The first U.S. multi-family condo built of used shipping containers is slated to break ground in Detroit early next year.
Strong, durable and portable, shipping containers stack easily and link together like Legos. About 25 million of these 20-by-40 feet multicolored boxes move through U.S. container ports a year, hauling children’s toys, flat-screen TVs, computers, car parts, sneakers and sweaters.
But so much travel takes its toll, and eventually the containers wear out and are retired. That’s when architects and designers, especially those with a “green” bent, step in to turn these cast-off boxes intostudent housing in Amsterdam, artists’ studios, emergency shelters, health clinics, office buildings.