For folks looking for a cost-effective and environmentally responsible means of building new homes or offices, container architecture offers intriguing possibilities.
Cargo container homes and offices are becoming more popular as a growing number of builders recognize the aesthetic and environmental benefits of using shipping containers as a prefabricated base for their construction projects. Using cargo containers for construction is a novel way to make use of existing materials to reduce resource waste and to reduce costs.
What Are Cargo Containers?
Cargo containers are durable containers used to transport large quantities of goods across the sea in large transport ships. Cargo containers must be able to withstand being loaded and unloaded by crane from large ships and must also be able to weather the hazards of an overseas journey, so as a result, they are often constructed from steel and other durable materials.
Unfortunately, cargo containers are often discarded, creating substantial waste. Repurposing shipping containers for construction is a new trend in sustainable building.
Popular Cargo Container Architecture Designs
Builders using cargo containers as building materials have come up with a number of creative designs to build homes, apartments, offices and stores. Here are a few ideas you may find useful when designing a shipping container home on your own or with the help of an architect.
- Single container units. Most cargo containers are about 20 to 40 feet long, eight feet wide and eight feet, six inches tall, making single unit container buildings perfect for small single occupant buildings and hunting or camping lodges.
- Port-A-Bachs. These designs are popular in New Zealand, where they’re used to create small vacation homes, known as ‘Baches’ (short for ‘bachelor’ accommodation).
- The Quik House is a popular container house design that uses multiple containers to build a 2,000 square foot living space. The house arrives in prefabricated parts and is easily connected and built. The design was popularized by New Jersey architect Adam Kalkin.
- Container cities. These stack and connect multiple cargo containers together to build work/living facilities. One in London was built from 80 percent reused materials, including the containers.
- The Linx temporary structure design allows for the quick assembly of housing for construction and other workers laboring on temporary projects. The container design is easy to assemble and disassemble and move to places where temporary housing is needed.
These are just a few of the many container home designs builders can use to create practical and efficient housing and other buildings using pre-existing materials, thus cutting down on cost and waste.