South Coast Container House 2018

South Coast Container House
Long Beach NSW 2536
Full address will be displayed on 05 Sep 2019
10am – 4pm
House Open Style
Open House – No booking required
Housing Type
Standalone House
Project Type
New Build
Matt Elkan Architect
Luke Price Total Building Solutions
House Size
Number of bedrooms
Number of bathrooms

This container house was always about economy, energy efficiency and sustainability, and how to do as much as possible on a very limited budget. However, the scale belies the efficiency of program and generosity of outcome.

It is modest in budget and also in scale (93m2 + 40m2 decks + 14m2 guest studio  + 9m2). The house can sleep 10.

Structurally it is built around four containers, with a flat roof and insulated external cladding for thermal performance. The containers are exposed internally for house sleeping and service functions. The floor and decks step down with the site to create generous ceiling heights, views down the block and connection with the ground at all points.

Environmentally, this house attempts to do as much as possible to minimise its impact including:

  • North orientation
  • Zero excavation
  • Zero VOC finishes
  • Recycled shipping containers
  • Natural wool insulation in roof
  • 100% recycled hardwood doors and windows with low-e double-glazed units
  • LED lighting throughout
  • Ceiling fans
  • Efficient wall panel heaters (only in bedrooms)
  • 5000L on-site water storage.

Designed by Matt Elkan built by Luke Price Total Building Solutions.

Read more about the South Coast Container Home in Sanctuary issue 40. Article written by Anna Cumming and professional photographs taken by Simon Whitbread.

You can also read other articles about the container house in: Domain, Daily Telegraph, Batemans Bay Post, Dwell, South China Morning Post, inhabitant.

Matt Elkan regularly volunteers his time for Speed Date a Sustainability Expert in NSW.

To find out more about the NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) click here.


Previously Open
Total cost of home when constructed
BAL Rating
BAL – 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and ignition of debris with a heat flux of up to 19kW/m2
Roofing materials
Metal (Colorbond)
Wall materials (external and internal)
Lightweight construction (timber frame)
Shipping container
Container internal and colorbond external
Window and door types
Double glazing
Recycled and reused
Shipping containers
Sustainable materials
Recycled hardwood doors and windows with low-e DGUs, 5000L on-site water storage, zero VOC finishes, natural wool insulation in roof, recycled shipping containers, sustainable plywood.
Insulation - Ceiling
Type: Shipping container or Structalam 12mm pine CD ply.
Rating: Roof insulated with 55mm Autex foil-backed insulation blanket + R4.0 natural wool ceiling batts
Insulation - Internal walls
Type: Bulk – natural wool
Rating: R3.0
Insulation - Under floor
Type: Aircell
Rating: R2.0
Healthy home
Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
Energy star rating type
Energy star rating
5.5 Stars
All electric home
Size of PV system
Water heating
Instantaneous gas
Passive heating cooling
Passive solar designed home
Active heating cooling
Ceiling fans
Energy efficiency
Draught proofing
Efficient lighting
Efficient appliances
Water harvesting and saving
Above ground rainwater storage
Type: Zincalume
Size: 5000L
Low flow shower heads
Garden / Outdoors
Native plants
Water wise plants