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Elena M. Michel, Msc.


Shipping Container Architecture: Contain your excitement

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Architecture re-imagines shipping containers to create modern, sustainable, and affordable housing. Shipping containers have been designed to stack, last a long time, and are built with hardy materials. Shipping containers come in several standard sizes, but most buildings typically use 9'-5" H x 8' W x 20' L or 40' L.

Converting shipping containers into buildings ideally utilizes those which are pre-insulated. The insulated containers have been designed for transporting perishable goods and foods. The insulation is a compact mineral wool; and without metal or wood studs, there are no cold bridges.

Additional benefits include:


  • Stackable
  • Long lasting
  • Hardy materials
  • Structurally light
  • Minimal construction foundation due to sturdiness
  • Affordable as unfinished container costs $1,200-5,000
  • Ideal for modernists
  • Sustainable and upcycled
  • Efficient envelope
  • Pre-wired electrically
  • Transportable pre and post-construction
  • Optional offsite construction and onsite assembly
  • Flat roofs are ideal for solar panels

Shipping container architecture has been used by everyone from homeowners, mixed-use developers, and even big companies like Starbucks and Pumpa. Just like building blocks, the combinations are as infinate as the imagination. Check out some great designs on the Second Eden Studio website.

Categories: Sustainability, Architecture, Upcycle

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