What is Cargotecture?

The term Cargotecture was coined by HyBrid Architecture of Seattle 2003 to describe any building system built entirely or partially from ISO shipping containers. Probably 90 percent of the world’s trade moves in these steel containers, and one hundred million container loads crisscross the world’s oceans each year in more than 5,000 container ships. About twenty-one thousand containers arrive in US docks every day. With the US currently importing more goods than it exports, an estimated two million empty shipping containers are sitting idle at any given time. The empty containers can provide a flexible method of construction as a modular/prefab structure that is structurally strong. HyBrid Architecture adapts them for reuse as office and workspace, retail or residential. Shipping containers can be modified with all the comforts of home, and can be connected or stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for possibly a fraction of the cost, labor, and resources of more conventional materials.Cargotecture usually has added insulation for a better thermal envelope and often add solar panels to the roof, along with rainwater collection. The containers are also appropriate for short and medium term land use projects, where container buildings can simply be unbolted and relocated or stored when land is required for alternative uses.