Montainer Shipping Container Homes Ready to Order


The Missoula, Montana bases company Montainer has begun selling the first prefabricated model of the shipping container homes they offer. The Nomad 192, as the home is called, can be purchased though their website, while the company plans to expand their offerings in 2015 with several other models, which can already be preordered.

The company uses recycled shipping containers to build these prefabricated, or modular homes, which are unique, modern and sustainable and are collectively known as Montainers.


The Nomad 192 is made from a single 24-foot high cube shipping container, meaning it has a higher ceiling than standard containers and measures 192 square-feet. Inside it, there is a fully functioning kitchen, a bathroom with a shower, a living area that doubles as a bedroom. The container also comes equipped with all the necessary appliances needed for comfortable living.




These homes are also fully insulated using closed cell spray foam, which results in high R-ratings for the walls (R21), floor (R30) and ceiling (R48). The wall of the two longer sides of the container is removed almost entirely and replaced by large French windows that let in plenty of natural daylight and fresh air. On each of the shorter sides of the container there is also a barn door, which is made from the original container wall, and provides security and protection for the home.



When ordered, the home can be assembled on the building site in less than a day, provided the future owner already has a foundation and utility hookups in place. The Nomad 192 meets all building codes. It is inspected at the building facility and approved at the state level through the modular home building department before being shipped out. A fully functional Nomad 192, equipped with all the appliances, cabinetry, and other furniture costs $65,000, which includes delivery and installation within 500 miles of the company’s headquarters. The Nomad 192 would make a great vacation home, or guesthouse, though it could also easily be a permanent residence for a single person or a couple.

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Homes Inspired by Cargotecture

While shipping containers are great for building affordable and comfortable homes quickly, not all architects are quite sold on their benefits. Many, however, still find the basic shape a great inspiration for designing their homes. Below are a few shipping container inspired homes, which are not actually built out of shipping containers. But some of them, nonetheless, do use very innovative building blocks.



Homebox was designed by the German architect Han Slawik and has the same dimensions as a standard sized shipping container, though the house is not made from an actual steel shipping container. The architect simply took the best shipping container architecture has to offer, but applied it in an easier to construct and maintain way. The Homebox is made of wood and designed to be placed vertically to form a three-story home with a tiny footprint of only 75 square feet. The finished house has a living area of 150 square feet, with a kitchen, dining room and bathroom on the ground floor, a bedroom on the second floor and the main living area on the third floor.

Dumpster Home


California-based artist and designer Gregory Kloehn, used a new dumpster to build a tiny, fully functional home big enough for 2 people to live in. The dumpster cost $2,000 and he converted it to contain a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and even a sun deck. Gregory started the conversion by cutting out an entrance into the side of the container. He insulated the dumpster with padding and fitted a small sitting area inside it. The living area transforms into a bedroom and there is storage space built into the sitting area. The dumpster also contains a tiny kitchen with a sink, a microwave, and a small propane-powered stove. Gregory lives in his dumpster home when he visits NYC, though the home is also mounted on wheels so it can conceivably be transported to anywhere.

Petroleum Tank Trailer Loft


Another great cargotecture inspired home idea is the loft built out of a disused petroleum tank. The structure is called the Morton Loft and was designed by the firm LOT-EK. They used the tanker trailer to create 2 sleeping areas and 2 bathrooms, thereby extending the available apartment space of the owners. They first cut the tank into 2 sections, and then suspended the first section, which houses the 2 bedrooms, over the existing living space. They positioned the other half vertically and built two fully functional bathrooms inside it. The interior was coated with automotive enamel. For easier opening and closing of the bedroom doors, they equipped the pods with a hydraulic hatchback door so the occupants need only press a button to gain access to the bedroom. This renovation added valuable space to the 1000 square foot apartment, since the entire downstairs area can now be used as the main living area, which contains the kitchen, living room and dining room.

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Casa El Tiemblo: A Modern Shipping Container Home


Casa El Tiemblo, or Tiemblo House, got its name from the picaresque region in which it is located, namely, El Tiemblo, Ávila, Spain. It was built using six repurposed shipping containers and was designed by Infiniski and built by James & Mau Architectura. It measures a luxurious 190 square meters (623 square feet).


To construct this home the six shipping containers were placed in an L-shape. Four shipping containers make up the ground floor, and the remaining two were placed on top of them, secured and held in place by metallic support structures. When designing the home, one of the main goals of Infiniski was creating a house that blended into the environment and was energy efficient. They succeeded on both fronts.


