In this day and age, green construction methods are definitely in style. Architects, home builders, and contractors are all looking for ideas to creatively reuse materials to create new, effective, and unique buildings.
Perhaps the most interesting green architectural movement of the last decade uses a building material that is as commonplace as it is efficient: shipping containers.
Shipping containers (also called "cargo containers") make an excellent building material because they are plentiful, weather-proofed, and made to last.
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With the tons of freight moved every year across the oceans, there is a massive surplus of cargo containers around the world.
Both used and new containers can be purchased very cheaply due to this surplus. And, since they are now built to withstand the rigors of sea travel, they can sustain any type of weather in any location.
These boxes can be easily modified in a variety of ways. All they require are some minor welding and metalwork, and they can be reworked into architecturally viable shapes. And, due to the uniform and modular nature of square shipping containers, they come pre-constructed in the shape of rooms.
Architects are searching the endless possibilities of construction utilizing shipping containers. In Berkeley, California, an art group constructed The Shipyard, a collaborative art studio and gallery space constructed entirely out of cargo containers.