CONTAINER # SOLAR :: Transforming 6 Shipping Containers into a cheap Solar-Powered House (2011)

Team China's Y Container design model | Courtesy of the Solar Decathlon's Flickr photostream

solar decathlon 2011 : Team China’s Tongji University’s students  give used shipping containers new life as adaptable, low-cost, and easily transportable living modules. Dubbed the Y Container in reference to its Y shape, the house is a combination of six recycled shipping containers that sit atop an expansive deck area. In addition to providing space for outdoor seating, the multi-functional deck collects and filters rainwater for domestic needs. Energy-efficient features such as super-insulating materials and a natural ventilation tunnel contribute to the sustainable design.

“We transformed standard shipping containers in order to compensate for the cost of photovoltaic technology,” explained Hua Guodong, primary student architect. This allows the team to incorporate clean energy technologies, such as solar panels, into its design while keeping construction costs low. ;;

image :: Team China’s Y Container design model | Courtesy of the Solar Decathlon’s Flickr photostream

Team China designed the Y Container house 3

The projetct + pictures :: ;;

video ::

“Team China’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 entry, Y Container, combines six recycled shipping containers into a succinct, Y-shaped solar house. Y Container is easy to transport, assemble, and expand—providing the freedom to live anywhere with low costs and clean energy. It is a living house that can contain the energy, water, and plants required for an individual to enjoy an independent and natural lifestyle.

Team China designed the Y Container house 1

Design Philosophy
Team China designed its solar house not only as a highly integrated solution for supplying energy and water but also as an answer to financial and transportation challenges. The team’s design transforms prefabricated shipping containers into a modern living environment. Founded on the expectation that one can live anywhere freely, Y Container uses these standard modules and special conjunction components to help people expand their living space according to their wishes.

The architecture of Y Container features:

An expandable and blended space that provides divided functional areas linked through a consecutive spatial sequence

More opportunities to view the varying landscapes created in different sections of the yard.

Team China designed the Y Container house 2

Y Container incorporates innovative technologies to make the house flexible and adaptable under different circumstances. These include:

An integrated system that uses heat recovery from the solar thermal collector for the domestic hot water supply and the floor heating system

Vacuum insulation materials and phase-change materials that block heat transfer and moderate the interior temperature passively

A natural ventilation tunnel in the middle of the house that regulates air distribution and the fresh air supply without energy consumption.

Market Strategy
Y Container’s target client is a young couple in Shanghai, China, where many young people cannot afford independent housing. Recognizing the gap between incomes and house prices in Shanghai, Team China has designed a solution.

(** between $ 270,000 – 350,000, ;;

Hua Guodong
Architecture and Urban Planning School
Siping Rd., No. 1239
Shanghai, China 200092
Phone: 0086-13681934755″

Team China's Y Container house 4

Team China's Y Container house 5

Team China's Y Container house solar

Team China's Y Container solar hosue bedroom

Team China's Y Container solar house 6


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