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Shipping Container Home

Ireland’s first shipping container home constructed on the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin as part of the Ripple Container Homes Project.

The Project

The project was coordinated by Carol Tallon and Derek Trenaman of Ceardean Architects. More than 60 contractors and suppliers donated their time and products to the building of the shipping container.

The purpose built home was then donated to the Saint Vincent De Paul to a family who were homeless. The hope for the project was to create an affordable home that would be functional and bring the community together. The structure would have cost €50,000 had it not been for the time and products provided buy contractors and manufacturers. However, the architects said a more modest construction could have been made for €25,000 - €30,000. Could this be a new affordable way to ease the housing crisis?

The 40ft long by 10ft wide shipping container was encapsulated with premium performance Kingspan Insulation and combined with a high performance glazing system to completely transformed it into an efficient modern home exceeding the thermal requirements of the current Part L regulations. 

The walls of the container were externally insulated using a timber framing system with insulating sheathing. A total thickness of 150mm Kooltherm K12 Framing Board Insulation was accommodated within the wall build-up resulting in U value of 0.17 W/m²K. K12 is a premium performance rigid thermoset phenolic insulation board that offers a thermal conductivity as low as 0.020 W/m.K. which is suitable for both timber and steel framing systems.

In order to keep the floor build-up of the container as thin as possible it was equipped with 100mm Kooltherm K3 Floorboard insulation so to maximise the thermal performance of the available depth resulting in a U Value of 0.17 W/m²K. K3 is suitable for both solid and suspended concrete floors and suspended timber floors. Again, K3 floor insulation also offers a thermal conductivity as low as 0.020 W/m.K.

The flat roof of the container was insulated with a total thickness of 140mm Thermaroof TR26  which was compatible with the chosen mechanically fixed single-ply waterproofing membrane again resulting in a 0.17 W/m²K U Value . Kingspan Thermaroof TR26 has a low thermal conductivity of 0.022 W/m.K. and is designed for use beneath mechanically fixed single-ply non-bituminous roofing systems and is also suitable for use beneath most green roof systems. 

The functional Prototype can sleep 6 people and includes a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and an outdoor decking area. The container also features technology such as micro heat recovery system, back boilers, solar panels and hot water heating.

Throughout Europe shipping containers are becoming economical solutions to affordable house. 

All images © Tania Flores of Ceardean Architects

Thermaroof TR26, Kooltherm K3 Floorboard
Carol Tallon and Derek Trenaman of Ceardean Architects

Kingspan Insulation Ltd.

Bree Industrial Estate


Co. Monaghan

A75 X966

Tel: +353 (0) 42 979 5000

Convention Centre Dublin Night