Shipping container buildings are customizable, modular structures that can be built on small budgets. We’ve posted about shipping container homes before, ranging from the positively enormous to the downright itty bitty. We recently spotted a report on DailyMail about a small but comfy looking home in Ottawa, Canada composed of three shipping containers. We can’t help but fall in love with an off-the-grid recycled home built on the cheap, and this project by 29-year-old Joseph Dupuis is the latest target of our affection.
Dupuis is the architect of this peculiar home in the woods. That is, if you call a man who makes a home out of shipping containers an architect. By day, Dupuis is an engineer and renewable energy researcher, and he found himself wanting to escape the city for a simpler, quieter place to call home. He pieced together three disused containers, which previously carried cargo from Asia to North America, to make a unique off-grid home that didn’t cost him a lot of money.
The young entrepreneur snagged the containers for $3,400 CAD (about $2,600 USD) each at a port near Toronto and had them relocated to Ottawa. He outfitted the containers into one open floor plan, making a cozy 355-square-foot cabin in the woods on land his family already owned, about 35 miles west of the city. Reportedly, the entire project cost around $20,000.
The home isn’t connected to any utilities. Instead, it’s fueled by rooftop solar panels, which generate enough energy to run the neighboring workshop, made from two additional shipping containers. A wood-fired stove and heated floors warm the place in the long Canadian winters, which can bring brutal low temps and tons of snow. Dupuis’ friend Japhet Alvarez captured the home in a series of images that inspire us to start thinking about all the homes we could build with the 17 million empty shipping containers in North America alone.
Inside, the abode is minimally appointed with no interior walls–not even around the bathroom fixtures, which include only a shower stall and a single vanity. Dupuis uses an outhouse for other business. Although the home is plumbed for the shower and sinks, water comes from a neighbor. This shipping container home is no sprawling mansion, but Dupuis considers it a work in progress. Although the master of the house lived in the shipping container cabin for two years, it’s no longer his primary residence. He has plans to add a fourth shipping container as a second story, to include a glass ceiling designed for epic star-gazing. Perhaps once that phase is complete, he’ll consider moving back into one of the coolest shipping container homes we’ve seen.