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Container House - Full Plans

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The container house C01 comes from a client request for a permaculture farm visitor center. It is not thought of as a permanent house in temperate climate. It can be quite well suited, on the other hand, to humid tropical climates, provided it is positioned with the openings on the direction of the prevailing wind. 

Temperate climate

As a holiday home in temperate climate, it can host a lot of people, some even on top of the containers, under the roof. It's inside-outside space, a recurring theme here at permarchitecture, is a lovely day area. The container rooms, on the other hand, are private sleeping and working areas. The home office is, of course, a welcome addition post 2020, though, if not needed, it can become a third bedroom. 


The ideal position for this holiday home is South facing, with the bedrooms towards the East (for northern hemisphere).

Foundation and terrain

The slope can vary quite a lot, as the best option is to lift the whole thing above ground. The structure is light enough for pole foundation in most use cases. Crawlspace or a slab foundation are perfectly fine solutions too.


The containers need to be insulated as any other container home. There are many options, depending on the source of your containers and the weather at your location. The more insulation you will add on the inside of the containers, the more space you will loose. 

Sliding doors

The sliding doors can be as fancy or as DIY as you wish. Some of you might only need wooden panels that you can remove or slide away when the house is in use. Others can go towards more airtightness, with glass panels on a track. The same goes for the glass panels under the roof, though some operability is needed to air the space out on hot summer days.

Tropical variations

For tropical climate, the roof slope should follow the sun, based on the hemisphere, to get the most shade. The wind direction guides the rest. The fact that this layout provides ventilation both underneath and above the house is a great advantage in tropical regions, though the roof material must be reflective for the double roof feature to work best. 


The project was designed with metal in mind. That does not mean this is the only solution. But the containers are well suited for metal additions and it's an easy to work with recyclable material, so it was the obvious choice. The metal pillars holding the roof do not go all the way down. Instead they are fixed on top of the containers themselves, on the corner spots where containers are connected one on top of the other. You can choose to go with the pillars all the way down if you feel it's easier for you or if the local winds are too strong. The flooring can be wood or concrete.

Minimal Package: A PDF file of the whole project

Basic: PDF file + AutoCad file. All relevant architectural plans, in .dwg format, plus a 3D model of the project.

Full Package: PDF file + AutoCad file + Skp file + Skp Layout + 3ds. All in Basic + The Full Package features both the PDF, AutoCad file and the SketchUp model, plus a 3ds export and a SketchUp layout for pagination.

More info on what is in each plan package here.

The Permarchitecture shop sells house plans that you can use off-the-shelf for your own project or with modifications. They are designed with permarchitecture design principles in mind. They are not material-specific but define a general range of possibilities. Also, they are reflective of a general bioclimatic approach, even though they lack relative positioning due to the obvious fact that they are not placed on any specific site. The trick after having acquired such a plan is then, of course, to place it on the land in such a way that it reflects those bioclimatic intentions, like placing North upwards.

Disclaimer: These structural plans are for reference and/or entertainment purposes only since different countries, states, counties etc have their own unique codes, laws, and regulations governing architecture and construction which may not apply in your unique situation.

This is a Jo Petroni plan. She also writes a free weekly substack about homes. Check it out:

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This bio-climatic approach to container houses enhances inside-outside spaces. It's perfect for holiday homes and, with proper positioning, can even be used in tropical climates. The metal frame can be dismantled and the double roof is reflective and ventilated, to dampen summer heat.

Surface (meters)
51.3 m2
Surface (feet)
552 sqf
9.15m x 6.00m (+deck)
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Container House - Full Plans

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