Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped designers from trying. Natural mattress company Coco-mat of Greece (previously) teamed up with Greek shipping container architecture startup Cocoon Modules to create this fresh-looking prototype for an earthquake-resistant modular home that features smart, energy-efficient technology.
As the Cocoon Modules design team explains:
Our modules are more than 15% cheaper than the prefabricated construction in Greece and 30% cheaper than the traditional [construction]. They can be built within weeks in designated industrial spaces and can then be transported and placed on site. By using the modularity of the container we create ergonomic spaces of great design that can be expanded as LEGOs do.
The main living area features a long built-in couch, a table and a small kitchen and bathroom. The interior of the container home feels larger than most, thanks to the large glass patio doors, which can open up the space to the outside, therefore expanding it and eliminating that tunnel-like feel that other designs might fall prey to. The prototype has been furnished with Coco-mat's line of wooden furniture and linens.
The bedroom is at one end, furnished with one of Coco-mat's comfortable mattresses, which use natural materials from renewable sources, such as coconut fibre, natural rubber, wool, cotton, sea grass, horsehair, silk, linen, wood and goose down.
The roof has been waterproofed and a green roof put in. Having a green roof helps to better insulate and regulate interior temperatures, but it's not clear if having all that extra weight on the roof is a good idea, especially in this case with a shipping container -- though it's apparent from the construction time-lapse video that extra structural reinforcement was put in.
Even if reusing shipping containers themselves can be problematic, the underlying idea of creating housing that's modular and easy to transport is nevertheless a relevant one that could potentially remake how we build and view our homes. No word on how much this particular prototype might cost, but you can find out more over at Cocoon Modules.