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Shipping Container House … It’s Off Grid

Shipping Container House ... It's Off Grid

I found it very interesting to see this innovative off-the-grid (OTG) shipping container home design. In the past, these shipping containers were only meant for over-road, over-rail and over-ocean cargo of bulky goods. Nowadays, they are being turned into a dwellings that are intended to answer the need for sustainable, cost-effective and ecological abodes.

To large extent, Studio H:T’s shipping container houses are made from shipping containers, but supplemented by other materials. The home office spaces, t

he kitchen and bedrooms are made from shipping containers while the living and dining areas as well as the storage aren’t. Even though the house is not entirely made from shipping containers; the design is remarkable for it runs completely off-grid.

An exceptional feature that these houses have is the non-automated design styles which include cooling and green roofs and the windows minimizes solar heat gain. Also, the external layer of the house can moderate solar heating.

Another feature of Studio H:T’s shipping container houses is the pellet stove and photovoltaic solar power. They work to provide power for the entire home.

The above features of these houses are designed to bring more prospective home owners to avail a more reasonably priced, maintainable and flexible living preferences. Altered shipping containers also support unconventionality from amenities, low-impact living plus mobility.

Definitely, they are primarily constructed as homes but they are also good as a getaway housing, as a guest house or even as an emergency accommodation. To see more of Studio H:T’s work, find them in our Prefab and Shipping Container Home Designers and Builders Directory (click here).

Home Automation Means an Upgrade for an Old House

The whole idea of upgrading and re-branding a house can be practical and interesting. It can create wonderful improvements to a rather old and basic structure. To complete the process, it is important to take into consideration the personalities, interests and lifestyle of its owners.

Located high above the southwest corner of San Francisco’s Noe Valley is a house that was built way back in the 1970’s. All houses in the area were all designed in the same way and represented the natural charm. However, Scott MacFiggen and Regina Bustamante decided to transform their old house to suit their personal taste and interests and at the same time enable them to manage their new interests.

With the help of Architect Christi Azevedo, Scott and Regina upgraded their old house into something that depicts simplicity and practicality while incorporating their tech-forward lifestyle as well.

From a stick-frame basic box, the house had been upgraded with a midnight-black façade consisting of Japanese-inspired cedar boards and encourages the concept of entertaining outdoors. The house is also equipped with solar panels to save energy, a modern kitchen, stainless steel counter, a raised rear patio wherein original redwood decking had been reused, and Solus fire pit to warm them up when the night gets colder.

The house is also designed to produce more energy than it consumes and incorporates a system that allows the couple to charge their electric cars. Over-all, this Home Automation project managed to combine environment-friendly measures with tech-forward living. To see more of Azevedo Design’s work, find them in our Prefab and Modular Home Designers and Builders Directory (click here).

Home Automation Means an Upgrade for an Old House (2) Home Automation Means an Upgrade for an Old House (3)


Sustainable Home Design Winners – For This House

The Habitat for Humanity Student Design Competition which focuses on sustainable home designs had just announced its five winners. The competition encourages young professionals to feature and take into consideration sustainable strategies in building homes. It focuses on innovative solutions that are cost-effective and practical yet highly aesthetic, simple and promote healthier living.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, which chose one winner from each region, had also taken into consideration the candidate which best utilized vinyl building materials.

The South Region winner came up with NOTBOX, an affordable housing project that features the use of insulating concrete forms. The project had been described as sophisticated in design and is commended for its ease of construction.

The West Region winner is entitled “The S House: A Passive House for Calgary”. The success of the design can be attributed to its simplicity and straightforward approach to sustainable design. Its structure and relevant features are integrated within a single concept.

The winner from the Central Region came up with a plan that has potential for future improvements. The space is adjustable and its construction took into consideration factors such as sunlight, rain and changes in weather. It also promotes cost-effective techniques in its construction.

The Northeast Region winner made use of light, durable and strong materials. The design was commended for utilizing vinyl as a material instead of a building component. The design is decent and uncomplicated.

