Stackable, airtight, made to withstand high wind and water, shipping containers are the latest sustainable commodity to enter the circular economy. Primarily used to transport bulk items overseas, for many countries it is most cost-effective to receive new shipping containers than incur the expense of a return. Unlike single-use plastic, the waste of one-trip shipping containers is averted as most are often sold and repurposed for alternative structural uses.
One of my favorite examples that shows the versatility of shipping containers is Photoville, a bi-coastal traveling art installation. Started in New York City, Photoville uses refurbished containers to showcase the photography of independent artists in partnership with outdoor food vendors. The intimate space allows for one-on-one engagement between artists and citizens.
Do you know of other unique uses of shipping containers in the mixed-use retail space? Share your photos and follow me on Twitter for regular updates and musings about commercial real estate and the retail industry.
GAIA-7 Eco-HouseMadrid. Spain. 2011Bioclimatic and sustainable house, self-sufficient in water and energy (energy zero)Considered as a reference in sustainable architecture
The study of each project includes a general statement of its objectives, a sustainable analysis, the study of bioclimatic strategies used and the most outstanding innovations. Each project includes: plans, computer graphics, photographs, and sustainable-bioclimatic sketches.
This analysis shows that it is possible to control climatic conditions inside buildings made by containers, simply by purely architectural decisions, without technological devices. Without a doubt, this is one of the most important contributions of Luis de Garrido to contemporary architecture.
On the other hand, the book shows that you can achieve a truly sustainable architecture made by containers, integrated in each different setting, with high bioclimatic level, without creating any emissions, with an infinite life cycle and energy and water self-sufficient and even, in specific cases, food self-sufficient.
The book has a strong educational and training value, but at the same time it is a professional and effective tool for all architects and builders, who wish to deal with the sustainable design of buildings made by containers.
Concerned global citizens are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and become more eco-conscious. This, in turn, is leading many to look for more responsible and sustainable means of construction.
With containers, the first option often happens before you even buy it. Used containers have been utilized dozens if not hundreds of times before they are put up for sale. The entire system of containerization is actually predicated on the idea of reusing the same container multiple times, which is one of the reasons it was such an improvement on legacy methods of moving cargo.
You can make recycled shipping containers from older containers or downcycle them into something else with lesser quality steel. Either way, it requires quite a bit of energy to melt them into molten steel and manufacture new products.
There are millions of shipping containers in the world, but only a fraction of them are in service and used actively. Many of the remaining containers are wasting away in ports and storage yards across the world.
Using one of these already existing containers as the basis for a home is a great example of upcycling or adaptive reuse. With so many shipping containers stacking up in shipyards, junkyards, and ports, there are a plethora of containers for you to buy and turn into your next building.
While the exact number of excess shipping containers is hard to track, we can infer that there are plenty of them. And logic tells us that every year, more of them reach their end of life, creating a new supply of additional empty containers.
Due to containers being commodities, their prices are driven by the laws of supply and command. Until you see a large spike in the cost of used shipping containers, rest assured that there are plenty of them around.
There are some that like to argue that shipping container housing is overkill, a poor use of resources, and that containers should be recycled instead. While on the surface it may seem they have a good point, the truth is not quite as clear.
There very well may be cases where recycling containers into other products, like steel studs, makes sense. But for many people, moving higher up the waste management hierarchy and pursuing reuse through shipping container construction is an environmentally-friendly choice.
Containerwek transformed old shipping containers into 21 micro-apartments for people who visit the town of Wertheim, Germany. Deemed, My Home, all the apartments have been placed in decommissioned shipping containers. The containers have been clad in timber and organized in groups of three. The 26 square meter micro-apartments showcase an open-plan space, amped with a kitchenette, dining table, television, a bed, and a bathroom.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has stacked 29 recycled shipping containers to make a Starbucks coffee shop alongside a shopping center in Hualien, Taiwan. The white containers have been put together to create a 320-square-meter cafe!
London architect James Whitaker depicts a proposal for a low-cost studio space in Germany comprising a cluster of shipping containers, which are arranged to allow direct sunlight into the interior at different times of the day.
Shipping container-based architecture has produced plenty of innovative structures already, but isn't generally associated with beer ... until now. The recently-opened Austin, Texas-based Container Bar brings sustainable architecture and alcoholic beverages together under one roof, and provides a fine example of recycled architectural design, too.
Designed by North Arrow Studio and Hendley Knowles Design Studio, the Container Bar features seven shipping containers in all. The containers are stacked atop each other two stories in height and arranged to form a central courtyard space with a bar in the middle, and an upper deck area with patio and outdoor seating. In all, the bar's indoor and outdoor areas measure a combined 196 sq m (2,115 sq ft) of floorspace.
Five of the seven containers serve as lounging spaces, and North Arrow Studio decorated the interiors with bright colors and materials, making use of mosaic tiles, MDF, recycled wood, paper collage, and wallpaper. The firm also cut several windows into the containers.
The Coed:Ethics community, working together with CS, have therefore pulled together an open source, vendor-neutral reference paper on the current best practices in sustainable architecture for enterprises. It launches this week.
Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as the main structural element. It is also referred to as cargotecture, a portmanteau of cargo with architecture, or "arkitainer". This form of architecture is often intertwined with the tiny house movement, as well as the sustainable living movement.
The use of containers as a building material has grown in popularity in due to their strength, wide availability, and relatively low cost. Homes have also been built with containers because they are seen as more eco-friendly than traditional building materials such as brick and cement.
In 2000, the firm Urban Space Management completed the project called Container City I in the Trinity Buoy Wharf area of London. The firm has gone on to complete additional container-based building projects, with more underway. In 2006, the Dutch company Tempohousing finished, in Amsterdam, the biggest container village in the world: 1,000 student homes from modified shipping containers from China.
In 2002, standard ISO shipping containers began to be modified, and used as stand-alone on-site wastewater treatment plants. The use of containers creates a cost-effective, modular, and customizable solution to on-site waste water treatment, and eliminates the need for construction of a separate building to house the treatment system.
In 2006, Village Underground constructed a series of not-for-profit artists' workspaces in Shoreditch, London. Developing the concept further, Auro Foxcroft conceived the idea to add London Underground Tube carriages as part of its recycled shipping container architecture.
In 2010, German architect and production designer Stefan Beese utilized six 12 meter long shipping containers, to create a large viewing deck and a VIP lounge area, to substitute the typical grand stand scaffolding structure at the Voodoo Music Experience, New Orleans. The containers also double as storage space for other festival components throughout the year. The two top containers are cantilevered 2.7 meters on each side, creating two balconies that are prime viewing locations. There were also two bars located on the balconies. Each container was perforated with cutouts spelling the word "VOODOO," which brands the structure, and creates different vantage points and service area openings. Since the openings themselves act as signage for the event, no additional materials or energy were needed to create banners or posters.
In the United Kingdom, walls of containers filled with sand have been used as giant sandbags, to protect against the risk of flying debris from exploding ceramic insulators in electricity substations.
The biggest shopping mall or organized market in Europe is made up of alleys formed by stacked containers, on 69 hectares (170 acres) of land, between the airport and the central part of Odessa, Ukraine. Informally named "Tolchok", and officially known as the Seventh-Kilometer Market, it has 16,000 vendors and employs 1,200 security guards and maintenance workers. 2b1af7f3a8