The south facing side was fitted with large floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide passive solar heating for the home year round, while also offering breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and valley. The house is located 1100 meters above sea level and it was built in a way that takes advantage of the biomass heating provided by the ecosystem. The large windows and doors also provide natural ventilation and the inner walls are insulated with recycled paper, cellulose and Fermacell.

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Artist Studio Space Made of Shipping Containers


Shipping container architecture seems to be taking over the world, which is only fitting as these disused metal boxes lend themselves perfectly to building homes, cabins or office spaces. In Lisbon, Portugal the Village Underground Lisboa complex is currently being constructed. The shipping container building will be a multi-office space for artists and other creatives, while the architects also incorporated used double-decker buses into the design.

The construction of the Village Underground Lisboa complex is currently underway and they are aiming to open the doors to renters in May 2015. The complex will be built out of 14 repurposed shipping containers, and two double-decker buses. The complex will be located in Lisbon’s Carris Museum, which is the city’s public transport history museum. When completed, it will be arranged into office spaces, a cafeteria, and a central courtyard.



The shipping containers used in the construction have not been altered much, and each of them will contain five working tables, which will be available for rent by startups, artists, and other creative types. The idea is to collect income by charging patrons €150 (about $197) per table, per month. This price will include a desk, Wi-Fi, electricity, and cleaning services. As is the case with most rent-a-desk businesses, the working tables will also be available for rent by the hour, week or some other timeframe. A large cafeteria will be built in the two double decker buses.



In the next phase of building the Village Underground Lisboa complex, a stage for concerts and a theater will be added. This will aid in the collaborative projects the organization plans to commence with London’s Village Underground complex. The latter has been in existence since 2007 and is built using recycled trains and shipping containers.

Due to Portugal’s temperate climate, shipping containers are a good fit for building this complex. The containers all feature large windows to let in plenty of natural light, while also providing good ventilation. The heat gain in the summer months will be alleviated by air conditioners installed in all the office spaces.

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Top Commercial Shipping Container Projects

Using shipping containers to build residential houses is a great way of recycling the disused containers that are piling up in ports across the world. While more and more people are opting to build their houses out of shipping containers, an even bigger impact can be made when companies, or even governments decide to use shipping containers as the main building material for their building projects. Here are a few such projects.

Royal Wolf’s Headquarters in Australia


The headquarters of the Australian company Royal Wolf was constructed using several repurposed, 20-foot and 40-foot shipping containers, which were cut and placed in a way that forms a large, light-filled structure with four internal courtyards. The placing is also such that the shipping containers form a rectangular building. To maximize the amount of light coming in, the shorter sides of each of the containers used were replaced with full height glazing. Holes were cut into the longer sides and fitted with windows as well. The ceilings were left exposed on the interior side, but on the outside the sides were covered with rigid insulation and a membrane roof. The builders also placed two of the shipping containers vertically to form a skylight and a balcony. This house was designed by the architecture firm Room 11. more details…

A Bridge Made of Shipping Container


The so-called Econtainer bridge is still in the planning stages, but once built, it will stretch across the Ayalon River and connect with the Ariel Sharon Park in Israel. It was designed by Tel Aviv-based Yoav Messer Architects and, once complete, it will be the world’s first bridge made entirely of repurposed shipping containers. The finished bridge will be 160 meters long (525 feet) and will carry only bicycle and foot traffic, though there will also be a public shuttle going across it. The shipping containers that will form the bridge will be connected two abreast, and end to end, and the entire structure will only require a minimal amount of horizontal reinforcement. more details…

Ship Terminal in Seville, Spain


The cruise ship terminal in the port of Seville, Spain was constructed entirely out of recycled shipping containers. To build the terminal they used 23 previously used shipping containers which were effectively upcycled into a 508 square meter (5,468 square foot) terminal. The shipping containers used to construct the building were stacked into a 2-story structure, with most of the interior facing sides cut away in order to maximize the indoor space. The containers were placed in a parallel arrangement and separated one from another by a distance of one container width. The designers left the interior and exterior walls of the containers in their original state, to show the fact that shipping containers were used in the construction. They did cover the containers with a coat of white paint, which contains special ceramic microspheres that reflect up to 90% of solar radiation and therefore help to keep the interiors cool. The entire structure was built in only 15 days. more details…

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