In the pursuit of sustainable living solutions, thousands of people throughout the world have turned to recycled shipping containers as viable options. If you’ve never considered this possibility before, then now may be the time to learn more about this growing trend. You don’t know what you’re missing!
The Rise of Container Homes
Over the past few years, the popularity of container homes has risen dramatically. They’ve gone from entirely strange to fairly common in certain parts of the world. In fact, a recent Woot study asked readers the following question: “Would you ever live in a house made of shipping containers?” More than 700 people responded and the overwhelming majority – 61.5 percent – said “Heck yeah. Those are cool.” Only 25.1 percent said they would never consider it.
The appeal of container homes is diverse. Price is obviously one of the primary benefits, with many homes coming in at less than $50,000 to build. However, it’s the sustainability and eco-friendliness of these recycled structures that most people prefer.
“This supply of used containers is unlikely to run out, as each year more than 500,000 shipping containers are abandoned,” says industry expert Tom Woods. “Add this growing supply to the already established several million abandoned containers lying across the world and you have a large supply to get building with.”
To many, the thought of a home built out of shipping containers conjures up images of cold, impersonal living spaces that are uncomfortable and impractical. However, the reality is much different. Just check out some of these shipping containers from around the world to see how advanced shipping container homes can be.
3 Eco-Friendly Container Home Design Tips
While recycling a shipping container and using it as the structure for your home is eco-friendly in and of itself, there are a number of ways you can make a container home even more sustainable.
Let’s check out some of the things people are doing.
- Insulation is a must. On its own, a shipping container is a very inefficient structure. In order to make it a sustainable solution, container homes have to be outfitted with adequate insulation, roofing, and flooring. Otherwise, homeowners end up wasting considerable amounts of energy. Eco-friendly insulation options include cotton, recycled newspaper, and even straw.
- Use solar panels. Many people that choose to build container homes are interested in living off the grid. In this case, solar panels on the roof can provide enough electricity for some of these structures. If nothing else, they can at least supplement a traditional utility set up.
- Collect rainwater. Since many people that own container homes also live off the land, there are a number of steps that can be taken to promote an environmentally friendly exterior. For example, it’s easy to set up a rainwater collection system to water the garden.
While the structure itself is sustainable, in order for the container home trend to really take off, it’s important that other eco-friendly practices are implemented. These are just three of many possibilities.
Container Homes: The Future of Sustainable Housing?
While it’s hard to call container homes anything but trendy in the global real estate market, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where they play an integral role in sustainable housing. The eco-friendly nature of these structures mean they’ll be around for many decades to come.
For those interested in building their own container homes, it’s important that you perform adequate research and understand the many complexities of these housing solutions. In order to do build one in a cost-effective and eco-friendly manner, very specific steps must be followed.