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Green Box: a reusable home

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.