Upcycle Living Rolls Out Affordable Shipping Container Housing

by , 02/19/10

shipping containers, shipping container housing, affordable housing, phoenix, upcycled living, temporary shelters, recycled materials, upcycled materials, eco residence

Phoenix-based Upcycle Living is aiming to bring affordable shipping container housing to the masses with its modern cost-effective designs. Just las fall they installed a 2-bedroom house at a green street fair in Phoenix, and orders started rolling in. The designers and builders now expect that they can produce a similar modular model for less than $100,000.

shipping containers, shipping container housing, affordable housing, phoenix, upcycled living, temporary shelters, recycled materials, upcycled materials, eco residence

The 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom model installed at the street fair measured 1,280 square feet and was built out of four 40-foot shipping containers. For the street fair the corrugated exterior was left as-is, so onlookers would be able to recognize it for what it was. Future models will be solar panel ready and include a shade screen to help the homes remain cool in the hot desert sun. Inside, the home features recycled hardware floors, bamboo cabinets and new Energy Star appliances. As the pictures show, it’s definitely roomey inside and plenty big enough for a small family.

Upcycle Living claims to be able to provide housing for at least 2/3 less than traditional stick-built homes. There are already orders for private homes, but Upcycle Living hopes to work towards building affordable housing on a larger scale and they are currently working on a development to provide housing for a Native American Tribe. Since the Haiti Earthquake they have also reached out to NGOs in hopes of helping provide temporary shelters, permanent residences, or even medical clinics. It’s refreshing to see a company out there building and proving that housing costs don’t have to be exorbitant.

+ Upcycle Living

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  1. omerfaizi March 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I ThinkArizona needs more of these projects. Though from a interior design stand point i think this model needs a loooootttttttt of TLC and modernization, green sustainable furnishing, floors , lights etc etc.
    may be they need to sit and talk with me 😉 how i can make this box in to a house .
    Omer Faizi

  2. john simmis November 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    If you are considering a design build, modular, or prefab home, building with recycled shipping containers is worth taking a look at. There are many considerations that have contributed to the appeal of building with intermodal shipping containers – availability, standardization, the recycled/green factor, economy and speed of construction, their durability, and even their “elegance/grace”.


    Lots of great example buildings, details, facts, and links to other articles. They have something new that you can setup your own project wiki to get help with your project if you are considering a design build project.


  3. aceace September 1, 2010 at 1:49 am

    WOW…. I often pass this home coming from the Gym and I finally got a chance to go in side I met Jason Anderson whom at the time was being interviewed by a group out of London intrested in the structure. They loved it. I was taken aback by the contemporary style and simplicity of the interior and exterior of the structure. This is a great idea.

  4. wintersunllc August 10, 2010 at 8:13 am

    container homes are an awesome idea to use existing resources that are currently just rusting away! for more rugged terrain, a site built home may be needed. for more info, visit Green Homes and Solar Systems

  5. egomartini August 9, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Container homes are a great idea and I don’t understand the negative opinions of ISBU homes some have.
    I’ve been working on some container home ideas of my own at http://putterordiemyblog.wordpress.com/
    I am keenly interested in affordable, green home ideas. If green designs are made more affordable than more green homes will be built.
    This is just a hobby for me – I am not trying to sell anything here.

  6. Pram Chandran February 21, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I have seen simillar schemes before and love the idea very much. Being in the construction industry in Asia and Middle East, such ‘housing’ is being used to house workers on remote sites. Would be very interesting to adopt and adapt it for families in developing countries. Totally prefab operation in terms of production with ease of delivery to any developing countries by shipping and road. Concern on mechcanical, electrical and plumbing matters can be resolved and add avantage of a flexible facade treatement is a plus. Seriously wonder what a 4 container, fittted out module will cost … that I believe is the next hurdle to address financial feasibility of a mid scale development.

    Well Done!

  7. classy February 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    i like this trend and want to live in one for cheap!

  8. tada February 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    hey noone, you can put what ever you want on the outside: cement board, vinyl siding even stucco –

  9. noone February 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    trailer for a house… garbage for a design. who wants to live in a house that looks like a shipping container. you’re trying to solve the problem, when YOU are actually the problem.

  10. jlmurph678 February 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Great model for third world countries though…Could really help with a Haiti type of situation.

  11. jlmurph678 February 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Wow what a brilliant idea! A metal rectangular box that is cheap to live in. We could build whole parks full of these for people to live in. SO innovative, perhaps we could build some second rate schools nearby and really follow the trailer park model.

  12. slothglut February 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Because of the name, I’m wondering whether all the rest of the house (interior + MEP) were also made with the same ‘upcycling’ method?
    Thank you in advance for the info.

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