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Koi ponds under glass are a part of the exterior garden decks. Screens camouflage the black containers.


Columns are the structural junction of paired containers. Long view through living space frames kitchen.


 


Millions of sturdy, waterproof shipping containers recycled annually offer an abundant potential housing resource, although in a residential style that is not universally accepted. But Y-Container works well inside. In fact, it seems enormous, with sight lines running the 60 ft. combined length of two containers. To soften the utilitarian aesthetic, louvered panels camouflage and shade the entry, while the indents of the distinctive facade provide separation for three distinct garden zones. And what’s not to like about a zero-waste dwelling?


The Y is formed as pairs of containers meet, creating a central triangular junction that the team describes as “a natural ventilation tunnel’ that “regulates air distribution and the fresh air supply without consuming energy,” topped by a phase-change glass skylight array. Several active triangular panels in the skylight lift automatically when the house reaches a preset temperature threshhold, naturally venting hot air.


Mobile panels wheeling about in floor and ceiling tracks were another Chinese introduction. Initially, the panels look like—and are—sliding closet doors.


 


GREEN FEATURES
> Modular Design. Six shipping containers comprise the living areas.
> PV Panels. 40 solar panels on two of the roofs power the home. Thermal solar panels on the third roof heat water for domestic use as well as radiant floor heating.
> Sliding and Pivoting Walls. Sliding walls pivot and glide in floor and ceiling tracks, creating one or two bedrooms with storage.
> Phase-Change Drywall. This new product (not available in the U.S.) helps moderate temperature inside the dwelling. National Gypsum is reportedly testing this technology, using phase-change “capsules” created by BASF.


43 www.greenbuildermag.com 01.2012

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