The Best Use of Vinyl winner won the title for its modest design which is both practical and affordable. The project was described as modest and made use of vinyl as an exterior instead of vinyl siding. Over all, the design is cost-effective, simple and highly sustainable.


How to Build an Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pool

Having a pool in your backyard is awesome. Swimming is a delightful recreational activity for a fun-filled social gathering — you can splash water and play with family members and friends — and it will keep you healthy and clean. — it strengthens one’s endurance and stretches your arms naturally without forceful pulling. But building an eco-friendly swimming pool makes it even more special.

Green pools are a new trend that eco-conscious swimmers and home owners would really appreciate. The main difference between an eco-pool and an ordinary swimming pool is how it is filtered. That’s because in eco-pools or what we call ‘natural swimming pools’, a pump circulates the water in the pool using a pebbly filter or a plant filter. By filtering the swimming pool water this way, it can make the water clean and fresh without any chemicals. In fact, natural swimming pools don’t really turn very dirty. They are designed to approximate the motionlessness but clean nature of a pond and they are not styled like usual swimming pools.

Mother Earth News has a pointer for maintaining the cleanliness of the water without extra sterilization. There must be a regular gap between the swimming area and the decorative plants around the pool.

For your natural swimming pool, you need to hollow a hole in the ground. Decide how deep your pool would be. Put aquatic plants in your pool as they serve as natural filters. For circulation, make use of PVC tubing. It can be submerged in the ground about 18 inches deep. Once filtration zones are done, lay a man-made pool liner. Then put some clean gravel on the bottom, about 5 inches deep.

After completing the bottom of the pool, prepare the edges by cleaning them up. A compactor is used for this to limit erosion of the soil surrounding it. Building stone borders are also useful to prevent any soil erosion that might happen in the future. Then add beautiful plantings around the pool to depict a natural look and to add loveliness of your natural swimming pool. Take note to pick plants that are prone to a damp environment.

I found some beautiful designs of natural swimming pools at Biotop. They have styled them exquisitely! For more info on them, find them in our directory.

Steel Metal Home Building Kit, 3500 sq ft, Selling for $36,995

With metal constructed homes, home-ownership has just been taken to a new level – a digital level for that matter but without a lot of hassle and complication. Imagine having a home kit that you can just assemble, customize and design to suit your needs and lifestyle. Well, you can absolutely have one and find it on eBay or any number of other online sources. The one we found and are taking a look at here is a 3500 sq ft steel metal home building kit for $36,995.

It is a decent, durable and modern house that offers a clean and cozy exterior and interior. It is spacious and ready to be modified (design modified) in any way the occupants would like. It is ideal for families as well as for those who are living independently. With its high ceiling, wood panel details and spacious floors, it is indeed a welcoming home after a tiring, busy day. Aside from its practical and durable nature, it is a home that can accommodate every family’s necessities to make life comfortable.

This steel metal home building kit can also be customized, as I mentioned. Furniture and other home appliances can be installed within its spacious living area, and a lot of these appliances are available when designing and ordering a unit (allowing you to do what suits you, whether pick up cheaper used appliances to take it easy on your budget or get new ones with the metal house to make it easy time wise). It is much like having a dream home without the hassle of material selection and construction.

And finally, the best feature of this home is that, for all the class and comfort it offers, it is actually very affordable and guarantees value for money as well. It is the kind of home suitable for this age and time because it is modern, no-nonsense and very practical. Metal buildings mean they’re going to last for a long time. I’ve heard a 90 year estimate for metal structures. To see more of AmeriBuilt Steel Structures’ work, find them in our Metal Homes, Prefab and Modular Home Designers and Builders Directory (click here).

Today’s News – August 29


Big meeting this weekend. The G20. Will China get it’s agenda through? It wants to be a recognized power.

