Providing temporary relief for victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, SEED turns unused shipping containers into starter homes for emergency situations. The project was already underway when the recent tragedy hit Haiti, leading the group of Clemson University architecture professors (who’ve been developing it since the devastating Hurricane Katrina) to work to implement their plan sooner. Strong enough to withstand hurricanes or earthquakes, the containers make robust instant homes and guarantee some degree of safety from more activity, such as aftershocks.
Designed for living, the containers would arrive with strategic holes for light and air and would be outfitted with running water, a toilet and space for cooking. An unmodified container has 304 square feet of floor space (the size of many NYC apartments) and its flat roof expands its capabilities, being an excellent platform for gardening. To help jump-start the gardens and generate food quickly, each container would come with a 55-gallon drum already filled with dirt and plants.
Because Caribbean nations import more than they export, the region already has a surplus of unused shipping containers and constitutes a significant environmental impact. While the containers can be converted in just a few days and cost less than $5,000 to transform, it will probably take another six months before the project will ultimately be ready to implement.