I love shipping container houses, and I have seen some creative ways of making space with them. But with this home, I wanted to make a modern home that would fit into almost any neighborhood. A simple rectangular volume, to maximize the usage of the shipping containers. This home is designed to be affordable, with a hybrid model of shipping containers and dimension lumber with prefab trusses for the gable roof. The current gable roof is not only to match common existing houses you might find in an urban neighborhood, the gable roof can provide for good solar access, as long as you are working with an “east-west” lot. With this concept in mind, we are using the gable roof as a solar-ready angle; I thought this would be a great way to create a solar ready prototype that has a 40 degree roof pitch that coincides with the latitude, making it a truly solar-ready home that is built to catch some rays.
It uses 8 shipping containers. This would be approximately 16′ x 40′ or about 1200 sq. ft. with 3 bed 2 bath. There is an option to have the Master on the ground floor to accommodate aging in place.
It is important to start with shipping containers that are 9’6″ tall, not 8 foot containers. What essentially we are doing is building an exo-skeleton that we can build layers onto. We need an air and water barrier system that will provide enough insulation to keep the dew point out of the wall. Even though it may be cool to expose the exterior of the shipping containers, you are asking for thermal bridging and energy loss. So you want the insulation on the outside. This would require continuous insulation on the exterior, covered by a drainage plane, and offset with rainscreen siding, to allow for drainage of any moisture. In this case your insulation is also acting as your air barrier–sealed tight all around the exterior of the shipping containers.