Spotlight on a Remote Control, Portable Container Home
A company has developed a remote control, fold out shipping container workspace or home. This tackles many of the issues and limitations surrounding single unit shipping containers.
Looking at a shipping container home, even with a 40ft (2 TEU) container the dimensions are fairly limiting. They are narrow yet long and even with the broad imagination of the best architects and interior designers the best solution has been to build out or link containers.
The difficulty with building out, or using multiple containers, is that you take away one of the best elements of a container conversion – the fact that the container can be moved easily and quickly. Up until now, to make it portable you will have had to put up with the dimensions of the 20ft or 40ft box.
The remote control solution
Containers are empty boxes, they store and transport goods after all. There is therefore a lot of room to store walls, fittings and doors. An Australian company called EBS Block has developed a system where the container contains all the walls and fittings and with a remote control system unfolds out into a much more usable space.
This is not unlike the idea of the ‘pop up caravans’ that were made in the 1980s. These looked like car trailers but once parked and set up unfolded into a spacious fabric caravan. Unlike the fold away caravans these container homes are much more comfortable and easier on the eye!
You can also connect three units together to make a family home, cost-effective compared to traditional methods, designed to withstand harsh terrains and weather conditions (especially pertinent for Australia).
The first element that the designers of this system thought about was portability. As with a 20ft container, the unit can be easily transported on a flatbed shipping container truck. Once on site it then unfolds to produce a usable commercial or living space.
This means that a family can have a holiday home on a temporary site for the summer, and then move it on to another site at their leisure. A café company with no set site can make arrangements with a local authority to set up a café in a town square for a summer season and then pack up when business gets slack, or do the music festival circuit so customers don’t have to slither around in the mud and get wet as they are eating their food.
The practical bit
The unit is transported to site on a flatbed truck and once in place, you simply press a button and it will unfold in around five minutes. This is the concept that gives the EBS Block design a competitive edge – anyone can build a folding shipping container but it takes a lot of clever engineering to make one that unfolds and folds automatically so quickly.
Once opened out you plug in water, sewage and electricity in the same way as you would a motorhome or caravan, and add furnishings (that you would bring separately).
Unless there is a very interesting culture and you end up part of the local community, holiday homes can get a little old. They are in one spot, and visiting the same place year after year for a decade can get a bit wearisome. Having a usable living space with two bedrooms can mean that you can up sticks and move on to another location – from the mountains one year, to the beach the next for example.
EBS Block’s system comes in a variety of configurations for a holiday home, or someone who likes to pack up and move on without losing their familiar space. All of them extend at the ends to around 40ft, and one side extends with hard (steel or glass) walls so the owner can spread out.
Once on site and unfolded the owner of the EBS block remote control folding shipping container home then just needs to furnish it. This is a weak point as you will likely to transport the operation in two units – one for storage and the other as the home. Since these aren’t for packing up and shifting every five minutes as would be the case with a camper van or caravan, it is only a minor issue.
Music festivals are at the mercy of our increasingly unpredictable and violent weather. People can end up living in mud and feeding on wet food hurriedly between events. It is well known that outdoor festival goers will pay extra to be somewhere clean, dry or away from the heat so one of EBS Block’s commercial units could make a good financial return for the entrepreneur. The EBS Block can be modified to create a kiosk, a cafe, office or even a school by using more than one unit. As with the residential systems these are heavily insulated so those inside can get into the heat or cool and away from the elements in whatever spate they might be!
Second Hand Shipping Container Sales & Hire
Has the idea of a folding shipping container commercial or residential unit inspired you? Currently EBS are in a pre-production testing phase and are not ready to sell to the public. But Gateway Container Sales can help you design and build your own container conversion right now – just give us a call today and we will discuss your needs with you.