Although it’s not the most pleasant scenario to contemplate (especially for those in Southern California right now), Mother Nature sometimes pulls fast ones of catastrophic proportions that give folks no choice but to abandon their homes and take up residence in temporary emergency shelters. And when many think of emergency housing, they think of much maligned, formaldehyde-filled FEMA trailers that in the Gulf Coast have long passed “temporary” status.

FEMA, take note: San Francisco-based Green Horizon has developed a shipping container-sized residential home called the SFH-40 Single Family Unit that’s not only formaldehyde-free but also manufactured with modular, 100 percent recycled and/or recyclable parts. Even more, unlike poorly insulated, flimsy FEMA trailers, Green Horizon homes are energy efficient and sturdy enough to weather future storms.

The two-bedroom units — complete with kitchenettes, ample storage space, and a bathroom with a low-flush toilet — are completely self-sustaining and can provide shelter, food, and clean water to a family of four without any outside infrastructure for up to a week. To mitigate possible environmental impact on ecosystems surrounding deployment sites, the units are equipped with wastewater storage systems, grey water processing, clean-burning propane fuel, and integrated rooftop solar panels.

This extremely versatile and smartly designed green home isn’t just for emergency situations. It can even be used as a recreational cottage. A vacation home that was originally designed as an emergency shelter? You betcha.

Take a video tour of Green Horizon’s impressive on-demand housing alternative below or tour a unit in person in October at West Coast Green.

Via [Jetson Green]

Photos/Images: Horizon Green

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Eco emergency shelters on the horizon
Green Horizon's impressive container housing units are built for when the going gets rough ... and for recreation.