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Self-Sustainable Off-Grid Tiny Container Cabin

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This is a sustainable off-grid mobile container home built and designed by Sustainer Homes. This model is called the Sol Van Kempen and it’s powered by a series of solar panels and wind mills that are mounted to the roof of the container.

Another unique feature of the home is its rainwater collection system. The rainwater is collected from the roof and then filtered for drinking, washing dishes, and showering. Any water that goes down the drain is then cleaned again through a plant-based filter before being released back into the ground.

When you go inside you’ll notice the walls are made with wood-based panels which are also used for the furniture and storage units. There’s also a living area, dining area, kitchenette, bathroom, and a bedroom inside. Please enjoy, learn more and re-share below. Thank you!

Self-Sustainable Off-Grid Tiny Container Cabin

Sustainable Off-Grid Mobile Container Home

Images © Sustainer Homes

Related: 40’x8′ Shipping Container Tiny Home Built for $20k

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Related: Couple Living Simply in a DIY Shipping Container Tiny Home

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Related: Couple’s 620 Sq. Ft. Container House in Dallas, TX

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Images © Sustainer Homes


Related: CropBox: High Tech Farm Inside a Shipping Container

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If you enjoyed this sustainable container home you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more! Thank you! 

More Like This: Explore our Shipping Container Cabins Section

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Deadrock
    September 14, 2015, 10:44 am

    Simple, and looks inexpensive, although not my favorite container home decor or configuration. Also a little bummed the company is in the Netherlands.

    Any U.S. based container home companies that are interested in a gig building a 600sf+ sized container home for me, please respond to this comment and let me know where you are!

    • Nick
      September 14, 2015, 2:57 pm

      We are a fine custome furniture and cabinetry business who has realized a micro home is actually a piece of furniture that you live in. We have teamed up with a designer and contracter to build micro homes. I’m not sure where you are but due to the portability of these units we are able to ship most anywhere, we are based out of Tampa Florida.

    • Megan
      October 11, 2015, 10:38 pm

      There’s a company approx 6 miles north of Manor on Hwy 973.

    • Megan
      October 11, 2015, 10:43 pm

      there’s a company in Manor, Texas

  • Alisa
    September 14, 2015, 11:18 pm

    Love the endless configuration the pegboard offers!!!

    • September 20, 2015, 7:30 pm

      That caught my eye also. Get idea!!

      • Eric
        September 12, 2016, 9:02 pm

        Yeah… BUT it is flipping OSB! Full of toxic nasties. Great for you health… NOT!

  • Catherine
    September 15, 2015, 12:26 am

    It’s bad enough to know that we use OSB in our houses now without using as a finishing product. Just DON’T get it wet!

    • Brian
      September 15, 2015, 6:33 am

      I agree, I would have chose something a bit nicer, and healthier.

    • October 11, 2015, 11:32 am

      Hi Catherine,

      Just wanted to let you know it’s not OSB but Eco-board. This straw-based board is made completely from agricultural waste (not wood) and is completely non-toxic as it uses no formaldehyde.

      • Kurt
        May 18, 2016, 6:51 pm

        OSB…Eco-board…whatever. It still looks UGLY!

      • Large Marge
        September 12, 2016, 6:22 pm

        Hi Sustainer,
        Excellent choice on wallboard! Rustic and relaxing. At first, we thought it was cork, also an excellent choice. Thanks for letting us know about Eco-board. It’s always nice to recycle and reuse.

  • Brian
    September 15, 2015, 6:29 am

    I love the idea of using shipping containers to up cycle into homes, however I own a nice piece of property in Arizona, and visited my local county to ask if I could get permits to build a very attractive 3 container home, and they straight up told me “NO WAY!”. I guess the idea is they believe they are ugly mainly, but conceded most of the officials have seen nice container homes on the Internet, nonetheless they will not issue a permit for container homes… It always amazes me that in a world today with fake economies, avg. wages that of the 1990’s, a decreasing middle class, etc, etc…. That you would think most counties and or cities would find a way to allow “greener” alternative building take place. Iam now stuck with the idea of being forced into building a residence on my property that is conformed to a mindset, much more expensive, less resilient, and looks like everyone else’s…. It may be time to sell the property?, and find another property in a more Eco friendly atmosphere.

    • Al
      September 15, 2015, 3:32 pm

      Obviously you can’t get a building permit for a container home , all you do is inquire if storage containers are allowed , and if they are you just move container on lot and start building , as long as you don’t require utility hookup everything should be ok. If you do need utility hookup, find a creative way to get this done before moving container to lot such as an electric service for a water well ? Just don’t call it a home , it is a standard shipping container . I have some friends who are missionaries in Italy , and used to live in Rv, but the zoning wouldn’t allow it so they just built homes in shipping containers ,and these are allowed everywhere ! Since these are movable they aren’t subject to relestate tax either .

      • Arlie
        October 10, 2015, 3:47 pm

        I’d do just as you suggested Al, if I had the required acreage for a C-Can…slide it in, plant some trees around it, and keep my mouth shut. However, sometimes county officials will be a bit more willing to listen if you have engineer specs, blue prints, etc. rather than a few screen shots from the Internet.

    • Sue
      November 5, 2015, 9:17 pm

      Then you could make inquiry on is an earth-covered home acceptable?
      Shipping containers could be used and as they would be covered also remain unseen. You would also have reduced running costs re heating and cooling.

      • kristina nadreau
        May 15, 2016, 7:45 pm

        will rust

    • Eric
      February 6, 2016, 3:15 pm

      You could also say you want to build using steel. Lots of commercial buildings are these days.

      Tell them you are going to use steel cladding on a steel superstructure.

      They should then approve a permit. Well, methinks anyway. What do you have to lose apart from a bit of time?

