Shipping containers have everything you need to build a home, according to Adam Hellicar of Honey Box, Inc., a Canadian company that specializes in container box architecture.
They even can be used to build a fully off-grid container home on a British Columbia mountain top, Hellicar says in a new video on the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel. The home is made with three 20-foot shipping containers that are joined with specially designed clamps.
The middle container is bolted and locked to a cement block, and the two outer containers are stabilized with lashing rods that are used on container ships.
“It is 100 percent off-grid. … There are infinite ways of building with containers,” Hellicar says.
The interior of the home is light and bright, and its many windows offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainous landscape.
The home has what Hellicar calls “a modest solar system” that provides 800 watts of power. Propane provides the energy for the home’s hot water heater, refrigerator and range/oven. A woodstove delivers heat. The home has a composting toilet.
Hellicar installed a gutter and downspout system to divert water off the roof, and a second gutter catches any leaks from the top gutter. Rainwater and well water fill two large tanks for showering and washing dishes, but Hellicar elects to purchase his drinking water.
The home has spray foam insulation, as it adheres well to the steel walls and helps avoid condensation problems.
Hellicar built the home as a way to show how shipping containers can create unique living spaces. He does not live in the home on a full-time basis. He says the home is mobile and can be taken apart and reassembled in three to four hours.
“What I like about shipping containers is that they are simple,” Hellicar says. “They have steel; they have structure. … The space on the inside can be anything you want.”
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