As someone who's been inside a fair number of hotels, I do wonder about living in tiny-yet-functional spaces long-term. I'm intrigued by the idea of shipping-container workspaces and living spaces, and it looks like General Motors has been, too.
Shipping containers are those big, grooved metal transporters you see on semi-trucks, and those of us who aren't truckers might not see the potential in them at first glance. But they've been recycled for several uses lately, including libraries, Starbucks drive-thrus and penthouse additions.
GM is helping to build Detroit's first homestead made of recycled materials, which will be occupied by a college student studying urban agriculture. Since the homestead will be part of an urban-farm study, the student will serve as caretaker as well as maintain the farmland surrounding the property.
The living space is 320 square feet — 40 feet long, eight feet tall and 10 feet wide. There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen.
The project is in collaboration with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, which takes vacant land and repurposes it for better use. I was considering some snark about how maybe they could repurpose a lot of the land around GM's old Fisher Body Plant and maayyybe the building itself into some cool lofts to help eradicate blight in Detroit, but not now...good on GM for this, though!
The materials used in the construction were donated from scrap collected from the Chevy Volt plant in Hamtramck, and other facilities in Michigan and New York. The lucky homesteader gets a bunch of new tech, including Chevrolet Volt battery cases reused as bird houses and planter boxes; sound-deadening vehicle insulation to insulate walls; lockers used as planter boxes and for tool storage; fastener containers for plant/vegetable starter containers; plywood for interior wall cladding and some furniture components; metal parts bins as planter boxes; and wood pallets and other scrap wood for furniture.
***HERE'S THE END OF THE ARTICLE, SO NOW IS THE TIME TO FILL THE COMMENTS WITH JOKES ABOUT HOUSE KEYS RELATED TO THE GM IGNITION CRISIS SOMEHOW, I KNOW YOU JUST COULDN'T WAIT***