In this day and age green building methods are definitely in style. Architects homebuilders and entrepreneurs are looking for ways to creatively reuse materials to create new efficient and unique buildings. Perhaps the most interesting green architectural movement in the last decade uses a building material that is as common as it is efficient: freight container.
Freight containers also called cargo containers are an ideal building material because they are plentiful weather resistant and built to last. With the emphasis shifting every year across the ocean there is a large excess of cargo containers around the world. Both used and new containers can be purchased very cheap because of this surplus. And because they are already built to withstand the strings of sea voyage they can endure any kind of weather in any place.
These containers can be easily modified in different ways. All they need is a bit less welding and metalworking and they can be transformed into architectural friendly forms. And because of the uniform and modular character of rectangular freight containers they are pre constructed in terms of space.
Architects explore the endless possibilities of building with freight containers. In Berkeley California an art group The Shipyard a collaborative art studio and gallery space was built entirely by cargo containers. Twenty seven freight containers surround an outdoor area of 11000 square feet. Each resident is assigned a studio in a container. On this page artists create large scale mechanical metallic and kinetic artwork. These works would be impossible to build in a more limited gallery space but thanks to space durability and affordability of cargo containers the creativity of this unique artist group thrives.
Another art related construction project using freight containers is the Nomadic Museum. This museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban and artist Gregory Colbert is made entirely of cargo containers. Due to its modular character it can easily be deconstructed transported and mounted in different locations. So far the nomad museum has exhibits in New York Santa Monica Venice Tokyo and Mexico City. There seems to be no restrictions on where it can end next thanks to the versatility of freight container architecture.
Freight containers are also a very popular construction project using this practical material. These types of houses are an ideal construction project because all of their architectural materials can be sent to the site then modified to fulfill the project specification. You can create a small cargo cab in the forest or a comprehensive apartment complex in an urban environment. Containers can be used alone for a small home or combined in a modular way to create a more complex multi level project. Architects are also looking for warehouse houses to be an excellent solution for low income houses because construction materials are so cheap and plentiful. Low time container container projects have already been created in London England Karratha Australia and Amsterdam The Netherlands.
In the future we are likely to see more and more cargo container construction projects that practice gains popularity. But at present cargo containers are still cheap and easily accessible. Some companies also sell kit to create your own customized shelter. So if you are considering a creative construction project in the near future think about how to incorporate this particular type of environmentally friendly architecture into your plan. It's a great way to be unique and reuse of materials is also good for the environment.