Now we can say with certainty that Amazon really does sell it all. In a surprising and unique effort to recycle the thousands of surplus shipping containers that are generated, Amazon has begun offering the containers in the form of converted homes on their website.
Sold as a ‘Pre-fabricated Tiny Home’, the units are being sold by third-party MODs International. The company was created with the mission of using shipping containers to design and build modular structures.
A scan of the Amazon advertisement reveals a pleasant set of specs and amenities:
• The house comes with a bedroom, kitchenette, shower, toilet, sink and living area.
• For added security, double patio doors have been installed behind the container doors.
• A handful of appliances, among them a toaster oven and small fridge.
• There are easily accessible side water, sewer, and electrical connections.
• The home is a fully-insulated unit that is both heated and air-conditioned.
Though the 3400-kilogram home is modest at just under 30m², the price is far from that: $36,000. Buyers will also have to factor in another $3,750 for shipping the unit. Perhaps part of this can be explained by the fact that a new container, as opposed to a recycled one, was converted to create the unit. Customers can access the product under the “See all Buying Options” tab.
The American Home Reimagined?
US-based MODs Internation—the acronym was chosen to mean Modular On Demand Structures— has only been around a few years, but is making a big impact. CEO Jim Larson decided to form the company while working in New Orleans to help with disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. What grew from a need to build fast, safe and reliable housing for displaced people has turned into a thriving home design company.
"When you walk inside of a container, you can't believe it's a container," Larson says of the units, adding, “The structural integrity is number one. Number two is speed. We build it here in a controlled environment then we ship it out and all we have to do is bolt it together.”
3D architectural designer for the company Josh Atencio explains the creative process behind the homes: "As soon as you have some framing, some doors, some paint and all the weld marks buffed out it really comes together," adding about the greater vision of the company, "It's really interesting and it's making an impact all over the world and that's really important to me as well." As this vision is part of his own personal philosophy, Atencio even completed a home for himself using a converted shipping container.
PIC MODs International, with the stunning array of units it offers, is issuing a wakeup call about waste management, and at the same time doing its part to change perceptions about living space as well as creative approaches to solving modern housing dilemmas.