Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shipping Container Building

Shipping Container Building

One of the goals we have in building our campus is to use our different buildings as individual labs, the buildings themselves. The goal being to discover ways for the average person on the street to build their own home or what ever other buildings they may need, at the lowest possible cost, and with the greatest future savings of energy.

What we’re studying is Shipping Container (Connex Box), Straw Bale, Cast in Place earth, and super insulated frame, Construction. Along with this we are implementing photovoltaic electric and passive solar hot water.

I am currently working on the utility building that will house our art studio, mechanical workshop, storage and potting shed. Its frame is a shipping container. Known as a “High Cube” it is forty feet long, nine and a half feet tall and eight feet wide.

These come with utility grade, hard wood floors and are strong enough to stack eight high fully loaded. What that means to us is they can handle almost any load that the average builder might want to place on top of their building.

These Connex boxes are made out a product called “Corten” also known as weather resistant steel. There are several builders worldwide thinking up new and unusual ways to stack these structures. After looking at several boxes, our criteria being; straight, without major holes or dents, minimal corrosion, floors in good shape, doors with good seals and in good working order and weather tight, we bought ours for $2700 delivered. A friend moved it into place with a backhoe and I leveled it with a 6-ton jack. I cut in the window for light and placed a vent on the roof. Our future plans include adding thermal mass with poured in place, reinforced adobe, wrapping the finished box with two inches of insulation and a living roof that will serve as an herb garden and possible second story office. This is one or most requested blog subjects we receive. Please let us know what you’re building needs and plans are. And if we can lab something or help answer any questions that you may have. I just grabbed these pics of the net as examples of box construction.


Mad Coyote Joe


  1. Hi,

    Stumbled across your blog on my continuous hunt for anything and everything in the world of Shipping Container Homes.

    There is a ton of information on Shipping Container Homes over at my site, if you have bought your containers already the free videos on that might be a little late but we do have a free video on insulation here that might interest you.

    Good luck with the project !

  2. Check out this guy's site it's the holy grail of container building information. Lot's of videos and very clear information. I only had a few minutes to watch and was knocked out by the site. I'm going back later today and watching all of his work!

  3. The first building looks modern. It has great architecture. I never expect that it was made from container.