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IPFS News Link • Architecture

Off-grid container-based home is tiny in size and cost

•, By Adam Williams

Named Gaia, it offers full off-the-grid functionality with solar panels, a wind turbine, and rainwater collection system.

Gaia is based on a standard used shipping container measuring 6 x 2.4 m (20 x 8 ft) that has been modified. An additional roof shade made up of galvanized metal, plus some spray foam insulation, have been added to mitigate the poor thermal performance of shipping containers. There's also a drop-down deck area that's operated with a hand winch and can be used to boost outdoor living space or raised to close off the home.

Gaia is accessed by a glass sliding door that, along with the existing container doors, really opens it up to the outside. Its interior is finished in spruce plywood and available floorspace is largely taken up by one single area that doubles as living room and bedroom, with a sofa bed and lots of storage space made up of small cupboards and nooks. A wood-burning stove provides heat.

A small kitchenette with a sink, fridge, and propane-powered two-burner stove, sits next to the living area, plus the home has a bathroom with a sink, shower, and toilet.

There's quite a lot of off-grid gear packed into this one. Power comes from a rooftop solar panel array comprising three 165-W panels, as well as a 400-W wind turbine. Both are hooked up to batteries and the battery level, current power consumption, charging rate, etc can be monitored remotely by using a mobile app. Additionally, a rainwater storage tank contains filters and a water pump, and will hold up to 1,000 L (264 gal) of water.

Pin-Up Houses says the home was built as an experiment and isn't officially up for sale, however the firm's Joshua Woodsman told us that he would be happy to sell it or make another if asked. The plans are also up for sale on the company's website for $190.