For the past decade or so, architects and builders have been recycling shipping containers to create homes, offices, hotels and the biggest shopping mall in Europe (in Odessa, Ukraine).
It’s a green way to build not only because the containers are recycled- and there are plenty of them in need of 2nd home-, but they’re prefabricated (cutting construction costs and energy use) and a very durable building material.
Spanish architect Luis de Garrido has spent the past several years perfecting his designs for cargo container homes. In 2007, he exhibited his R4 house concept, 2 container dwellings derived from the ideas of Reuse, Recover, Recycle and Reasoning (the 4 Rs in the title). We filmed both his 150-square-meter R4 House and his 30-square-meter mini-apartment (both videos are in Spanish).
In 2009, he took container-living a step further by designing a home where every one of its over 5,000 pieces is completely reusable and transportable so that none of it every needs to become waste. It’s dry-assembled, meaning no mortar or glues, so it comes together quick- it took his team just 15 days to assemble for the Construmat tradefair in Barcelona- and is easily taken apart for repairs or to be reassembled to assure a long lifecycle.
In addition to focusing on making sure that all parts of his Green Box can be reused, de Garrido also tried to design a structure that would make nature an essential part of the design. His garden-home attempts to replace the nature it displaces with its construction with a completely green roof covered in native plants that don’t require maintenance or irrigation.
In this video, Luis de Garrido shows us his Green Box from a walk on the roof to a look at some of the easily removable, replaceable, repairable parts of this structure.