Refrigerated Shipping Container Home, San Francisco, California

About Leger Wanaselja Architecture

DesignLeger Wanaselja Architecture
ProjectBoucher Grygier Shipping Container House
Containers3x40' refrigerated shipping containers
Area1350 sqft
LocationSan Francisco, California, USA
ConstructionScott Bailey
PhotographsLeger Wanaselja Architecture

This refrigerated shipping container home in San Francisco, California, incorporates three pre-insulated containers into the structure of this three bedroom, 1350 square foot house. Made to withstand tremendous loads and, with built-in refrigerated units, to keep low constant temperature, these refrigerated shipping containers make excellent architecture building blocks and they easily meet the existing building codes.

Description by architects

Re-purposing used refrigerated shipping containers is extremely resource efficient.  The containers act as a weatherproof exterior siding, insulation, and structural frame.  Minimal insulation needs to be added at the roof and floor.  Framing is only needed where bay windows and interior partition walls are added.  Waterproofing is only needed where windows and doors are added.   Aside from the containers, which make up most of the building, green materials include:

▪ blown in cellulose insulation at the roof
▪ 50% flyash concrete foundation
▪ “green seal” low-voc paint on the interior
▪ water-based urethane finish on the wood
▪ 100% wool carpet and bamboo flooring

The house was also designed to minimize energy use through passive solar design.  Deep eaves minimize summer solar gain, while allowing winter solar heating.  Well placed windows supply excellent daylighting and summer ventilation.  Additional energy and water saving features such as stacked plumbing, roof rainwater collection, high efficacy lighting, and Solatubes further reduce ecological impacts.

Three 40' refrigerated shipping containers were used to build this home in San Francisco, California. Two containers were stacked on top of each other and the third container was cut in half. The refrigerated shipping containers are separated by an inner atrium with large floor to ceiling windows.

The refrigerated shipping containers provide structural frame, insulation and a weatherproof exterior siding.

The large atrium serves as a living room and central breezeway. A staircase and bridge connect the 2nd floor rooms together.


About Leger Wanaselja Architecture

Since its inception in 1991, Leger Wanaselja Architecture has been a leader in green design. The firm has won numerous awards and been featured in many books, periodicals and other media, highlighting our exploration of green architecture.

The goal for every project is to shrink the ecological footprint while creating lyrical and enduring buildings. Integrating our clients’ needs with the specifics of a site, our projects emerge naturally from their surroundings and use energy and material resources efficiently. Light filled indoor-outdoor spaces often figure prominently. To reinforce the relationship of project to place we incorporate local materials, reuse existing materials and mark sunlight’s patterns in our work. Nature is always carefully considered and celebrated, even in an urban setting.

We work closely with clients and builders in order to achieve the best possible design. Since we are also green builders and developers we bring a keen understanding of construction methods and budgets to all of our projects, as well as the hands-on ability to innovate and experiment. In addition, we regularly review new and alternative materials and construction methods to improve upon aesthetics and performance, and to reduce the ecological impacts of architecture. Our work includes ground-up construction, renovation, and interior design—commercial, residential and institutional.

Address2320 McGee Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703, United States
Phone+1 510-848-8901

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