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Container house in the tropics : sustainable and affordable


Bamboo Groove, a design and construction firm in Costa Rica, has developed some new designs for homes made from insulated shipping containers and bamboo. Developed for the tropical climate, these prefab homes are different from the designs we are accustomed to — those designed for temperate or cooler climates. Many of these prefab and shipping container homes focus on passive heating and cooling. But in warmer climates, such as Central America, construction requires a different tactic - insulating from the heat and providing lots of natural ventilation to help cool.

Bamboo Groove uses Intermodal Steel Building Units (ISBUs), which are insulated shipping containers, in creating the framework of the home. Then Guadua Bamboo, which is one of the fastest growing bamboos, is harvested from nearby Costa Rican bamboo plantations and used as the structural beams for the roof. Current designs range from 100 sq meters with one ISBU up to 250 sq meter split level villas with three ISBUs. Construction should take less than 5 months and be very affordable.

Movies. Go to youtube


Costa Rica


Project Details

NAME: Container house in the tropics : sustainable and affordable
PROJECT LEAD: bamboo groove
LOCATION: Tamarindo, Costa Rica
START DATE: May 06, 2007
CURRENT PHASE: Design complete
SIZE: 150 sq. m
PROJECT TYPE: Residential – 2 BR
ARCHITECT: Erwin Schuster
, Oscar Ulate