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10 Houses Made from Repurposed Shipping Containers

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10 Houses Made from Repurposed Shipping Containers

April 13, 2018

We like the idea of a shipping container as vacation getaway—it’s mobile, inexpensive, and an example of creative reuse at its best. Here, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite houses made from shipping containers.

 urban rigger is the first in what its founder, kim loudrup, intends  17
Above: Urban Rigger is the first in what its founder, Kim Loudrup, intends to be a fleet of floating student houses made from recycled shipping containers. Architect Bjarke Ingels designed this one, which comes with plywood-paneled bedrooms and prime views. We also featured Urban Rigger in our post 11 Hostel-Style Lodges for the New International Nomad.
a bach (meaning vacation cabin; it&#8\2\17;s short for &#8\2\20;bachelo 18
Above: A bach (meaning vacation cabin; it’s short for “bachelor pad”) in New Zealand designed by Atelier Workshop. The container has built-in wood paneling, a foldout terrace, and bunk beds—all that and it’s meant to be mobile. For more, see A Shipping Container Transformed into the Ultimate Holiday House.
an insulated shipping container is repurposed as a modern &#8\2\20;glamping 19
Above: An insulated shipping container is repurposed as a modern “glamping” retreat on Airbnb in Pleasant Hope, Missouri, about a half-hour drive from Springfield.
a pop up hotel called sleeping around travels the globe according to demand. th 20
Above: A pop-up hotel called Sleeping Around travels the globe according to demand. The hotel is made up of seven retired shipping containers kitted out with their own water system and the potential to use solar or wind energy. Once settled in a location, the rooms can be set up and fully functional within five hours.
architect david yama of yamamar design turned a 40 foot highboy shipping contai 21
Above: Architect David Yama of Yamamar Design turned a 40-foot highboy shipping container into a compact cabin located in the middle of a thousand acres of land near Mount Lassen in Manton, California. Photograph courtesy of Yamamar Design.
two bright blue shipping containers were turned into a 500 square foot flat in  22
Above: Two bright blue shipping containers were turned into a 500-square-foot flat in Fort Worth, Texas, available on Airbnb. The 20-foot containers are equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, living area, and Murphy bed.
a guest house/garden retreat/playhouse made from a repurposed steel shipping co 23
Above: A guest house/garden retreat/playhouse made from a repurposed steel shipping container by Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in San Antonio, Texas. For more on the project, see our Q&A with Poteet in The Architect Is In: Container as Guest House.
Meka Prefab in the West Village
Above: Prefab houses from MEKA (Modular, Environmental, Kinetic, Assembly) made from steel shipping containers, cedar wood paneling, double-glazed argon-filled windows, a bamboo interior, and slate bathroom; four different design options range from $40,000 to $135,000.
the oakland, california, home of architect stephen shoup of building lab inc. h 25
Above: The Oakland, California, home of architect Stephen Shoup of Building Lab Inc. has an attached office space for the firm’s staff built from a three-by-six-foot shipping container. Photograph by Aya Brackett.
a modern beach house by way of converted shipping containers on carolina beach  26
Above: A modern beach house by way of converted shipping containers on Carolina Beach in North Carolina is available for rent on Airbnb. There are two for rent, each measuring 320 square feet, and equipped with outdoor showers.

Craving more smart design solutions? See our posts:

Embarking on a remodel? See our Remodeling 101 Kitchen Guide and Remodeling 101 Bathroom Guide for everything you need to know.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 3, 2012.

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Frequently asked questions

What are shipping container houses?

Shipping container houses are homes constructed from shipping containers, usually retired ones. They are often used to create sustainable and affordable housing options.

What are the benefits of shipping container houses?

The benefits of shipping container houses include being eco-friendly, cost-effective, and durable. They can also be customized to fit specific design preferences.

How are shipping container houses constructed?

Shipping container houses are constructed by cutting openings for doors and windows, insulating the containers, reinforcing the walls to support a roof, and connecting multiple containers together if needed.

How long do shipping container houses last?

Shipping container houses are made from steel and can last up to 25 years if maintained properly.

What are the sizes of shipping container houses?

Shipping container houses come in various sizes, but most commonly used containers are 20 feet and 40 feet long. Some companies also offer custom sizes.

What is the cost of building a shipping container house?

The cost of building a shipping container house depends on various factors, including location, size, design, and materials used. It can range from $50,000 to $200,000 or more.

Are shipping container houses comfortable?

Yes, shipping container houses can be very comfortable if they are properly insulated and designed for human habitation. They can also be customized to include amenities like air conditioning, heating, and plumbing.

Are shipping container houses legal?

Shipping container houses are legal in most parts of the world, but it depends on local building codes and regulations. It is important to check with local authorities before building a shipping container house.

Can shipping container houses be moved?

Yes, shipping container houses can be moved if necessary. They can be loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported to a new location.

Are shipping container houses sustainable?

Yes, shipping container houses are sustainable. They help reduce waste by repurposing retired shipping containers, and they can also be designed to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

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