      • Bigfoot
        November 30, 2016, 6:04 pm

        Eric, don’t know where you live but most everywhere in the US your idea will definitely not work. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to pull a permit for a dwelling. Beside the hoops (to many to elaborate) you have to submit architectural blue prints stamped by a licensed engineer that meet all building codes including elevations, setbacks, construction materials, & much more. Then you have to build per those design specs & have separate inspections for everything (foundation, framing, plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc.).—-Sorry, you don’t just tell them what your gonna do & they hand you a permit. If only it was that easy!

  • Al
    September 15, 2015, 3:21 pm

    These homes are made from new or used shipping containers and are mobile by same methods as other containers and can be delivered or moved by specially designed trucks as well as carried on freight trucks or railroad cars !

  • Porcsha S.
    October 11, 2015, 4:21 pm

    This home is what the tiny house movement is all about! I’m not a huge fan of the pressed wood but it makes the home cheaper! It’s off the grid, screw how it looks, fix that later! We need more homes everyone can buy because the monetary system is unfair! Everyone whines about prices but, this is worth every penny and did I mention it’s OFF THE GRID!!! I hope to see more of these homes in the future to off put these greedy people who are so low to see profit in tiny houses!

  • Sharee
    February 6, 2016, 11:52 am

    I really like the wall treatments. The holes in the walls would allow me to redecorate and rearrange the inside to my heart’s content. Nicely done.

  • Barbara
    May 15, 2016, 2:51 pm

    I don’t care what the interior is covered with, it is hideously ugly.

  • Larry Schoenemann
    September 14, 2016, 1:16 am

    Love to see it fully finished.

  • jm
    September 14, 2016, 4:52 am

    Strength isn’t the only issue in getting permit. I would submit plans with their fee and force them to tell me where it doesn’t comply. Revise, resubmit, revise, resubmit…But once they give you a permit you will be paying property taxes. And have an address, and get mail…

    I like the idea of using a container as an underground house. You can certainly apply a spray waterproofing. I would set it into a hillside, leave part of the front exposed. Shutters for the front that can completely close and secure it. Great for a vacation house.

    Largo…my favorite Sonny’s!

  • Dug
    November 30, 2016, 7:53 pm

    Great idea bravo 100% for ingenuity guys
    Permits and building permission all but impossible in UK also
    I reckon ALL TH enthusiasts and would be owners worldwide should group together under one umberella group to fight this stupid short sighted ruling wherever it occurs in whichever state, country or area.
    They are usually happy to allow horrendous ugly mobile homes, caravans and the likes that are far more ugly than a green SC that blends in with the countryside totally ridiculous rulings, for many reasons least of which it would use the growing surplus shipping containers as most are only used at sea once and sold off, it would help with the carbon footprint as they have already been built, with security (thus ins costs and claims) as totally secure, if built and so arranged in a way that’s not in your face in the countryside they I have NO doubt could easily exceed demand in more rural areas where family members are weekly moving away from as just not enough homes to go around, and they come ready in a day to live in that night so have a superb future in emergency housing surely.
    Let’s live in hope that one day not to far away that the younger gen of local planners that will replace the current older shortsighted ones will see past the stupid responses the plainly unknownledged replies and flat No’s with no real knowledge of what it is they are saying no too.
    Peace keep fighting that zoning battle guys once one caves in the easier it shall be for others elsewhere to gain that vital permission.

    Keep on SH it 🙂

    • Natalie
      December 1, 2016, 10:42 am

      Agreed! We need solutions to the current zoning rules. People want to — and should be able to — live smaller! It’s good for us 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Suanne
    December 3, 2016, 5:47 pm

    Yes not the most attractive but hey, if it’s
    Dramatically cheaper I’d do it!!!! Doesn’t look cramped.
    But, because it IS healthy- bet there’s a chance it’s expensive! Just as using recycled wood since it needs to be torn down (old structures) taken apart and treated somehow… I’d like to know what it would cost here in US.
    Plus great idea- in a hill so only the front shows….
    Or put A small addition on top and deck as we saw in another example, looks less container- like if people concerned about that.

    • Natalie
      December 5, 2016, 10:26 am

      Good ideas, Suanne! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Michael
    October 17, 2017, 7:26 pm

    Great idea to make the interior of a rugged but extreme solid shipping container eco friendly because you are getting in touch with these 24/7 when you are living in.
    Unfortunately they are building for the Dutch market only or did that change over the time being?
    The website however is in Dutch only.
    However, what fits into the Netherlands should fit into the European Union as well or I am wrong?
    I would be pleased to get updated and going to try to contact them.
    Thanks for sharing. Well done.

  • Dug
    October 17, 2017, 8:11 pm

    Guys, Guys, Guys
    Here we go again, really? Getting hung up on the interior choices, “it’s ugly” “it’s osb” blah de blah why does this matter? These units are simply posted to show what CAN be achieved ??? The interior finishes are a personal choice that are easily covered, over painted or moved about to suit, I just fail to get why so many supposed SH & TH enthusiasts can’t see past these minor items and see the bigger picture, I.e. The innovative clever design and build that goes into a great many builds, the builders do not build these for you guys to get pedantic over colour schemes of the interior wood choices – Come ON get real if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all, at the very least if that’s the best you can come up with all as I say easily remedied things in my book it actually makes this yet another pretty classy tiny home in my book.
    Builders designers and engineers ignore the silly comments and keep pushing the envelope still farther, maybe one day you might manage to keep these guys happy too 🙂
    A superb bit of kit im sure by design and the minor fact it’s pegboard it will allow for infinite changes internally which will allow a version for almost anyone to have almost anything where they want it a great idea loving it

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