Research, Research Research, that was what I was always told at university. Its no different outside academic literature. The real difference is the topics we research and the methods we use to research. With everything coming online in the last few decades, its only a matter of time before Architecture online becomes mainstream. In this sense we have seen the growth of unique design ideas like Container homes. The Container home industry has become a new section in the Architecture market primarily driven by online conversations. So lets have a real conversation about Container homes.
Its not currently a desirable form of mainstream Architecture because its growth has come from outside Architectural circles. But, it is extremely fashionable and popular with millennials. In time, we will ultimately see if the trend continues as online research statistics suggests it rapid growth. On that note, its logical to assume that its current form will expand beyond not just its shape & size but also it materiality and form. This assumes that the rate of popularity continues its current growth trend.
In terms of Sustainability container homes have an opportunity to improve upon energy standards per m2 for every occupant of the dwelling. This opportunity to reduce individuals carbon footprint gels well with millennials who consider their carbon footprint personally. Its also a reflection of the possible future of the design and construction industry. Where ‘bigger is not better’ and ‘smaller is more environmentally friendly’ it suggests that in the future people will look for a more sustainable option over the luxury of a larger traditional home.
The rapid growth of this industry is being felt internationally as people across the globe look for smaller alternatives. Homes that don’t require a mortgage, don’t require huge imbodied energy capacity and don’t require a builders license to construct and build. This alternative home is paving the way for the growth of this new industry and is allowing for many alternatives to come into the market.
Finding the right container home requires knowledge of your minimum requirements and your basic necessities. Some people who enjoy the outdoors require less internal volume and more external shelter. While others require internal volume with all the modern trimmings including a washing machine and kitchenette. Its understanding the different alternatives that give rise to so many variable options in this market.
Finally its important to get realistic about container homes. They are never as advertised; that’s the truth, you pay equivalent m2 to a modern home for most container homes, and the only thing that makes them appear cost effective is the sizing reduces the overall material costs and finishes. To put this into perspective, most see container homes as a short term housing and accommodation solution. They are using this a middle stepping stone to reach newer highs which leads me to believe Container homes will either evolve into something new or they have a limited shelf life before the trend fades into the history books. Which ever the case, Architects will be around to pick up the pieces of some broken dreams.