San Jose, Calif. -- West Coast Green attendees didn’t have to go far to see the possibilities for pre-fab green construction. The conference show house was constructed out of reused shipping containers in the middle of the show floor.
The Build Out -- SG Blocks, Harbringer House, designed by Lawrence Group
Video Courtesy: www.westcoastgreen.com
Designed by Lawrence Group and built by SG Blocks, the 1,700-square-foot, two-story Harbinger House was built on-site out of five 8,000-pound, reused shipping containers, which SG Blocks says are fairly affordable and often are too expensive to ship back to their point of origin. Melting down the steel would require 8,000 kWh of energy per container, whereas converting them takes 400 kWh, explains David Cross, business development director for SG Blocks. Its a process the company calls "value cycling," making the conversion with significantly less energy consumption.
Cross says one of the challenges with using shipping containers is eliminating preconceived notions, but he points out that a "container" cut down for use as the framework of a house is just a steel box truss and thus merely an instrument used to build. "It's no more a 'container' than a [stick-frame] house is trees," he says.
In addition to their green attributes, shipping containers as a structural material bring greater installation speed, says Cross, and strength suitable for earthquake- and hurricane-prone areas.
Houses made with SG Blocks' shipping containers will accept traditional cladding materials and are finished as normal on the interior.
The show house itself includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies, kitchen, dining room, living room, and study.
In addition to its recycled structure, the home is appointed with eco-friendly features from top to bottom and inside out.
Some of the products used include:
- Marvin Integrity fiberglass windows
- NCFI InsulStar spray-foam insulation
- Agilewaves whole-house energy monitoring system
- Rainwater HOG modular rainwater storage system
- Forbo linoleum flooring
- Whirlpool Duet Sport front-loading washer and dryer
- NanaWall retractable glass wall system
- Teragren pre-finished engineered bamboo flooring
- Premier Power solar module, inverter, and meter