Santa Barbara- S County

A look inside Santa Barbara's first shipping container home

Shipping container home

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Construction is complete on a unique home on the Central Coast. 

The house, nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara, is made out of shipping containers. 

Millions of shipping containers sit empty in landfills or at ports. 

"Americans are consumers. We buy a lot of stuff and a lot of that stuff is made somewhere else so we ship it in by the shipload literally," said homeowner Bret Stone. "We are not making things as much as we used to. We aren't using them to ship back again."

Stone, an environmental lawyer at Paladin Law Group, wanted to set an example when he built his dream home. "The message I want to send is simply to inspire people to think about green construction, think about re-purposing material instead of it going to a landfill."

Stone took shipping containers and created a beautiful living space for his family. 

The home is constructed around 5 shipping containers. The walls are poured in place with concrete and supported by I-beams which hold the shipping containers in place. 

While shipping container homes aren't a new concept, not many guidelines exist when it comes to constructing a home out of them. 

"Our builder was Don Barber of Barber Builders," Stone said. "We couldn't find anybody of course who had done a project like this. He decided he was going to take it on and was excited by the challenge."

Construction was completed in about 16 months and Stone's family is settled in. 

Stone said he believes building a sustainable home is not out of reach for others. 

"For this particular house, it cost approximately what a house of this size would have cost," Stone said. "You could absolutely build smaller units with less high end finishes and have a very affordable structure, whether its multi-units or commercial."

Stone hopes his home will serve as a model for sustainable living up and down the coast. 

"That's what this structure is about. This is to inspire others to think, 'Maybe this would work for the project I've been dreaming about or maybe this would work for the affordable housing project that we've been working on and we too want to set an example as the city as the county as to what can be done.'"



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