The Suburban House that Hides a Modified Container Home

Thinking that this house doesn’t look like a modified container home?

Well you wouldn’t be alone!

This innovative home in East Bay, California not only uses repurposed insulated shipping containers but continues its recycling and high efficiency theme with passive design principles, rainwater collection, low VOC paints, bamboo flooring and more.


reefer shipping container home

Insulated container home front view - look closely and you can see the containers on the right hand wall

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


The home sits high on hilltop overlooking San Francisco and to the uninitiated can not be identified as a ‘container home’ as it follows an aesthetic more in alignment with more domestic architectural looks.

The project uses three high cube 40foot pre- insulated containers (known as ‘reefers') which already come insulated and with high structural integrity, so they are able to provide structural framing, high value insulation as well as the external siding material.


iInsulated container house (built with reefers) external

Insulated container house front view showing stacked containers (with cladding) on the right.

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


The home has wide eaves to shadow the windows from the intense summer sun and then internal ceiling fans for internal air movement on hot days.

The exterior view shows two of these containers to be stacked on top of each other, while the third has been cut in half and then stacked.
The  double storey central atrium forms the main living area of the house, flanked on either side by the containers with a bridge on the first floor linking the bedrooms upstairs.


40ft reefer container home interior view

Insulated container house internal view looking along the length of one of the 40foot containers - dining, kitchen and service areas.

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


insulated shipping container house interior

Insulated container house internal view look from main living area across to dining room (within container)

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


shipping container house bedroom

Insulated container house upstairs bedroom- clever use of a narrow space

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


Modified container home - construction stages

Insulated container house early construction stage.

Image courtesy of Inhabitat


It was not a ‘cheap’ build, being on a difficult site foundations were an expensive part of the overall cost. The reefers themselves were only US$2200 at the time of construction – which is dirt cheap by anyones calculations!


What do you think of this look?

Should containers be hidden or exposed for a more industrial look? Add your comments below...



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