Monday, May 11, 2009

Fun houses

Slow news day and I'm bit preoccupied with housing options, being that I'm going to be effectively homeless at the end of the month. So Phila's link to a building made entirely of recycled kitchen sinks caught my eye. Can't move into that one, but I spent an hour digging through the archives of the site and found the Puma container store pictured here. Great concept. It's made entirely of used Puma shipping containers and is tranportable. They break it down and move it to different cities.

I hadn't realized that so many people are doing repurposed construction. They don't give you any pricing but this container house is very cool and it's even more ecologically sound for building with used containers. Worth exploring further.

Phila also has a bunch of other especially interesting links in this Friday's hopeblogging. This ghost energy installation is as beautiful as it is frightening. I mean that is just spooky. And you should click over if you like really old cartoons. He's got a great one at the end of the post.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

We get a lot of shipping containers here at the crossroads of the Pacific. Especially since we import almost everything and don't make hardly anything for export. I know a few people who use them as workshops, and some who even live in them, but without windows, plumbing or electricity. You just bang on the thing to wake 'em up.

They say, "The uncontained life is not worth living." Philosophy in a box. Ready to ship. FOB.

5:11:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Cosa. I kind of like that image of banging on a box to wake someone up. DO you have idea what one of those cost?

8:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Depends how they were "acquired." Not that much, judging by the lifestyle of some of their inhabitants, here. But they're refuse, in Hawaii. We just don't export even a fraction of what we import, and they hate to ship them back empty. The ultimate in useless packaging. ("Paper, plastic or steel?") But they are ideal for repurposing. Quite sturdy. No plumbing, electrical, sheetrock, flooring, windows or doors, though.

Checking online, they sell for $1,000 - $6,000 new, depending upon the size and so on; 30-40% less, used. They can get real banged up. They're supposed to stack & interlock on all sides, so you could fabricate quite a large structure out of them. Container ships stack them pretty high.

As dwellings, you'd have to check your local building codes. House trailers are not allowed at all anywhere in Hawaii. But nobody seems to bother the odd dude in a container way off the road in the back of a valley, in the lava fields or among a bunch of other containers in an industrial area here. Might be worth researching in your area. Got much lava?

10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The phenomenon has been know about for more than a hundred years, I think. Hams used to use a small neon bulb to check the standing wave patterns on their antennas when I was a kid and Nick Tesla used to play with these things, trying to look like a wizard.

As to the harmfulness; I'm quite sure that if you're a tube full of rarified gas, you're going to light up, but the effects on anything are frequency dependent. Most energy is transferred at a resonant frequency - as in a microwave oven, otherwise all you'll get is a tiny amount of heat. still, you won't catch me living with those florescent tubes - even with the free light.

It's quite possible that living under the power lines isn't good for you, but if there are effects they're not yet obvious. We do seem prone to worrying about such things though. 150 years ago there were all kinds of stories written about the mental effects of telegraph signals -- from stealing your thoughts to causing "neurasthenia." People were rather hysterical about it in fact. We do like to believe that cellphones kill bees and aluminum pots cause Alzheimers and that the truth is being kept from us by nefarious scientists.

By the way, I think some shipping containers have built in refrigeration and insulation - and of course when it comes time to move, you don't have to pack; just call one of those "piggy back" trucks!

10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Cosa. No lava but lots of trailers already. Thanks for the info.

Fogg, I don't what to think about those electrical lines but I've never wanted to leave near one of those big transformer places. I didn't know the bulbs would light up like that. Weird.

And LOL on the moving thing with the containers. I was thinking the same. The ultimate in portable housing. Don't like where you live, just call in a semi and move the whole house. :)

11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Then of course, there's the sailboat. Not expensive and supremely portable. Having waterfront property with beach access is hard to beat.

You can get wind and solar electric and of course free transportation when you get tired of your mooring.

11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

High maintainence on the sailboat on the sailboat though and docking is expensive. That as you may remember is one of my first choices but it doesn't seem too pratical for a single woman who knows nothing about boats.

12:05:00 PM  

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