What is Cargotecture? Shipping Container Homes and Buildings
31st July 2013
We love the versatility of shipping containers and we are always interested in new or unique uses for containers.
Many customers buy or hire containers for secure on site storage but specialist shipping container conversion services can transform them for different and varied uses.
Cargotecture describes one of the most innovative uses for containers in the construction of buildings and homes.
Rather than using traditional building materials, there is a growing trend to use shipping containers as prefabricated units which form the building's internal structure or incorporate them into the architectural design.
The origins of the word 'cargotecture' is attributed to Hybrid Architecture in Seattle, who used it in 2004 to describe any building constructed from ISO shipping containers.
Imaginative Uses For Shipping Containers – An infographic by the team at Dainton Portable Buildings – Show this shipping containers inforgraphic on your web page!
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Advantages of Cargotecture
Shipping containers are made to be strong, durable, weatherproof and can be stacked in columns. They adhere to standard container dimensions so they can be joined to make modular structures easily. Standardised sizes also make them easy to transport to the construction site.
There is a plentiful supply of shipping containers from the global freight industry so they are relatively low cost and easily available. Once they are delivered on site, buildings can be rapidly developed, saving time and money compared to traditional construction techniques.
The green, eco-friendly aspect of recycling steel ISO containers also appeals to many people, as does the striking aesthetics that architects can design by exposing shipping containers on the building's exterior.
Despite the advantages of cargotecture, using shipping containers in architecture and construction does requires specialist expertise, for example to join the containers together.
The construction process has to take into account extreme temperatures and the conductivity properties of steel.
Many people have preconceptions about shipping containers and the construction industry is not always open to alternatives methods or materials.
Shipping Container Homes and Buildings
Shipping container buildings can be permanent structures, mobile units or temporary accommodation.
Permanent cargotecture projects include living spaces such as these shipping container homes in the UK.
Temporary cargotecture projects include shops like this shipping container shopping centre in London and emergency accommodation that can be quickly constructed shelter for victims of natural disasters.
Examples of mobile shipping container units include medical centres that can be transported to different sites and modular factories units.