Energy Efficient Cocoon Shipping Container Home
A Greek company, working in conjunction with a natural fibre mattress manufacturer, has developed a 40ft shipping container home that is energy efficient.
Cocoon has the container homes on sale for US$65,000 per unit, though if you wish to have more than one container in your block / blocks you should contact the company to discuss your needs.
Comfortable shipping containers?
Shipping container architecture is well established and really isn’t about austerity or steel sheds to house the desperate. It can be about comfort in small spaces. Here at Gateway Container Sales we have seen tiny home concepts built around the shipping container as a building block.
The Cocoon concept sits at the small but comfortable end of the bracket. It has large glass sliding doors that stretch most of the length of the unit, allowing for real connection with the outside and getting away from the hemmed in feeling one may get from a dark steel box.
At one end is a small bathroom connected to the bedroom space. The main living area faces the glass doors so you are looking outwards into whatever world you may be living in. There is also a small kitchenette that enables the unit to be completely independent of other facilities. You don’t need a chuck wagon nearby to survive!
Austerity in Greece
Cocoon has emerged after its home country of Greece faced bankruptcy. Taxes weren’t high enough to cover the country’s expenses and it ended up unable to service its massive national debt.
While people have to live within their means, nations can get away with a certain amount of national debt – you just need to see how Donald Trump slashed taxes in the US despite the country having one of the biggest debt burdens in the world.
The prevailing political philosophical thought at the time of the Greek financial crisis was not one where a country needed to borrow to invest its way out of financial problems (even while Keynesianism worked) but one of slashing borrowing and impoverishing the citizens to pay back the debt. Austerity isn’t unlike a person who has got into a spot of financial bother tightening their belt to get out of trouble, though when it involves millions of people it isn’t a case of cutting out your Starbucks habit to pay a few more dollars off your credit card.
What Austerity really meant to the people of Greece is that the poor get a massive kicking while the rich continue to dodge taxes as they step over homeless beggars in the street. The economy is a basket case and what major state assets that the country had that could have helped tackle the debt were bought up by companies from rich countries. It is said in Greece that Germany is in control for the second time since the 1940s! Once more the government is hamstrung by its international agreements to get out of debt, and one Greek businessman told your writer, “There is no such thing as democracy in Greece”, despite the country essentially inventing the concept 2500 years ago.
The need for cheap housing
As indicated above, the Greek economy isn’t in great shape. While Austerity hasn’t bothered many of the middle classes in Europe, it has gripped the middle classes hard in Greece. This has meant that the housing market has stagnated, albeit at levels above what people can generally afford. There is a need for lower cost housing.
Cocoon believe that they have an answer to this problem of cost – the shipping container tiny home. Cocoon have said that they can build these units 15% cheaper than prefab housing units and 30% cheaper than the methods used to construct a traditional home in Greece.
This would mean that the buyer of the shipping container home is getting a US $90,000 home for two thirds of the cost of one built using traditional methods. Not bad for the consumer, though again looking at the economy as a whole one may wonder what the house building trades people would do should all homes be built using this method! Not everyone wins in a free market economy…
Given the poor state of the economy there is a real need for decent quality homes, and this shipping container concept makes that possible.
One of the reasons that the Cocoon shipping container homes are so cheap is that they are built extremely quickly in a factory environment.
Outdoor house building is often impeded by the vagaries of the weather. The economy in Athens slows down markedly in the height of summer due to the fierce heat where temperatures can top 40 degrees C. But Cocoon shipping container homes are built in a temperature controlled factory environment, so the container homes can be built at the same pace throughout the year.
The video above shows one of these units being built in a time lapse. It only takes a few days to build each container home, and once on site the foundations even in tectonically active Greece don’t need much preparation.
Portability and other aspects of shipping containers
The Cocoon shipping container home can be easily transported – one of the best aspects of the shipping container concept. This means that the homes can be put in temporary developments or can be used as transportable off-grid homes.
Greece has a foible in its geographical position in the world – the area is a tectonically active zone and there are regular, sometimes large earthquakes that mean that, without notice, many people can be made homeless by the forces of nature. A shipping container development can be put in place very rapidly to enable those made homeless to have somewhere to live while rebuilding their own lives.
Yes, off grid too! The units can work on-grid or off-grid. Whether during the ongoing financial crisis or due to natural disasters, the units can be used as housing for those in most need.
One problem shipping container housing units have is that they leak energy. Steel isn’t the most insulative material in the world! The Cocoon design gets around this problem with a green roof that substantially prevents heat from leaking into the atmosphere. The windows are double glazed and it is cladded on the outside with insulation covered with wooden cladding. This makes for a highly energy efficient and comfortable place to stay in hot summers and cold winters alike.
One way to tackle national debt is to have foreign currency coming in. These repurposed shipping containers could well be an answer to that (albeit not as much as selling its biggest ports and airports to German conglomerates). Though if Greece got out of the Euro, went back to its old currency the Drachma and devalued the currency to make its goods even cheaper (not unlike the US Dollar and GB Pound being weak helping those two economies) the costs of Greek labour and the raw materials made in the country are substantially lower than other areas of Europe. This means that the Cocoon shipping container home is cheaper than you will find from other companies building similar units elsewhere in the European Union.
The shipping container residential units in question could well be an answer for small businesses outside of Greece to buy these units as holiday chalet units or perhaps tiny housing developments where there are high house price costs (such as Sydney and Melbourne).
Gateway Container Sales
Here at Gateway Container Sales we wish Cocoon well – they have a lot going for them in this concept and it may well help them and their associated businesses out of the problems foisted upon them by forces beyond their control. Contact Gateway Container Sales & Hire for all your secondhand shipping container needs for sale & hire or modification.