Cargo container establishments seem to be very popular amongst the architecture world. Many companies are taking this concept and transforming multiple containers into housing, stores, offices, and even large buildings. The only questions are how safe it really is and if it actually saves time, energy, and money?
With the amount of shipping containers around the world just sitting there and taking up space, the idea of transforming these containers into usable structures seems to be an inventive an very economically green idea. The reason there are so many unused shipping containers just sitting there not being used is because it is too expensive for many countries to reship them back to their place of origin. It has proven to be a money saver if these countries were to just up and buy a new one from Asia.
This idea takes reusing materials to a whole other level than anything like it. As a green alternative, these structures are abundant, fairly cheap often selling for as little as $900 per container, and they are strong and durable making any project quite reliable.
The first two story shipping container was built in 2006 for a Puma store by an architect named Peter DeMaria. This structure was built in a decently cheap fashion saving Puma money while also having a modern look and feel to the overall building.
Though there are plenty of positives to building structures from unused shipping containers, there is also a few downsides that may make you question how safe it really is. To make these containers last when shipping through the ocean they have to paint a special coating that will help them to survive the rough seas. This coating unfortunately contains a number of toxic chemicals that may be dangerous if one was to be overly exposed. Though it is considered low energy to build these structures, you have to take in account the amount of energy it actually takes to make them habitable for us humans. In the end when it comes to preparing a container to become a structure the amount of hazardous waste produced is generally around 10o0 lbs. With that said it may make one second guess how good of an idea this all really is.
Discovered at Arch Daily