Fighting coastal erosion is a little like fighting aging. One can can make endless expensive artificial enhancements, but one day those enhancements will fail, and when they do, things will get ugly. In the case of erosion, for many that can only mean packing up and heading off for pastures new (or at least inland), for the owners of the Hut on Sleds, it's as simple as remembering where you parked your tractor. The Hut on Sleds, you see, is designed to be moved in the more literal sense.
Studio H:T's Shipping Container House is, unsurprisingly, a house made from shipping containers - at least partially. But perhaps most impressive about the design is that it operates entirely off-grid.
Because they are sturdy, waterproof, transportable, and perhaps only a little bit smaller than some low-rent apartments, disused shipping containers have become very popular for conversion into low-impact buildings. Past efforts have included using them as emergency housing
, trendy relocatable bachelor pads
, and portable restaurants
. Now, Los Angeles design group APHIDoIDEA has proposed putting 65 of the things together, to create an environmental education center for the city of Long Beach.
Aside from tragic loss of life and incomprehensible destruction, events like last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti create a myriad of problems in their wake, not least of which is homelessness. With over 30 million shipping containers the world over currently lying dormant, a team of researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina are working to help solve the issue of accommodation in disaster affected areas by developing a method to convert the unused containers into sustainable emergency housing.
December 1, 2008 The appeal of regularly relocating where we live probably comes from our nomadic origins as a species, and over the years we’ve thrilled at the possibilities of some remarkable constructs designed to enable just that: the Icosa Pod
, Free Spirit Sphere
, Nackros Villa
, and the relocatable sphere house
. New Zealand is one of those countries where its near-to-no-one geographic location has created a hotbed of innovation through necessity and the Kiwi-produced Port-a-bach is particularly inventive because it is based around a remanufactured shipping container
. As such, the NZD$100,000 (US$55,000) fold-out dwelling is not just rugged due to its natural steel exoskeleton, it’s as easy to transport internationally as it is to transport locally on a standard container truck. It has low environmental impact and can connect to local utilities or be entirely power, water and sewer independent.
July 16, 2006 The possibilities of living a geographically unchained lifestyle have never been greater – if you earn your living on-line, the world is now your neighbourhood. Similarly, if you live within your means, it’s quite possible to wake up to a different view every morning. Indeed, we suspect that becoming a digital nomad is very appealing to Gizmag’s readership because every time we run a story about a clever mobile home concept, Concepts such as the Airstream Skydeck
, this converted London double-decker bus
, General Motors’ mobile home concept
, or this ingenious relocatable home
it rates like crazy. However none of them have rated as well as DRACO, an expedition class AWD motorhome
and we suspect that’s because it offers a home anywhere required – all modern conveniences in a wilderness setting. Now there’s a similar vehicle for sale that will appeal to many people as their dream home – the aptly named Wothahellizat is attainable for just AUD$350,000 (US$263,000) with everything you need to go just about anywhere you want as long as you’re prepared to pick it up in Australia. Built by Australian photographer Rob Gray, it was created with the aim of getting to nice places and staying there for long periods. Built to carry three months of supplies, it can and regularly does spend months at a time in the vast Australian outback and as a 6X6 turbo diesel AWD it gets to better, quieter, and more secluded campsites because it can handle rougher terrain than the average motorhome.
April 20, 2006 Relocatable housing is a recent concept in the grand scheme of humanity, but nomadic ways have been with us from the beginnings of man. Relocatable homes have captured a lot of interest recently, from fully mobile concepts such as General Motors Advanced Design Group’s mobile home
, to this Expedition Class 4WD Motorhome
and at the extreme end, the Red Bull Energy Station
(makes mobil homes previously described as palatial seem like mere gazebos) through to fully relocatable homes such as Tom Chudleigh’s Free Spirit Sphere
and Marcin Panpuch’s future house
. The miniHome
is different to anything that has been before though – it is designed to be ultra-energy efficient, so you can live off-the-grid with a negligible environmental footprint – anywhere you can get with a truck. The miniHome is a four-season dwelling providing a healthy, warm and comfortable environment in a wide range of climates, using only the energy of the sun and a very modest supply of either propane or biofuels. With passive solar heating and passive cooling, its own power utility, waste treatment center, and rainwater collection system, it uses some of the most efficient technologies available. Whatsmore, it is very easily relocated and turned into a modern, go-anywhere home with almost all modern conveniences. The miniHome is a totally new concept in home design which debunks the myth that living efficiently means giving up style and modern conveniences. One of the key advantages is that the homes are so cost-effective and efficient; they’re much cheaper to run. Living well can be very frugal.
Sphere house design is not new and nor is relocatable housing. We covered an ingenious design
last year. The aptly-named Free Spirit Sphere offers easily relocatable housing that can sit in a cradle on the ground, or be hoisted 30 metres into the air in an old growth forest. Whatsmore, the sphere can be removed inside 24 hours leaving not a trace that it was ever there. Currently only produced in hand-crafted US$100,000 wooden versions, creator Tom Chudleigh plans to release a fibreglass version by mid-year that will sell for just US$25,000.