Keeping it in the Family: 3 Cargotecture Homes for 3 Brothers
A family in the Caribbean island of Costa Rica had a bit of a problem – their three grown up boys were getting under their parents’ feet, needed more space, yet did not have the funds to build or buy their own homes. The solution? Three shipping container ‘cargotecture’ homes were built on the family’s land for the boys to use as they fledged and started to fly the nest. This may well be a solution for families living in more expensive areas of the world such as Sydney and Brisbane…
Let’s look at the shipping container homes
Unused shipping containers are plentiful and cheap. They can be quite easily modified as building blocks and can be built very quickly.
The three homes are identical in floor plan, no doubt to prevent any of the boys from making accusations of favouritism! Three, 40ft high cube shipping containers form the main structure of the buildings that have comfortably sized indoor spaces. In keeping with the local style of construction, the buildings are all on concrete stilts.
Re Arquitectura said in a statement,“The good management of the resources was key in this project, making the most of all the available local materials respecting their nature and modulation, in order to generate the minimum possible waste, on the other hand materials of low environmental impact were used, plantation woods, water-based paints and varnishes, solar heaters and passive climate control strategies to avoid the use of air conditioning.”
Energy saving was an important part of the brief. Temperatures can be fierce day and night in Costa Rica, so the costs of cooling the homes could be astronomical. The architects, therefore, built the homes to use the prevailing winds to cool the homes passively. The glazing on the buildings was put together in such a way that the air would pass right through them and cool everywhere inside.
Another element in energy saving is the solar water heating. This is situated on the roof, using the local climate to reduce energy bills. A final element is the so-called ‘insulating paint’ that is sold as a method of insulation on cargotecture (although this is somewhat controversial as it doesn’t always do what it says on the tin).
The final green element was the sewerage system. To meet local requirements the solids are caught in special septic tanks and the fluids are double filtered before being allowed into the groundwater. This may not be found acceptable in many other countries that have stronger environmental laws…
What does this mean to a Sydney or Brissie dweller?
Given the silly house prices in some parts of Australia, this could be a good idea for families who are sick of their 30 year old children still being at home. The parents whose generation created the competitive house price environment that led to it being all but impossible for their children to buy somewhere for themselves, could do their children a favour by building their kids’ homes on their own land. This is being done in Sydney and other cities around Australia.
Other ideas in the buildings above could be useful in Oz too. Passive air conditioning and solar water heating are great ways of keeping energy bills down.
The most important aspect of this though is the shipping container building blocks used in the construction. You can buy used shipping containers for as little as $3,000 each, a huge saving on other construction methods. With your council’s planning permission, you could build the fruit of your loins a very comfortable home on your land for quite a low price…
Gateway Container Sales
Here at Gateway Gazette we have covered the full gamut of how shipping containers have been developed into large mansions or even as tiny getaways. It really is down to the scope of your imagination as to what you wish to do. A basic shipping container doesn’t cost much and you can bolt on whatever you wish to it from there. Give us a call today or get a free quote for the shipping containers for your next project.