Is New Zealand Way ahead of the Pack?

I was glaring off into a void nothingness the other night (we geniuses do this–just kidding) and thought to myself: “Self, what if you took a container and made it fully… I mean FULLY… self-sufficient. Basically, a container home that is ready to go, electricity and all; right off-the-shelf?” Well, what do you know. Been done! There is company in New Zealand called Habode Homes and they are doing this exact thing: making container homes that are energy self-sufficient, equipped with solar panels and diesel generator (with fuel tank). Wow!

The mystery object arrives on location and folds out into a home–Transformers anyone? It seems to start from a collapsed-down rectangle resembling a skinny 40-foot container box concealed in a blue tarp, causing some rubber-necking during transport I’m sure. Then the sides are lifted up; flooring, panels, windows in place and viola! I suspect it’s a hard sell because of the price and idea of living in a container, but there are interested parties out there, and more into the future thanks to green awareness gaining legs. The design takes some getting used to as well in my opinion. A lot of windows it seems. Not sure how this would fare along the gulf coast of the U.S. with the hurricanes. I don’t think that NZ has too many typhoons to worry about.

As far as container home designs go, I personally like the sense of sturdiness and expandability (possibly setting another container on top and raising my home another story down the road if I so desire). You buy this house, you stay with the design. Still, I like it. The interior is very nice and airy.

The asking price I saw on this beauty was $97,000 (New Zealand dollars), which on this date translates to around $63,000 U.S. dollars. That price seems about right I suppose. I mean, you are talking assembly, engineering, and especially the solar panels on top the house (which constitutes a high overhead–no pun intended).

I wish them the very best and much success! Yet another example of innovation, vision and the utilization of those abundant shipping container. Their site: Habode Homes. There are plenty of pics!

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