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A nice shipping container house

Regular readers  may recall just how fond I am of the re-purposing of shipping containers to create low  cost housing so when I came across this vid I thought that it would be good to share it with the Sandpit’s dedicated readers.

Cheers Comrades


Compare and contrast

Over at New Matilda I constantly hear that the detention centers are akin to the concentration camps but like a lot of minions of the left they are very much addicted to hyperbole so I suggest that they should just compare the pictures below…

This is the sort of accommodation that was the norm in concentration camps. Please note that there is no individual rooms, no bedding inadequate clothing and all of the inmates are literally starving

This is the sort of accommodation that was the norm in concentration camps. Please note that there is no individual rooms, no bedding inadequate clothing and all of the inmates are literally starving

This is the accommodation on Manus Island

This is the accommodation on Manus Island individual rooms in appropriately converted shipping containers, inmates have proper beds and individual rooms, more than adequate food, access to entertainment, and good medical treatment.

Manus is by any measure absolute Luxury compared to any of the Nazi camps

Cheers Comrades

Putting prisoners into big steel boxes

Regular readers may recall that this blog is quite a fan of creative uses for shipping containers. I have written previously about their potential for housing that is both strong and relatively quick to build. Well now it seems that they are looking to use converted shipping containers to ease the capacity problems in Victoria’s prison system.

click for source

click for source

While there is part of me that thinks that these new cells are rather more luxurious than many miscreants deserve (air conditioning? 🙄 )if they do the job for a reasonable cost per prisoner bed then it will be a good way to quickly fix the lack of capacity. Frankly there is no reason why more purpose built Spartan fit outs of the containers could not be designed, more in keeping with prisoner accommodation instead of the off the shelf miners set-up in the current units. That said its another very good use for those ubiquitous steel boxes.

Now if only I could figure out a way of getting one behind my studio to give me some much needed extra workshop space all would be extra jolly here at Chez Hall…

Cheers Comrades


Industrial housing design for affordable housing

Good design has long been a passion of mine, I like things that are very elegant and fit for their purpose. but there is one area of design that has long disappointed me and that is the design of the houses that we build, especially when it comes to the “budget” end of  the market where it all seems to be about pretence and artifice rather than substance and honesty. The cure to this issue should be in industrial design  where the notion has always been to get the most amount of usable space for the least amount of money.   In the past I have considered the re-purposing of shipping containers  as housing  and today I have been taken by this piece from the Daily Mail  about an innovative design using what in this country we would call a “shed” some very good ideas here  that could help solve our own supply side issues for affordable housing.


The home, which is bigger than many modern new-build houses, will give first-time buyers the chance to build their own ‘Grand Designs’ home at a fraction of the cost.
Typically first homes under £90,000 will get a much smaller space to a ‘substandard design’, the winning architect claimed.

Mr Green, 39, based his self-build ‘Barnhaus’ home around the idea of a farmers hay barn.

And his house scooped the top prize in a National Self Build Association (NaSBA) competition judged by Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud.
Father-of-three Mr Green, an architect from Cardiff, South Wales, said his low cost design was based on modern steel farmyard hay barns.
He said: ‘Without being rude about farmers, as a generalisation, they do tend to be very economically minded.
‘And you can go on eBay and buy a steel barn frame the size of a family home for around £2,500.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2450911/Grand-Designs-house-time-buyers–41k-3-bed-home.html#ixzz2hGNRyhmH

The problem is though that many local councils who provide building approvals want something other than functionality and affordable living spaces for the people they want the whole McMansion nightmare lock stock and with fries. If I ever build another house it will be something like this with even the internal walls lined with formed steel sheeting, lots of insulation, proper orientation and no need to ever paint the bloody thing…

Cheers Comrades


always use the correct  safety equipment to avoid injury

Thinking inside the (big) boxes for indigenous housing

a house designed using shipping container modules

a house designed using shipping container modules

Reading today’s Oz finds  Mal Brough decrying the decision to use the ‘dongas”, surplus from the now closed woomera detention centre, to provide extra capacity in the nearly full  centre on Christmas island, rather than as housing desperately needed for indigenousness communities as he had planned before the change of government. This  brought back into focus an idea that I have had for some time and that is to use shipping containers to solve the indigenous housing problem.

Last week was the start of West Coast Green, a yearly conference on green building design and construction. There were lots of big names there like David Suzuki, Sarah Susanka, and Al Gore. Perhaps one of the most significant things to happen this year was the showing of the SG Blocks container house. Constructed of used Shipping containers, the house was erected on sight in just four hours and 47 minutes. In following with the theme of the conference, the home was thoroughly green throughout with FSC certified woods, solar panels etc. Besides the amazing rate at which the home was built, I was amazed at the stated per square foot price of $150, which includes “all the bells and whistles”. If that number is true, then this shipping container home is truly an amazing combination of aesthetics and affordability. I would love to see if the interior is as well designed as the exterior.


The problem for so many bureaucrats, activists and latte sippers is that they are just not capable of thinking outside the square to finding housing solutions that solve the problems at a  reasonable cost. The illustrations above shows that housing made from shipping containers does not have to look  second rate or makeshift. It can be stylish, practical and affordable but  importantly you can create dwellings that are extremely durable that can be built up in modules to suit the needs of any size  family or community. 

Of course you can bet that what stops the use of surplus shipping containers as a starting point for the creation of some innovative housing solutions, is not their fitness for the purpose but a fear that this will be seen as a second rate housing option for our first Australians. The people who think like this are actually troglodytes who clearly know squat about  architecture, design or building. The problem is not how can we afford to build Mc Mansions in the remote parts of the country but how do we house people who need housing . A real solution needs those in power to think outside the brick veneer paradigm go to a clean sheet of paper and consider lateral thinking options like this.

Cheers Comrades


Oh and before anyone asks me the obvious question, I would be more than happy to build and live in a house made of shipping containers 🙂

A lovely view

The truth of the matter is that when trees on public land are either maliciously poisoned or cut down the chances are that it is the resident/s who get the “improved” view who is responsible. The problem is that such assumptions are not adequate in law to seek redress in the courts and in any event such vandalism is nothing but a minor matter that at most can result is a small fine.

A COUNCIL has taken the extraordinary step of stacking shipping containers on a clifftop to spoil water views for residents suspected of illegally cutting down trees.

From a distance, it looks as though the Pasha Bulker has bumped into the Mid North Coast again, leaving a couple of calling cards at Boat Harbour.

But the truth is that Port Stephens Council put them there – with a crane, at a cost of more than $10,000 – to punish those responsible for cutting down 20 trees.

Irate locals are calling the green monolith “a monument to stupidity” and complain they are being treated like children.

And the council agrees, according to group manager, facilities and services, Mike Trigar.

“Obviously those people who weren’t involved (in chopping down the trees) and now have their views obstructed are not happy, and we appreciate that position,” he said.

The Courier Mail

Well I for one think the Port Stephens Council have done exactly the right thing here rather than to seek redress through the courts they have denied the perpetrators the fruits of their crime and these containers serve to remind the silvertail owners of the beach front properties that public land is just that, for the public and it is not to be abused just so that a couple of people can see the ocean from their front windows.

Cheers Comrades

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