Team China’s Y Container Solar Decathlon House Upcycles Shipping Containers

by , 09/13/11

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Solar Decathlon, Washington D.C., Team China, Cargotecture, recycled shipping containers, Y Container, Shanghai, Tongji University, off the grid, photovoltaic roof, solar energy, renewable resources, radiant flooring

The Y Container allows residents to live just about anywhere freely, with self sufficient off-grid energy sources and a lightweight mobile design. The home has three verandas that face the surrounding landscape, each capped with an open porch for enjoying the fresh air of the outdoors. Wooden screens line the perimeter of the façade, and can be rolled back to reveal the open interior.

The flat roof is lined with photovoltaic panels. It transfers the heat collected from the sun to heat the Y Container’s floor, as well as the hot water used within. The temperature of the interior is also passively controlled with vacuum insulation, blocking heat loss and gain.

Each wing of the home acts like a natural ventilation tunnel, creating a continuous flow of air. The wings, made with double-wide shipping containers, meet at a triangular point in the center, which siphons out hot air and keeps fresh air circulating when the windows and doors of the wings are closed. Rainwater is harvested, purified and stored on site. Lining the outside of the home are a series of plants which provide oxygen, cool breezes and fresh vegetables.

The Y Container was made for the young budget-conscious Chinese couple in Shanghai, who were unable to afford independent housing. Y Container provides the couple with a private home, while also giving way to savings on utilities and enabling a lower carbon footprint.

+ Team China

+ Solar Decathlon

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1 Comment

  1. Laura Seabrook September 15, 2013 at 7:51 am

    This bears a resemblance to something I came across in a virtual world (see

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