Kaid Benfield Archive


Creative resourcefulness: Kansas City's "Container Home"

Kaid Benfield

Posted March 12, 2009 at 3:14PM

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     The Container Home (by: HomeContained.com) 

Not long ago, I came across a neat story of a conversion of a trailer park in Charlottesville into mixed-income housing, using the long rectangular form common to mobile homes as its design foundation.  It was inspirational.  Today I bring you a similar story, this time from Kansas City, of someone who is using industrial shipping containers to build a green home.

  Container Home (by: Apartment Therapy)  Container Home (by: Apartment Therapy)

  Container Home (by: Apartment Therapy)  Container Home (by: Apartment Therapy)

Located in the older residential community of Brookside south of downtown (see satellite image below for orientation), the idea is both to create a nice place to live sustainably, and also to create a model for others to follow.  Here's how it is described on the website Apartment Therapy (AT's goal: "To connect people to the resources they need to improve their homes, while reducing their reliance on stuff"):

"Debbie Glassberg has plans not only for this home (which she plans to live in) but for others like it in the future.

"It's being built with an earth friendly state of mind as they're using geothermal heat, soy foam insulation and bamboo flooring with the help of BNIM Architects (note: the same firm that has been helping to guide Greensburg). The build is scheduled to be completed by the end of May and judging by their progress thus far, they look like they are right on track.

"The home is roughly 2,000 sq ft and will be filled out by 2 bedrooms and a large home office. The neighborhood is a typical midwestern one, full of bungalow homes with established families and tree lined streets. It's a place where people walk their dogs, and pick up the paper for their neighbors when they are out of town."

Click on any of the four images above for more photos and information on the Container Home from Apartment Therapy.  There is also a story and news clip from KMBC in Kansas City, and the home-in-progress has its own website and slideshow, HomeContained.  Click on the top image for the slideshow.

     site of Container Home (image by Google Earth, captions by me)

Now, to be fair, this home is decidedly upscale compared to the trailer park conversion In Charlottesville.  (That doesn't preclude its usefulness as a model for more affordable applications.)  I'm also not sure about how well it respects the neighborhood vernacular.  But, those things said, I'm all for creativity and resourcefulness, and this house is nothing if not creative and resourceful.  Interesting stuff.