Well known for its cultural diversity and surrounding, and lush mountainscape, the city of Vancouver is a place where urban lifestyle binds in harmony with the outdoors. Vancouver thrives from its natural features, catering an abundance of parks, beaches and trails. With this in mind, building residential space should consider environmental health and having a small carbon footprint. To spread eco-friendly home design along British Columbia's west coast, a Canadian architect is encouraging us to think outside the box with his shipping container home concepts.
Photo Courtesy of: peterandbrad.com
Keith Dewey, an award-winning designer based in Victoria on Vancouver Island, is the founder of Zigloo Studio, a concept company that uses old cargo ship containers as materials for ecological homes. Shipping containers are used on commercial ships to transport goods by sea, and can reach lengths between 20 and 40 feet.
Dewey’s vision is that ‘living sustainably doesn't mean ‘living without’”, and that choosing a consciously eco-friendly home - over conventional homes - shouldn't require sacrifice. Zigloo Studio sells blue prints for the container homes, and offers construction and contract services at a discount.
Photo Courtesy of: Zigloo Studio
Zigloo’s container home designs are created with the intent of reaching maximum efficiency potential. Each home sketch includes energy conservative technology, whether it be a built-in green roof, a solar powered hot water tank, or a grey-water reclamation system.
Photo Courtesy of: Zigloo.ca
Container homes are not an original idea of Dewey’s, rather, container homes have popped up all over the world, from inexpensive shelters in Haiti, to low-cost student apartments in Diemen, The Netherlands.
Photo Courtesy of: temphousing.com
Shipping containers offer the benefit of being durable, cost-effective and completely customizable. Like giant blocks, containers can be stacked on top of each other and welded together to create any desirable shape. One retired shipping container may cost a little over $2,000, depending on the size. Tying in labor costs, transportation and building permits, a container home could cost as little as $225 per square foot, less than what a half detached home will fetch you these days. In one such case, an engineering graduate, Joseph Dupuis, built his open concept container home in Ottawa for $30,000.
Photo Courtesy of: Japhet Alvarez/ S7vn Photography
Dewey built his own eight-container home for $180/sqft ($360,000 CDN)!
The affordability of these upcycled shelters are contributing to their growing popularity in the face of rising home prices in Canada.
Photo Courtesy of: Zigloo.ca
By taking recycling to a whole other level, Dewey’s creations are proving that living green and building inexpensively is entirely possible.
Want an inside peek of Dewey’s container house? Click here to watch his interview with Island Homes.
And to learn more about Dewey and his current projects, visit ZiglooStudio.com.
Interested in reading more about shipping containers as a residential use? Here's another Houseporn.ca post called Atira Women’s Resource Society In BC Proposes Canada’s Largest Shipping Container Housing Project.
Researched and Written by Michelle McNally, Undergraduate Student of Journalism, Ryerson University