Modular Shipping Container Home in Mojave Desert, California

About Echo Tech Design
About 44 West Construction

ProjectThe Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain
DesignWalter Scott Perry, Echo Tech Design
ContractorEric Engheben, 44 West Construction
Area1,200 SF living area + 1,000 SF film studio
LocationJoshua Tree, California, USA
PhotographyJack Parsons

The modular shipping container home is composed of diverse steel elements, including: 6 repurposed containers, a 10,000 gallon water tank, a Butler pre-engineered building, and a steel shade canopy with integrated metal framing system that provides wind, fire and earthquake protection, extraordinary strength, as well as large door and window openings to maximize cooling, ventilation, and natural daylighting. An adjustable, bolt-on shade and steel frame system creates wind, glare and 50% solar heat reduction on the house; solar breezeway creates suitable location for plug-in attachment of future water heating panel and solar electric arrays.

By combining mass-produced and high-efficiency modular construction methods with contemporary innovative design in one of the most harsh climate zones in United States, designers have developed a sustainable and low-cost housing system that can be delivered and quickly assembled anywhere in the world.

Description from architects

A prototype hybrid house, also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain is the first repurposed container home permitted and built in the Mojave Desert. Based on the fuel-efficient Prius automobile engineering concept, the residence combines the energy and production efficiencies of diverse pre-engineered building and energy systems working together seamlessly to produce a smooth-running hybrid green machine for living.

The residence is a prototype of 2nd generation pre-fab design and a kit-like housing product developed by ecotechbuild, the design-build subsidiary of ecotechdesign. It is constructed from 5-20′ long recycled cargo containers that were fabricated and finished in Los Angeles and then shipped to the site where they were erected and stacked 2 high in 15 minutes each. All site work, including foundations and utility placement was constructed at the remote desert site during container fabrication in Los Angeles.

The residence is the 1 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath, 2 story model hybridhouse_1 design that has been adapted for a media client who required a separate photo studio and storage building. The studio is constructed of a Butler pre-engineered steel building with plug-in cargo container storage. It is naturally daylite with 22″ dia. Solutubes, which can be manually controlled and temperature balanced using efficient, dimmable strip lighting.

The container residence and the pre-engineered, steel studio structure act as two bookends that support framing and, in turn a perforated metal shade canopy that wraps the container’s roof, south-facing steel walls and the dramatic 20′ high outside living space, aka solar breezeway to provide protection against desert heat, glare, wind and blowing sand. The breezeway, in turn moderates and then directs a flow of air through the container spaces to enhance passive cooling. A naturally lit, steel-clad stair structure connects the 2 level stacked containers and doubles as a 20′ story high photo gallery in which to display artwork.

Other features include:

  • Hybrid House Design: based on the efficient Prius engineering concept, the hybrid house concept combines diverse, pre-engineered building and energy conservation features to maximize efficiency and cost savings, while offering architectural design flexibility and variation.
  • All Recycled Steel Construction: the project is composed of diverse components, including: (6) repurposed ISO cargo containers, a Butler pre-engineered building, a 10,000 gal. storage tank, at solar shade canopy and an integrated steel framing system that provides extraordinary strength, earthquake, fire and wind protections, as well as large window and door openings to maximize natural daylighting, ventilation and cooling.
  • Solar Home Shading System: a bolt-on, adjustable steel frame and perforated metal shade system creates 50% solar heat, glare and wind reduction on the building and solar breezeway and allows for the plug-in attachment of future solar electric and water heating panel arrays.
  • Living Roof System: movable, bolt and add-on modules use greywater irrigation and are planted with native desert plants and sedums to absorb heat, glare, dust and CO2.
  • Water Conservation: integrated greywater for irrigation, water harvesting and storage systems.
  • Energy Conservation: an innovative steel framework allows for the placement of a “cool roof” and insulation system and a triple wall insulation system combine to create a building envelope that exceeds California energy code requirements by 50%. All appliances, fixtures and heating systems are Energy Star rated.
  • Reduced Costs: Finished construction costs, including footings and sitework was $150/SF, far below construction costs for comparable prefab home or manufactured home construction.

Simple Shipping Container Home with Detached Roof Made of Two 20 ft Containers, Thailand

About BlueBrown

Containers2 x 20 ft

This simple shipping container home is made of two 20 ft containers and located in Thailand not far from Bangkok. The home has 1 bedroom, living area and embedded prefab bathroom unit. The containers are insulated with recycled thermal insulation with roof layer above the home to prevent the transmission of heat into the habitable areas.

Detached roof on this shipping container home is heated by the sun in the same way as a regular roof, but a detached roof transfers less heat to the living space.

2000 sq ft Shipping Container House, Kansas City, Missouri

About BNIM
About Home Contained

ProjectGlassberg Container House
Design and buildBNIM and Home Contained (Debbie Glassberg)
Area2000 sq ft
LocationKansas City, Missouri

While homes made of containers is not a new idea, this ocean shipping container house design is unique in how it combine spaces and areas that nurture the inhabitants. Delightful to be in and easy to maintain, these spaces are inspiring and generous. The designer created three kinds of spaces: Container Space offers unique livable areas, Contained Space – the area created between two or more containers and Uncontained Space – which is the area beyond the building, integrally connected to an overall structure.

Description from builders

BNIM collaborated with Debbie Glassberg to design her new residence constructed from five shipping containers in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. The containers, pieced together with a steel and concrete framework, create space for two bedrooms, an office, television room, kitchen, dining area, living room and three bathrooms. The pre-fabricated containers are taller than typical shipping containers, allowing for large windows that create an open and light-filled space. The roof of the two-story residence includes an edible garden and patio.

Small shipping container home, Auckland, New Zealand

This small shipping container home can be used as a spare room, studio, home office, sleepout or anything you want. The transportable 20 foot container unit can include various home devices for any taste and budget and so generates portable rooms with various functionality and can be delivered anywhere in the world.

Design: One Cool Habitat