Cargotecture: Pillars of Strength

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While making complex modules out of shipping containers, one of the questions that often comes to mind is whether removing the ‘walls’ of a container to join it with another will affect the strength of the container itself. The answer is a firm ‘NO’.

According to Container Handbook [] , ‘the load-carrying element of all box containers is a steel framework, consisting of four corner posts and two bottom side rails, two top side rails, two bottom cross members, a front top end rail and a door header.’ Hence removing the walls themselves will not undermine the strength of a container, as long as the framework is left untouched.

This is the reason we always see ‘pillars’ within spaces that have been created by joining two or more containers. These pillars are the frames that bear the load of the structure itself, and they are left intact so as to retain the original strength of the container itself.

Among many such complex structures built was a display cum office building for a science exhibition held during the the 5th Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF) in November 2015. The G + 1 configuration that was erected by joining 12 containers made the venue as innovative as the concept itself.