by Jocey K
The design of container house from Hzxiaoya in China
The containers (or “sustainers”) are designed primarily as homes, but could also be used for hotels, holiday Container House or even emergency shelters. There are several sizes and designs available, with a 1 to 2 person 30-sq m (323 sq ft) version available for 75,000 (US$ 82,500). Larger, family-sized containers, offices and holiday models for different climates are in development.
Each container is to be supplied with household appliances and a fully completed interior made almost entirely out of ECOboard – a low-energy material made out of pressed grass. Sustainer Homes says it has given thought to the environmental credentials of all the materials and fittings used. The kitchen taps, for example, are lead-free, the chairs are made from old refrigerators and all paint is based on linseed oil.
In order to produce drinking water, rainwater is collected and is filtered to Dutch drinking water standards. Wastewater, meanwhile, is filtered through a helophyte filter before being returned to the ground so as to eliminate contaminants. Toilet waste is separated with solid waste heated to kill bacteria and then composted.
Hzxiaoya container homes argues that factors like rising rents and demand for housing is requiring younger generations to look for more affordable, sustainable and flexible living options. It says its converted shipping containers not only address these issues, but also enable independence from facilities, low-impact living and freedom of mobility.
Heating is provided by way of a heat-pump, with sustainable insulation materials used to minimize heat loss. Sustainer Homes is also planning to integrate its system with the Toon smart thermostat and to develop an an app that will show battery level, solar array energy production levels, energy usage and the weather forecast.
The design wanted to follow the brutalist principles of materiality by exposing the metal structure, steel sheets, technical equipments and concrete floor. outside, the black painted containers appear like monoliths that contrast with the rural landscape. the façades have been vertically drilled, either by french window openings, or by fixed windows which frame the nature and play with the crossing axis of the plan. thanks to the ‘workshop container’ being planted at the same angle, the house seems to be doubled.
The home is composed of two containers Modular Home: one serves for living, while the other is a sculpture workshop. the ‘living container’ is supported by a metal structure that elevates the volume from the ground. the plan is a twenty-meter rectangle by six-meter, widely open to favor a fluid circulation and a flexible interior layout. the bedroom and office are connected to the living room by a wide corridor that allows for the display of sculptures. two terraces were added to the volume, a covered one in the southwest where the entrance is, and another one on the northeast along the length of the house.