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.

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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