Tropical Shipping Container Home / Retreat

D.I.Y and on a $16,000 Budget

In far north Queensland located in dense rainforest is a unique tropical shipping container home.

The home, which is really more a retreat and research station provides 30 sq m of dry sleeping and working area (the 2 containers) and then 15sq m of mostly dry cooking area (tucked between the containers), and 45 sq m of covered top deck.

tropical shipping container home / retreat

Images courtesy of Renew magazine

Two 20’ /6m containers were purchased and the first step was to clear the track to the chosen site and the containers brought onto site. The area consists of slippery red clay and receives very high rainfall, so even the logistics of getting the containers on site was a challenge.
A tiltbed truck was used to bring the containers in, one at a time.
The heavily forested nature and tropical nature of the site meant that solar access was not a primary goal, but ventilation was, thus the containers were oriented with their long axis facing east-west to face the prevailing wind and with a 3m living space between them.

For several reasons the containers were lifted off the ground onto concrete stumps. This maintains the forest floor, keeps out vermin, as well as minimizing the risk of flooding and the risk of the containers rusting, and improves air flow.

A simple roofing solution was achieved by purchasing three portable carports which cover the containers and the living area in between as well as providing a surface from which to collect rainwater which is used for showering (a gravity fed system)and a sink.  The 0.6m overhang prevents leaves from the forest building up on the containers (and causing rust),

flyscreens installed in container conversion

Images courtesy of Renew magazine

An angle grinder (run off a small petrol generator) was used to cut out window and door openings, and insect screens were fitted to these and on the end doors (see above) for improved ventilation while keeping out bugs.*

*Note - This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Renew magazine Apr/Jun 2006

To Shipping Container Living Home from Tropical Shipping Container Home

More Off The Grid Homes More DIY Container Conversions

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