WHO ARE THE CARBON DWELLERS
We are a welder and Carbon Dwell resident owned company. We have been building structures out of steel shipping containers since 1988 and recently completed a 4,300 sq. ft. shipping container home 4 miles from downtown Denver, Colorado. Our mission is to reduce our carbon footprint by building container dwellings out of carbon steel! There are many reasons why shipping containers are one of the solutions to dwellings.
The Carbon Dwell living experience is a unique living structure made from reclaimed steel shipping containers that combine function with fashion for anything from a backyard entertainment/guest experience to a cabin in the woods with the mobility to go with you for wherever life may take you next. Once you own a Carbon Dwell you have immediately reduced your “carbon” footprint by having a Carbon Dwell “Reclaimed Structure”.
This journey started in 1988 when we started welding on containers to build a simple garage space. In 2018 through a family tragedy that set us out to build our own multi-generational home where our two families live today.
This is the story of our “carbon journey.”
HOW IT ALL STARTED
When 20-year-old Austin Wade Barber lost his fight with cancer in 2017, his death could have torn the family apart. But love was stronger than grief. Austin’s brother Cole came to his father, Shane, with an idea and a mission. Cole believed that “we need to stick together. We need to continue to get closer, rather than pull further apart.”
To make that happen, Shane and Cole built a new home for themselves and their families. It took 11 shipping containers, and less than 10 months to design, build, and move in! The project was a labor of love. “Homes can tear families apart,” Shane said, “this pulled us even closer together.”
Shane explained that “the build of this home not only was putting together 11 containers, but it was pulling us together at the time the four of us, then five of us, then six of us, as grandchildren were born.” Shane’s wife, Lori, agreed, “we were close before, but now we’re really close! We get to see the grandkids every day it’s healed our hearts for sure.” Iva, the mother of those grandkids, noted that she and Cole named their children in ways that honor their late uncle Austin.
Building and creating comes naturally to the family. As an artist, Austin was “always one to stay honest to his craft, to his art.” Cole is also immersed in creativity: owning a Graffiti art gallery and passing on his love of visual expression to his children. “I had my daughter using a spray can at four years old,” he said.
The experience of welding shipping containers into a home has left an imprint on the family. “Building something with your bare hands is gratifying,” Shane said “but doing it with others that you love and live with is amazing.”
Today, Carbon Dwell has grown beyond the biological family to include the chosen family, as team members are continually added. Together we are leaving our imprint on the world as we prepare to construct more storage container houses and backyard dwelling units in the Denver area and beyond. Together, our work will not only help ease the local housing shortage but will also help keep a father and son together. “We’re bonded,” Shane said “we’re bonded like two pieces of metal.”