TTIP negotiations between US and EU have collapsed says German economic minister … (separate story:) Half of Germans Against Merkel Serving Fourth Term: Poll

(Muslim violence) Yemen bomb. 54 dead — Muslim knife attack at German music festival — Bomb blast at Brussels police building — ISIS suicide bomber stabs Catholic priest and tries to blow up hundreds of worshipers during Sunday Mass

Turkey moving further into Syria. Lots (dozens) of military strikes. Who will possess this land after the fight is over?

Oil: $49(down).

Cuba confirms start of direct commercial flights from U.S.

10,000th Syrian refugee reaches U.S.

In-Flight Horror as Engine Fails, Rips Apart Forcing Emergency Landing.

Italy burying dead after 6.6 earthquake.

Bolivian official kidnapped by protesting miners and killed.

Indonesia gets a “terror attack” — the Muslim country that had a big Muslim population but no real terror issues.

Denmark overtook Switzerland as the world’s happiest place, according to a report on Wednesday that urged nations regardless of wealth to tackle inequality and protect the environment.

Are we going to have to raise the pension age? 

Singapore confirms 41 locally-transmitted Zika cases


Canadian Blood Services needs 32,000 blood donations before Labour Day to replenish its national supply which dropped significantly over the summer

Majority of Canadians say political correctness has “gone too far” – Angus Reid Institute

Trudeau Heads to China to Woo Trade Amid Weak Canadian Growth

“Canadian dollar will continue to drop”


63% of Americans Can’t Afford $500 Car Repair or $1,000 Emergency Room Visit

Teenage girl killed herself amid fears she would be branded racist over joke photo she sent friends, inquest hears

Rival Gangs Crips, Bloods and Esés Declared Peace in Los Angeles

3 dead, 23 wounded in Chicago shootings

One of the Nicest Shipping Container Houses that You Can Build with Just One $2000 Container

People who are already interested in building houses with shipping containers may have seen a few different options for how to lay out one or two or even more large shipping containers, but this is one of the nicest looking jobs of a shipping container home using just one container bin, which would cost around $2000 or so.

The price of the shipping container home will be more than the price of the metal bin, of course, but the basis is that bin. On this one, they’ve just set it up on simple blocking — no elaborate foundation — which is an inexpensive and non-invasive way to set a shipping container house (or prefab house or modular home, for that matter), down on its building site.

Already the style element enters, because they’ve opted for thin rectangular columns on the overhang.

But now the style really kicks in. Normally, the blue color of the shipping container house would be something conspicuous and possibly be something the house builder would want to avoid, but here the blue contrasts with the yellowish interior wood, the green folliage and the whitish columns and deck (and furniture) to make the blue look purposeful. Similarly, the squareness and the vertical lines of the shipping container home walls are complimented by the vertical window dividers and the horizontal patio railing.

They coated the container house with ecological heat insulation, which is cotton based, and therefore provides some sound insulation as well. It also has a special membrane of waterproofing to the container bin, so it can have a green roof — see the plants growing on the roof? You might have missed that in the photo. It’s like a nature garden up there.

One of the great things about this design is they made something here that can look good, but that you can build with just one inexpensive used container bin. Here they used two short containers, and whether you use one longer or two shorter makes almost no difference to the design, but the reason I’m saying go with the one longer one is that you don’t have to join the two — you’d just set it down and get to work. Because you can get them second hand usually, you won’t know until you shop around which option (one or two bins) will be cheapest for you. If you go with two bins, each will be 5.10 meters by 3.2 meters by 2.2 meters tall. So overall the building is 10 meters long. If you go with one longer shipping container, obviously you get a 3.2 by 10 meter bin. You can get shipping containers used in lengths even around 40 feet, so you can go a bit longer even if you go with one bin. You might want to build just like this shipping container house, but have some storage space / guest space or maybe a wood shed area on the end.

That wood, if you were wondering, is beech wood, and they used it throughout the shipping container home, except the bathroom, which you can see in the photo is a pale grey. They used cement mortar for that, and all the glazing is triplex safety glass. This luxury container home was designed by Greek firm Zelhs. For more prefab homes, modular homes and tiny houses (including shipping container homes and builders), find them in our directory.