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Inspirational Shipping Container Homes

Shipping containers can be transformed into the most amazing houses. They are incredibly versatile as building materials and are very economical to build. Another selling point is how quickly new residents can move in. Often the project is completed in just a few days. Shipping container homes can vary in size from a mere 160 square feet to over 5000 square feet with multiple shipping containers. Shipping containers can be used for affordable housing, luxury housing and even portable housing.

The Insta_House is a simply elegant prefabricated two story space with the unexpected feel of luxury. The base model is 960 square feet and includes four 8’ by 40’ containers. Its design is a celebration of open spaces and light, that seems to contradict its small size. It features sliding glass doors and an amazing ceiling height of 16 feet in the living area.

The house was initially conceived as an art studio, so the play of light was a major goal. The Insta_House delivers that light in spades with broad glass windows covering the ends and light from the upper story streaming in from above. With all those windows, views can be amazing, especially from the upper story loft. While the base price of this home is a mere $99,800, the necessary extras such as foundation, HVAC and superior insulation bring the total up to about $118,000 all inclusive.

Container City II
Container City is a modular system of construction incorporating re-used shipping containers to create affordable construction. Built in 2002, Container City II is probably one of the most famous shipping container structures in the world. It contains 22 mod style studio apartments. It was the second phase of the construction known as Container City I, and features the same round portal windows and a retro mod, pop culture mix of colors also used in the first structure. The buildings are quite similar in overall appearance, but Container City II seems more evolved and perfected than the first set of units.

MDU (Mobile Dwelling Unit)
This design is a real work of art. It was created to be exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and also at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. The appearance of this functional art piece, with its attention grabbing candy apple red color, is amazingly chic. The interior sports a black white and red décor as well. It appears to be quite spacious and oozes of both luxury and post modern charm, but what makes it special is its ability to travel.

The design is constructed of a single 40 foot shipping container outfitted with four pull out sections that can be retracted back into the container to facilitate travel. The sections are only slightly reminiscent of the pop out camper concept, but that’s the general principle. These retractable extensions fit neatly back into the container and lock in place so that the shipping container can be shipped as easily as ever, even though it is now a home. It could be put on the back of a flatbed, or transported by ship very easily. When it reaches its destination the pull out sections can be pulled out for a maximum square footage of 500 square feet.

Sarah House Utah
The Sarah House is an affordable living concept designed and crafted by Jeff White, who is a real estate broker in Salt Lake City, Utah. He volunteers for Crossroads Urban Center, and advocacy group to assist the low income and disenfranchised citizens of the area. The purpose of the Sarah House is to provide low income sustainable housing at a fraction of the cost of conventional housing. Energy efficiency and sustainability are also important goals.

Over the last two years, White and Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City have been able to negotiate a grant to purchase a lot for the first Sarah House and obtain building permits for these structures. The first Sarah House, measures 672 square feet and is nearly finished. It incorporates two shipping containers and a small extension. It features bamboo flooring throughout and interior ecco batt insulation over sprayed on closed cell insulation and drywall throughout. It is hoped that Sarah Houses can be sold for between $60,000 and $80,000 each.

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