipping containers, the house has a full 90 square meters of living space and stays dry and free of insects and vermin despite the heavy tropical rain that is typical to the area. On March 20, 2006, Larry, a category 5 cyclone with wind gusts traveling up to 283kmh battered the area but when the dust settled, the tough house was still standing (with some minor damage to its canopy) - a testament to shipping container power!
Earth Science Australia‘s team built the rainforest research center using two 6m (20′) containers placed 3m (10′) apart. Leaving a space between the containers allows for a semi-enclosed area for storage, hanging out or doing research. There is a total of 30sqm of dry sleeping area, 15sqm of mostly dry cooking area and 45sqm of covered outdoor area. Believe it or not, the entire project, including the containers, trucking the containers some 500km, screening in the cargo doors, steel, cement, sand and gravel, nuts, bolts, carports, C-section, screens, timber, decking oil and painting cost only $16,000 AUS.
Despite being located in a dense rainforest that gets heavy rain on the regular, the research center stays dry as a bone inside (well maybe not that dry, but you know what we mean). But when Cyclone Larry swept through the area, the center was really put to the test. While the overhead canopy that shaded the rooftop sitting area was crushed by huge falling branches, the resilient containers escaped unharmed – yet another example of shipping container architecture impressing us with its versatility and durability.