Sol Van Kempen – Sustainer Homes Eco-Friendly Off-Grid Container Home

This modern container home conversion has been carried out by a new company based in the outskirts of Amsterdam. Called Sustainer Home, the company consists of a group of like-minded individuals who have pooled their separate skill sets in order to create an environmentally-friendly, affordable housing alternative.


Sol Van Kempen - Sustainer Homes -Amsterdamn - Exterior - Humble Homes

Their first prototype home has been dubbed the Sol Van Kempen. It’s intended to address four commonly used resources: energy, air and heating, water collection and disposal, and materials. The resulting design incorporates various technologies that allow the Sol Van Kempen to be used off the grid.


Sol Van Kempen - Sustainer Homes -Amsterdamn - Living Area - Humble Homes

Sustainer Homes’ drive to produce efficient, affordable and eco-friendly homes was brought about by the worry of rising rent, city sprawl, and the vast consumption of resources that are linked to unpredictable future supplies. By creating a home that actively seeks to reduce it’s footprint, they can perhaps make an impact on the issue, or at the very least raise awareness.


Sol Van Kempen - Sustainer Homes -Amsterdamn - Living Area and Storage - Humble Homes

The Sol Van Kempen is powered by a series of solar panels and wind mills that are mounted to the roof of the container. The combination of the two should allow for regular energy consumption throughout the year. For heating and cooling an energy-efficient heat pump has been enlisted, alongside high grade insulation to ensure the home is cozy in winter and cool in summer.

Sol Van Kempen - Sustainer Homes -Amsterdamn - Bedroom - Humble Homes

Rainwater is collected from the roof and then filtered to make it safe for drinking, washing, showering etc. Any water that goes down the drain is then cleaned again through a plant-based helophyte filter before being released back into the ground. The choice of materials is based upon their ability to be reused and recycled.

Sol Van Kempen - Sustainer Homes -Amsterdamn - Section - Humble Homes

The interior is finished mostly in what looks to be OSB or some similar wood-based panel. It’s also used for the furniture and storage units, which might make it a bit too much for some people. Aside from that, the container home features a central living area which contains a living and dining area, and a small kitchenette. At one end of the unit you’ll find a bathroom, and at the other there’s a bedroom.

For more container homes check out this concept transforming home called the G-Pod. Or, this fantastic little real-life transforming container home. See all container homes.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: sustainerhomes

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. Wouldn’t this building be great for the homeless, so that they can get back on their feet.
    So the person doesn’t have to work to pay bills that never go away.
    So that families can build their savings toward a better lifestyle.
    sadly the Government in Canada can not wrap their heads around this type of housing solution.
    And they’re the ones with the higher education

  2. My main concern about these container homes is that no matter how they are adapted they still look like shipping containers. One cannot advocate the use of them and at the same time be critical of urban blight. I wouldn’t want to see an entire subdivision composed of containers.

  3. I have followed the tin can home blog for months and would like to very much have someone fabricate a very similar container home and have it shipped to my location.

  4. I think these container homes are fantastic. I think the way to alleviate the external appearance issue is with a high level of gardening. Between plants, paint and maybe some plaster here and there the exteriors could look just fine. There are some beautiful vines like pump house vines that could quickly cover every inch of the exterior of these buildings and the fragrance and other world appearance of the flowers is impressive.

  5. I have lived in a Westfalia VW bus for a year and surprised how much I don’t need, have a home on 1/4 acre in so California but took a job 3 hrs away and stayed for the week @ time in county campgrounds with coin up showers for under $30 and ate for another $60 a week and out in the wilderness with my sleeping bag, gun, harmonica and a dozen changes of undergarment & 4 outer wear I hiked, fish & visited interests points around, made some friends & or any thing else, never missed all the creature comforts of home or TV, so living in a container home would be living large with two connected with a 8′ expansion bridging in between the two units we are talking 1200 square feet the metal siding is beautiful if you use the proper architecture combining other exterior finishes, the problem that too many snobs just wrinkle their nose at ant thing even though they are scratching fleas, as Americans we are spoiled and unmotivated, we become slaves to the bankers for lack of effort, it would equate to a 4 to 500.000 dollar home in a much tranquil environment where we could feed our selves for minimal with aquaponics system. and some work