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Cúbica is a company in Costa Rica that specializes in alternative construction based on repurposed shipping containers. They have built housing, commercial and institutional projects from cast-off containers. Cúbica cites lower cost, short delivery times, earthquake resistance and low maintenance as a few of the advantages of using containers.
Cúbica has designed Casa Cúbica, a compact dwelling built from a 20-foot shipping container. A 20-foot container has just 160 ft2 (14.9 m2) of space but Cúbica stretches it out with a short extension at one end. They market it mainly as a vacation home that sleeps up to four. However it would also be suited for full-time living by a single person or a couple, being complete with a kitchenette, full bath and even laundry facilities.
Our recreational model is a perfect example of what can be done with just a container and creativity. It is our first project, focused show that the practical construction and good design can converge on a single solution. It is located in Santa Ana radial front Mas x Menos and is on public permanent display ; Come and visit and check that any design can be adapted to your needs.
Equipped with two terraces - one in front and one at the top - is the perfect home for rest. It has 3 beds, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with shower direct access from the outside, air conditioning and luxury finishes. It also has thermal insulation which makes it very fresh: once inside it will seem hard to believe that is inside a metal container.
The back wall of the living space is lined with cabinetry containing the kitchenette, closets and a Murphy bed. The extension provides a space for built-in bunk beds, while the bathroom is at the other end. The bathroom has a separate compartment housing the toilet and a stacked washer and dryer. It’s interesting to compare the Casa Cúbica to the Port-a-Bach container cabin, which has a very similar layout but a more casual feel.
This type of construction is extremely convenient and fast compared to other systems. It is portable sumamante, allowing to have a full house in remote areas where other systems do not offer solutions, and even can be relocated to another site if desired. It is earthquake resistant, easy to maintain in any climate and extremely safe due to its metal frame.
Some home buyers and some lending institutions resist consideration of modular homes as equivalent in value to site-built homes. While the homes themselves may be of equivalent quality, entrenched zoning regulations and psychological marketplace factors may create hurdles for buyers or builders of modular homes and should be considered as part of the decision-making process when exploring this type of home as a living and/or investment option. In the UK and Australia, modular homes have become accepted in some regional areas; however, they are not commonly built in major cities. Modular homes are becoming increasingly common in Japanese urban areas, due to improvements in design and quality, speed and compactness of onsite assembly, as well as due to lowering costs and ease of repair after earthquakes. Recent innovations allow modular buildings to be indistinguishable from site-built structures. Surveys have shown that individuals can rarely tell the difference between a modular home and a site-built home.
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