Monday, November 21, 2005
"The Eco-NomadTM provides utility services to off-grid residential, small commercial or institutional buildings via a container that combines already proven technologies to create a complete micro-infrastructure. The capabilities housed within the Eco-Nomad include integrated systems for potable water storage and purification, biological wastewater treatment, water and space heating, electrical supply, fire protection, and the capability to remotely monitor and troubleshoot all integrated functions."
via Container Bay
Using these boxes for housing seems increasingly played out for at least two reasons: (1) The interior dimensions are only 7'8" high and wide. If these things are so cheap to make, why can't the building industry get its act together and make purpose built manufactured housing that can be carried on the existing intermodal system? I'm picturing something that behaves like a house should w/o cutting or retrofitting. Also, (2) The Gutter eloquently sums up the ethical and symbolic baggage that comes along with any discussion of using containers to house refugees or disaster victims. Quoting Shigeru Ban:: "... containers are for things, not people ..." This is why it might be more interesting to use containers for mobile infrastructure. Containers are rugged, and instead of exploiting that ruggedness for cheap thrills out in the wilds of Manhattan or Venice Beach, lets try using them in the way that they were designed to be used: as generic boxes that can go anywhere and extend global infrastructure networks.