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Are shipping containers really the answer for affordable housing? Time for a reality check

This is the title of an article in The Conversation, please read it.

This was my reply;

Like usual discussions about a subject such as container homes, really depends on the context and the particular requirements. I have a Container Shack/Shed with 2 x 6m containers – 7m apart with Walls floors and roof between, now including an additional room, recycled wood Veranda and covered areas. Estimated as not much over $12,000 we have around 150m for “glamping in”. This design is not about portability just ease of building, and I believe we are making substantial use of the structural strength of the shipping containers.

I am now planning a larger structure using similar principals to extract the maximum structural utility from recycled shipping containers, now 4 x 12 Containers. The idea is to provide a “platform” on which to undertake the R&D of sustainable features which is an open project for those interested see or for the “design” represented in cardboard models see

Just installing the 4 containers provides more than 50% of the walls structure and a substantial part of the roofing (We will add another layer) not withstanding that external insulation will be applied. The points raised in this article simply highlight issues to be addressed and are welcome, but unlikely to alter the final outcome.

I will endeavour to make everything we do public, volunteers and enthusiasts are encouraged to contribute.

an I subsequently followed the link on “Ceramic paint insulation” and have also asked the following question of the author.

Funny, the link for Ceramic paint insulation you gave contradicts the line “it does offer some degree of insulation” and seems to suggest its snake oil? I think there may be uses for “Cool Roof” paints but this sounds absurd.

Vidyasagar Potdar can you please explain this further?

Do subscribe to The Conversation is is one of the best Evidence based reporting you can find and seem to be open to real feedback for reasonable criticism.

The Habitat Project Phases

The Habitat Project Phases have being penciled out on our Wiki,  and a Project phase template is under development. The Project is in the Initial Design Phase with some work started in the Community engagement Phase.


Soon we will be letting you know how you can participate.

note: As of writing there is no content in each of the above project phase pages, content will appear progressively.

An Architect with Sustainable building experience has been engaged

An Architect with Sustainable building experience has been engaged to undertake the initial steps to  make a Sketch Design which entails finalisation of a brief of requirements, and an inspection of the property.

A review of Council and other Development policies that apply.

On development of this final concept a thermal comfort rating will be done aiming to achieve as high a thermal comfort rating as possible.

Of note is we will be attempting to place as little as possible detail on the “Blueprint” because we want to “Evolve” the structure with the help of participants.

The Habitat Project has been created with its Website, Blog and Wiki

  • Would you then consider designing an ultra Sustainable habitat, but rather than believe you know it all, opening the design process to others, to allow them to have a hand in what you do, and benefit from the results?
  • Would you consider sharing your knowledge and experience in sustainable systems and design, freely to contributors who can enjoy low cost country escapes to relax, learn and volunteer?

I would.

I really intend to do this, and the process is in train. The idea is to use recycled shipping containers, a roof, a floor and some walls to build the skeleton, a sheltered “sleep over” and project work space. I then want to engage contributors from the local area, the ACT, Sydney, even internationally.

All along I will seek to open source as much as we can for those who follow; to inform city based workshops, presentations or training courses and drive the research and development of a “Sustainable Systems method” that allows people to identify new and innovative ways to increase sustainability and efficiency – “from your fridge, to a factory”.

The project is now started on