In my last article from February, we had started construction on a 40-foot container “house.”
Why? I’m still not sure ... mainly, and luckily, because I love this type of build project and have the resources to do it right now.
Keep in mind, it is up for grabs!
We now have this container about 90 percent complete. We insulated with rigid polyiso on the inside — walls, floor, and ceiling — and added 6 mil poly for an air barrier. Then we framed it — all to the inside.
This “house” is stand-alone (net zero) and/or ready for generator/utility line in. We have 900 watts of solar on the roof, four batteries which make up 180 amp hour at 24 VDC, four kilowatt inverter and solar charge controller, electric minisplit heat/AC, propane stove, instant hot water heater, normal shower, 75 gallon water storage tank with on board pump, ‘separett’ (brand) composting toilet, normal small fridge, all-in-one washer dryer unit. Two outside decks fold up. The roof deck is coming.
The container is permanently on a trailer with four axles, and ready to roll.
The sewer and gray water lines out are separate so they can be managed independently.
Let me tell you about the user experience thus far. We are not “living” in it yet, but have been working in it. We can run the AC for about four hours before we drain our current battery storage. This is dependent on the amount of sun. It pulls 400-700 watts running on a low setting. The Aims inverter and Rover charge controller are both acceptable, but require user know-how.
We will want to at minimum double our battery bank. We went cheap: four of the 6V lead acid gulf cart batteries are $320. Four more are coming soon. This should make it “comfortably” energy zero as long as you have propane to supplement in the winter, and you can go through a “tiny” living lifestyle change.
More to come once we start living in it intermittently. Stay tuned.
Jason Morosko is a Certified Passive House Consultant and Vice President of Engineering at Ultimate Air Inc. in Athens.