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A growing number of bright sparks in the construction and architecture industries are realising that used shipping containers have not reached the end of their usefulness when they are retired from shipping service.
Used shipping containers are in many ways an ideal building material They are designed to carry heavy loads and support heavy loads when they are stacked in high columns, as well as to stand up to harsh environments.
They are also modular, with the same standard measurements. While this simplifies, design, planning and transport, this also makes creating structures out of them as easy and locking Lego blocks together.
Many people around the globe have already embraced used shipping containers as a viable material for housing. From grand architect designed mansions in Europe made from used shipping containers, to simple and affordable housing for miners and itinerant workers in Western Australia. Houses made from shipping containers have the advantage of being extremely transportable.
As pre-fabricated modules designed to fit into the transport grid infrastructure, they are easily transported by ship, truck or rail, because they already conform to standard shipping sizes, and are rugged enough to stand the journey unscathed.
Used shipping containers have long been used as market stalls and warehouses in the countries of the former USSR, and major markets and shopping malls in Europe are made up of many interlocked used shipping containers.
There is even a student village in Amsterdam made up of over a thousand interlocked used shipping containers.
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