Boulder, Colorado-based small home firm Rhino Cubed recently launched its line of shipping container-based micro-homes. The most fully-equipped model is named the Rhino Cube, and is suitable for use as a weekend retreat or full-time dwelling. It can operate either on or off-the-grid, and will set you back US$60,000.

The first completed Rhino Cube unit is nicknamed the "Zulu Queen" in honor of a ski run in Telluride, Colorado. It's built from one 6 m (20 ft)-long shipping container, and comprises 15 sq m (160 sq ft) of floorspace. Both the interior and exterior sport small artistic finishing touches, such as a steel Rhino horn sculpture and hand-drawn artwork.

As standard, there's a large kitchen inside, with a cooktop, refrigerator, and Ikea-sourced cabinets and storage. The cooktop is a two-burner model that runs on denatured alcohol, as does a small heater that should be suitable for all but the worst of Colorado's winter weather. The interior also contains bunk beds and a small lounge area.

Though the debut model featured here contains no bathroom, Rhino Cubed co-founder Jan Burton informed Gizmag that a bathroom is optional on the slightly larger 7.6 m (25 ft)-long Rhino Cube unit, and it contains a sink, shower, and composting toilet.

The Rhino Cube is certified lead-free and sports three fiberglass double pane energy-efficient windows, insulated hardwood hickory floor, and insulated walls and ceiling. Both on-and-off-grid models are available, and the roof has a small wooden porch and rainwater catchment system affixed, while a grey water system handles the disposal of waste water.

A Yeti 1,250-watt solar-powered generator drives the refrigerator and any other required electric appliances. Lighting is provided by efficient LED lights. In addition, the exterior features bolt-on attachments that enable owners to fasten on extra gear such as bike racks, a garden lattice, or an awning.

Source: Rhino Cubed