Container City / Ciudad de Containers

Por José Tomás Franco

La idea es potenciar su versatilidad y eficiencia para construir  en base a una unidad de container como módulo. Esta flexibilidad permite adaptarse como solución a diferentes programas y funciones, que incluso van más allá de un sólo edificio.

Sus unidades son optimizadas para responder de mejor manera a las condiciones climáticas, requerimientos de iluminación, calefacción, control de humedad, etc. Están pensadas para ser desplegadas y montadas en todas partes en el mundo, hasta en las condiciones más remotas.

De unidades a ciudades Pero la empresa se ha expandido a crear ciudades casi completas, en operaciones urbanas en las que construyen un gigante set para el entrenamiento militar estadounidense (Operaciones Militares en Terrenos Urbanos – MOUT). Al contrario del módulo inicial que ellos desarrollan, estas no son habitables y solo recrean una ciudad en medio del desierto que luego será desmontada.

Más allá de que este uso pueda ser cuestionable, lo interesante es que el gran esfuerzo de montar la ciudad podría tener un uso prolongado al ser reutilizado una vez que finalicen su función inicial; o replicar este modelo para dar solución a problemas de vivienda, de manera temporal o incluso permanente.

Medical Complex in Sudan

by Yuka Yoneda 

You know how much we love shipping container architecture here at Inhabitat, and we get especially excited about buildings that contribute to the greater good of an area or community. Well, we couldn’t have found a more shining example of that than this beautiful medical complex in Soba, Sudan. The breezy complex sits right near the Nile river around a courtyard of mango trees, and is constructed of discarded 90 ft x 20 ft containers taken right from the construction site of the adjacent Salam Centre for cardiac Surgery.
 eco design, green design, sustainable design, prefab housing, prefabricated housing, salam centre, sudan, tam architects, shipping container, container houses, shipping container architecture 

Designed by Italian firm, Tam Architecture, the idea for the complex was conceived when the architects noticed the leftover containers lying around the construction site and wanted to reuse them. Using them to provide the international staff of the cardiac center with a place to stay seemed like the perfect opportunity. The housing units are 20 sqm and consist of a bedroom, a bathroom and a small veranda on the court side. There is also a cafeteria which is made out of smaller 7 ft x 40 ft containers.

In addition to being fabricated out of shipping containers that were already at the site (no extra fuel costs or shipping emissions!), Tam took extra measures to make the complex energy-efficient. The containers are insulated with a layer system: 5 cm insulating panels on the inside and a second insulated roof and a bamboo brise soleil panel system on the outside, meaning that the sun’s rays never make contact with the containers. Solar panels supply hot water for the compound and an air conditioning system that utilizes photovoltaic panels and chilling machines has been tested for the complex.

Container Village for Haiti

Pop-Up Village for Haiti Made From 900 Shipping Containers

by Bridgette Meinholdvilaj vilaj, luck mervil, haiti, shipping container housing, earthquake disaster relief

Haitian Canadian musician Luck Mervil is leading the charge to help rebuild Haiti with houses made from repurposed shipping containers. Mervil is behind the Montreal organization Vilag Vilag, which wants to use 900 shipping containers to build an entirely new village west of Port-au-Prince fit for 5,000 people. The organization aims to build sustainable and long-term housing in Haiti — and eventually elsewhere — with the help of local Haitians.

vilaj vilaj, luck mervil, haiti, shipping container housing, earthquake disaster relief 

Mervil, who has put his own career aside to work on this important project, expects the entire community to cost around $25 million and has been ardently working to raise the funds. The new village will be built on a parcel of previously uninhabited land near Leogane, a coastal city west of Port-au-Prince. A prototype shipping container house was built in Canada in 10 days for between $8,000 and $10,000, and Mervil expects the costs to be much lower in Haiti.

The village will consist of a series of 900 shipping containers grouped together in a grid and separated by open space, parks, and playing fields. Both 40 and 20-foot containers will be used to construct durable, long-term and hurricane and earthquake resistant homes. Each home will offer roughly 320 sq feet of living space with running water and bathrooms. The village will also be self-sufficient, with space for companies to set up shop so that villagers can work and support themselves.

Eco-Cabins for Boy Scouts

Eco-Cabins for Boy Scouts
by Bridgette Meinhold 

Embracing the Boy Scouts of America’s «leave no trace» mantra, Gensler designed and built an incredible eco-cabin for Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. Utilizing sustainable design principles, renewable energy and two 20´ shipping containers, the cabin is the first of twenty off-grid cabins set for a redevelopment plan that will transform an 85-year old campground into a year-round outdoor learning center.

The eco-cabin is made up of two 20′ containers bolted together to create a 320 sq ft space. The structure has been covered with a vaulted translucent roof of stretched silicone-coated fiberglass over aluminum arches, and the roof and the connecting sides of the two containers were removed to provide a larger, light-filled structure. As this is a cabin designed for boy scouts, little is needed in terms of power, and LEDs are powered by a solar system to offer light at night. During the day, the translucent vaulted ceiling offers ample daylighting while also giving the cabin a more spacious feel.

Gensler designed and built the cabin back in LA, cut the sides away, insulated the interior and from there all the materials were packed away inside the containers for shipping to the Island. The two containers were installed upon a low concrete six pier foundation and a deck was constructed from reclaimed wood taken from an old dock in the bay. An additional nineteen, identical cabins will be constructed and assembled on the island to replace the camp’s existing barracks. There will also be the addition of a new outdoor learning center, also to be constructed from shipping containers.

Gensler provided their services pro-bono for this project; while Arup managed the structural engineering, J. Miller Canvas the roof and doors, The RMS Group the containers, Primus Lighting the LED Lighting, and Nora Systems the rubber flooring.


Container Hotel in Chilean Desert

Shipping Container Miner’s Hotel in Chilean Desert Capped With Huge Canvas Roof

by Andrew Michler 

The now infamous Chilean Mines are located in the country’s northern Atacama Desert — one of the most inhospitable places on earth for life. Our demand for energy and minerals keeps growing, so finding a way to inhabit one of the driest and sunniest places on earth was the challenge presented to AATA Architects when they were asked to design a low-cost but effective shelter for miners. Their solution was to create a large apartment complex out of shipping containers and drape the entire campus with canvas to protect it from the region’s relentless sunshine.
 AATA, eco hotel, mining hotel, passive cooling, canvas shade, desert micro climate, Atacama Desert housing, green prefab design, shipping contaner housing, Chilean Mine Housing, Chile green building, shipping container hotel, prefab hotel

The unique solution was based on clustering prefabricated shipping containers to form housing pods. Six units per pod were stacked two units high and then connected to each other in a ‘C’ formation that allows natural ambient light in but blocks extreme temperatures during warm days and cold nights. Five containers are for sleeping and one is a dedicated restroom. In all, 16 pods can house 320 people.

The huge canvas roof is the key to the design’s success. Set on steel trusses, it creates a micro climate thattempersthe harsh environment. The roof provides ample protection from the sun in one of the hottest and driest places on the planet, and it also encourages cross breezeswhile blocking harsh winds. The roof also helps keep heat from radiating out at night — the project is situated approximately 1,500 meters above sea level so the evenings get cold.

The design works so well that patches of grass could be placed at each pod, providing a humble but critical micro climate in one of the most extreme places on the planet.