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The container home

Posted on 24 November 2015.

In the middle of the Canadian forest, Joseph Dupuis fulfilled his childhood dream of living in a hut – but this one is self-sufficient and made from shipping containers.

Inside, Joseph Dupuis’ home has everything a five star version of a Canadian hut should have. In a loft-like space, the trough - which previously acted as a sink for brown bear hunters - has given way to a kitchen and a functional shower. Warm parquet has replaced the wood floor beneath the feet of Davy Crockett. But the comparison stops there. Because this hut is not made of logs, but sheet metal.

33 m2 for only 15,000 US dollars

Three shipping containers recycled into a comfortable home – and bought for just 2,600 US dollars each from the port of Hamilton, south of Toronto. Joseph, their happy owner, now has a 33 m2 space in the middle of the forest 55 kilometers from Ottawa - for an investment of just 15,000 US dollars. And what’s more the house costs him less to run than his phone!

Warm, even in minus 42°C

And for good reason. The "cabin" exclusively uses renewable energy. Photovoltaic panels on the roof supply electricity to the house and to an attached workshop. When the biting winter temperatures fall to minus 42°C, the container, although not insulated, stays at a pleasant temperature. The essential wood stove supports the reversible floor heating, which also cools the place in summer.

Coming soon… stargazing

Joseph still has lots of ideas! He plans to install another container on the roof, but with a glass ceiling so he can enjoy a view of the stars. With 17 million empty containers now available in North America, he also wants to help disadvantaged young people build their own low-cost homes.