SEED: Emergent Container Housing Initiative – Solutions for the Caribbean

EPA Grant Number: SU834342
Title: SEED: Emergent Container Housing Initiative – Solutions for the Caribbean
Investigators: Christensen, Pernille Hoy , Hecker, Douglas A. , Skinner, Martha L.
Current Investigators: Christensen, Pernille Hoy , Hecker, Douglas A. , Skinner, Martha L. , Taylor, Aaron , Berry, Adam , Boom, Alex , Prothro, Andrew , Johnson, Arthur , Tanabe, Ayaka , Fowler, Brantley , Houston, Bryant , Hall, Bryce , Nolan, Carson , Bagwell, Chris , White, Dustin , Johnson, Jennifer , Piascik, John , Quales, John-Michael , Hanna, Jonathan , Mclees, Jonathan , Hale, Josh , Koschnitzki, Kenneth , Leanca, Kristen , Miller, Kyle , Scroggs, Kyle , Davis, Maria , Wash, Matt , Newbold, Mitch , Thompson, Mitch , Swart, Nat , Miller, Nathan , Christopher, Nick , McLaughlin, Owen , Phelps, Paul , Falkner, Robert , Tedford, Robert , Yonce, Ryan , Groen, Sam , Nicholson, Sam , Moore, Sarah , Ogletree, Scott , Calloway, Shannon , Padgett, Thomas , Jenkins, Travis , Alexander, Zach
Institution: Clemson University , Tri-County Technical College
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 14, 2010
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Agriculture , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Global climate change has caused a shift in precipitation patterns and an increase in storm intensity in recent decades. This project examines this phenomenon first at a regional scale, then the local scale and addresses the immediate concern of low-quality housing for local populations in hurricane-effected areas. The SEED housing prototype addresses the shipping life-cycle of the container and provides a second life for the unit in line with the philosophy of Cradle to Cradle. The prototype will use innovative materials and design strategies to address the specific safety/structural needs of hurricane-effected areas. Creative site design strategies will be developed to mitigate the effects of hurricane winds and food restorations strategies will be developed to help restore the community and reduce their dependence on post-disaster food aid.


The proposed study design is based on the P3 concept. Specifically, ‘People’ will benefit from affordable housing, increased hurricane safety, community involvement with the reuse of displaced surplus containers, and a healthy and productive landscape. ‘Prosperity’ will be achieved through an increased life-cycle and affordability of housing, the development of jobs associated with the building of the prototypes and sustainable agricultural practices. ‘Planet’ challenges will addressed by studying the effect of hurricanes on the islands of the Caribbean in general, looking at site specific sustainable agricultural solutions for the island of Dominica, a reduction in resource consumption and the creation of alternative water and energy sources.

Expected Results:

P3 concepts already play an integral role in the education of design students at Clemson University. This project will increase the exposure of students to these concepts through the interdisciplinary collaboration of the design studios and private corporations, and through exposure to the community in Dominica. It is expected that the prototype will serve as a framework to quickly assemble shelter for displaced populations in a manner that restores community cohesion, first on Dominica, then with future application throughout the Caribbean region.

Supplemental Keywords:

life cycle analysis, reuse of containers, recycled materials, rain water capture, sustainable landscaping, alternative building materials, emergency housing, emergency garden, ISBU, Intermodal Steel Building Unit, C-Blox, Container-It, hurricane resistant design, prefabrication, 4-dimensional mapping, affordable housing, water filtration,, RFA, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report