In this day and age, green construction approaches are definitely in style. Architects, home builders, and entrepreneurs are all looking for ways to imaginatively reuse materials to create new, efficient, and unique buildings. Perhaps the most interesting green architectural movement of the last decade uses a construction material that is as common as it is effective: shipping containers.
Shipping containers (also called "cargo containers") make a perfect building material because they are plentiful, weather-proofed, and built to last. With the tons of freight moved every year across the oceans, there is a huge surplus of cargo containers around the world. You can get containers for shipping or storage via various websites.
Both used and new containers can be bought very reasonably due to this surplus. And, since they are already built to withstand the severities of sea travel, they can endure any kind of weather in any location. These containers can be easily modified in a variety of ways.
All they need are some minor welding and metalwork, and they can be reworked into architecturally feasible shapes. And, due to the unvarying and modular nature of rectangular shipping containers, they come pre-constructed in the shape of rooms.
Architects are exploring the infinite possibilities of construction using shipping containers. In Berkeley, California, an art group constructed The Shipyard, a collaborative art studio and gallery space constructed completely out of cargo containers.