Off Grid Living In 530sqft Using 3 x 20ft Shipping Containers

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Would you consider living off grid in a home built from shipping containers?

We’ve talked a lot about folks who have built their off grid home using recycled and re-purposed materials here before.

We’ve even shared a story of a one man who build his own floating off grid island using nothing but recycled materials.

But we’ve yet to focus on the many folks who are re-purposing shipping containers to serve as the structural backbone for their off grid home.

Here’s the story behind an amazing compact home build using three 20-foot-long shipping containers, solar panels, a purposeful floating roof and some real off grid imagination.

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Like so many of the off grid builders we follow, Richard and Amy have a similar story.

Who doesn’t want a life free of debt and a beautiful self-sustaining home to call their own.

We wanted to keep a low debt level so we can continue the lifestyle that we like which is lots of holidays and going overseas.

Exterior Design

The home is comprised of three 20-foot-long shipping containers. Each linked together with a corridor which allows for a striking exterior design, a spacious interior and loads of storage.

Shipping Container Off Grid Home 1

The use of vertical cladding on the exterior containers drastically change the look of a standard container home and greatly improve the overall look of a shipping container home. They used a color-bond product called designer panel.

We wanted something that created a little bit of separation between the kitchen dining, the study, the living area and then our sleeping quarters.

A carefully chosen color pallet further adds to this home’s beauty as the burnt orange window/door frames contrast with the charcoal cladding.

Shipping Container Off Grid Home 0

To maintain a low energy footprint the roof top is covered in solar panels which take up the majority of the home’s energy requirements. The roof is a floating design used to increase airflow and aid in cooling.

Shipping Container Off Grid Home 2

The solar system is a 3.75 kilowatt system.

We designed and built a one of a kind roof/rafter system while building our own off grid cabin.

It’s become one of the most discussed components of our build.

We’ve also created a complete roof building guide that goes into detail of how our roof was built the way it was.

Like our cabin, there is also a rain catchment system which feeds into two large reservoirs storing the fresh water for future use.

Interior Design

A lot of thought went into making the interior fully functional given the home’s creatively small foot print as well as the specific materials chosen.

One of the big things was being healthy for the human end-user. It’s all zero finola hired joiner that’s in place so it’s healthy for us to breathe and the finish we’ve put on the plywood as well is all low VOC.

Shipping Container Off Grid Home 3
Shipping Container Off Grid Home 4
Shipping Container Off Grid Home 5

Even a small home like this can still have a dishwasher.

Storage for pots and pans.

And a place for cook books.

Shipping Container Off Grid Home 6

The bathroom is amazing and the tile work is beautiful giving the illusion of a much larger space.