Containerised Buildings in Disaster-Prone Areas

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Living spaces made of upcycled shipping containers have a history of surviving natural disasters. There are claims online that shipping container buildings were some of the few structures left standing after Hurricane Irma. It is a fact that across the world, organisations have been turning to shipping container spaces as the quickest, safest and the most affordable housing option for disaster struck and disaster prone areas.

How does cargotecture manage to tick all the boxes when it comes to safety and stability?

To begin with, shipping containers are built to carry heavy loads across the extremely hostile environment of turbulent seas. Designed to hold anything from food to automobiles and industrial equipment stacked high atop each other, these CorTen steel boxes are light-weight in comparison to their sizes, but incredibly strong, corrosion-resistant and impact-proof.

These are the very traits that we leverage when building homes or offices out of shipping containers. We retain the inherent structural strength of these individual modules while building, and add features that make the containerised spaces habitable and aesthetic.

In terms of base structural unit requirements, the standard ISO, IMO and CSC (International Convention for Safe Containers) specifications of container buildings exceed the International Building Code (IBC) and the Uniform Building Code (UBC) strength codes.

Even where multiple units are joined to form bigger buildings, the resulting structure remains a perfect example of unibody construction – a technology that aircraft and automobile manufacturers use to preserve the internal strength of the chassis of these vehicles.  The strength of such a structure is much higher than that of the individual containers used to build it – and that’s saying something!

From an environmental perspective, it is to be noted that carbon emissions resulting from containerised construction are significantly lower than those from traditional construction. This is especially significant when we consider the fact that global warming is indisputably the single biggest cause of unseasonal and extreme weather conditions across the globe.

To sum up, when it comes to construction in disaster-prone areas or when considering the rehabilitation disaster-struck areas and conflict zones, there is no faster, better, stabler and more sustainable option than container conversion. From houses to schools to retail outlets, these versatile boxes can shape-shift to accommodate all the needs of a still-vulnerable community.

To know more about how cargotecture can be used effectively in disaster-prone areas, please contact us!