man holding umbrella inside the intermodal container
Photo by justin beck on Unsplash

Developing and Designing Multi-Storey Container Homes: Tips and Tricks

Hello there, fellow container home enthusiasts! I’m Emily Owens, and for the past four years, I’ve been on a delightful journey into the world of container homes. Today, I’m excited to share with you some tips and tricks on developing and designing multi-storey container homes. Yes, you read that right – we’re going vertical!

Container homes have taken the world by storm, offering an eco-friendly and cost-effective housing solution. They’re versatile, sturdy, and lend themselves beautifully to innovative designs. But what happens when you want more space without expanding your footprint? That’s when you start thinking vertically. Here are some nuggets of wisdom to help you embark on your multi-storey container home adventure:

Just like in life, a strong foundation is key. When planning a multi-storey container home, ensure your foundation can handle the load. Consult with a structural engineer to make sure everything’s up to code.

Think Stacking

Containers are designed to be stacked, but there’s an art to it. Consider your layout carefully. Will you place them side by side or stack them like giant building blocks? Each approach has its pros and cons.

Side by Side

This option gives you more flexibility in creating open, spacious interiors. You can remove walls and make the space feel expansive. It’s like playing with a giant Tetris puzzle.


Stacking containers can save space horizontally while providing multiple floors. It’s like creating your own container skyscraper. Just remember, you’ll need a sturdy framework to support the weight.

Cutting and Framing

To achieve your desired layout, you’ll likely need to cut openings for windows, doors, and even staircases. Proper framing is essential to maintain structural integrity. It’s like giving your container a stylish makeover while keeping its strength.

Stairway to Heaven

white and brown concrete spiral stairs

If you’re going multi-storey, you’ll need stairs. Spiral, floating, or traditional – choose a style that fits your aesthetic. Remember, space is precious, so make the most of it. Consider storage solutions underneath your staircase or turn it into a design centerpiece.

Utilities and Plumbing

Don’t forget about the practical stuff. Plan your plumbing and electrical systems meticulously. Running pipes and wires through containers can be a bit like playing hide and seek, but with careful planning, you can have all the modern comforts you need.

Insulation and Ventilation

Multi-storey container homes can become stuffy if not adequately ventilated. Proper insulation and ventilation are crucial to ensure a comfortable living environment. Consider skylights, vents, and windows to bring in natural light and fresh air.

Exterior Facade

Get creative with the exterior. You can leave the industrial look of containers exposed or opt for a more traditional facade like wood, stucco, or brick. The exterior sets the tone for your home’s overall vibe.

Balconies and Rooftop Gardens

Make the most of the vertical space by adding balconies or even rooftop gardens. Imagine sipping your morning coffee on your container home’s rooftop, surrounded by greenery. It’s a slice of urban paradise!

Permits and Regulations

Every city and municipality has its own rules when it comes to container homes. Make sure you’re aware of all the permits and regulations you need to comply with before you start building.

Interior Design Magic

When it comes to multi-storey container homes, space can be at a premium. Embrace minimalist design principles to make the most of your square footage. Built-in furniture and clever storage solutions can maximize your space without sacrificing style.

Let’s take a quick look at a couple of real-world examples to inspire your multi-storey container home dreams:

The Modern Loft

Imagine two containers stacked on top of each other. The lower container serves as the living and dining area with a chic open-plan kitchen. A spiral staircase leads to the upper container, which houses a cozy bedroom and bathroom. Large windows flood the space with natural light, and a rooftop deck provides a stunning view of the city skyline.

The Container Townhouse

In this design, containers are placed side by side to create a spacious multi-level townhouse. The ground floor features an open-concept living area and kitchen, while the second and third floors house bedrooms and bathrooms. A central atrium with a skylight brings the outdoors inside, and a small balcony off the master bedroom provides a private retreat.

In the world of container homes, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Multi-storey container homes may present some unique challenges, but they also offer incredible rewards in terms of space efficiency and architectural creativity.

So, are you ready to take your container home to new heights? Remember, the journey might be a bit like climbing a container mountain, but the view from the top is worth every step. Happy container home designing, and may your multi-storey dreams reach new heights!

Emily Owens is a visionary in the world of architecture and sustainable living, known for her pioneering work in transforming shipping containers into innovative and eco-friendly homes. Born with a deep passion for design and a commitment to environmental sustainability, Emily's journey into the world of container homes has been nothing short of remarkable. Early Life and Education: Emily Owens was born in a small coastal town, where she developed an early appreciation for the beauty of nature and a desire to protect it. Her fascination with architecture and design began at a young age when she would spend hours sketching out creative home concepts on scraps of paper. It was clear from the start that Emily had a unique talent and a clear vision for the future of housing. Emily pursued her academic journey with dedication and purpose. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from a prestigious university, where she honed her design skills and gained a deep understanding of sustainable building practices. During her studies, she became increasingly drawn to alternative housing solutions that could minimize the environmental impact of construction while providing comfortable and affordable living spaces for people. Container Homes Revolution: After completing her formal education, Emily Owens embarked on a mission to revolutionize the housing industry. She was inspired by the potential of repurposing shipping containers as the building blocks for her sustainable creations. Emily recognized that these steel structures, often discarded and forgotten, could be transformed into functional and aesthetically pleasing homes. Emily founded her own architectural firm, "Owens Container Homes," where she assembled a team of like-minded individuals who shared her passion for sustainability and innovative design. Together, they began designing and building container homes that not only pushed the boundaries of creativity but also set new standards for eco-friendly living. Innovation and Impact: Over the years, Emily Owens and her team have created a diverse portfolio of container homes, each a testament to her dedication to sustainability and her commitment to excellence in design. Her work has received widespread recognition and numerous awards, solidifying her position as a pioneer in the field of container home architecture. Beyond her innovative designs, Emily has been a tireless advocate for environmentally conscious living. She has participated in conferences, given TED talks, and written extensively on the benefits of container homes, emphasizing their efficiency, affordability, and minimal environmental footprint. Legacy and Future: Today, Emily Owens continues to push the boundaries of container home design and sustainable living. Her vision extends beyond just architecture; it encompasses a future where people prioritize eco-friendly choices in all aspects of their lives. She remains dedicated to inspiring others to embrace sustainable living and to see the potential in reimagining the spaces we inhabit. Emily Owens, the woman who turned containers into homes, stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. Her legacy is a testament to the power of passion, vision, and determination to make the world a better place—one container at a time.