You don’t need to look far to see how technology has revolutionised the way we live and do things. From how we interact and communicate with each other to the way we travel from point to point. And while construction is not the fastest industry to take up new technologies, there are enough technological innovations in the sector to get anyone excited.
Being on the cutting edge of modern construction, cargotecture (building using shipping containers) has not been left behind in adopting these new technologies and efficiencies.
Since people all over the world started using shipping containers to build offices, homes, shops and other spaces, continuous introduction of new ways of doing things has kept the nascent container-construction industry growing and earned it significant mainstream popularity.
With these new technologies, buildings constructed using cargo containers have become more comfortable to live and work in while improving efficiencies in the usage of resources including electricity.
Digital breakthroughs and new hardware solutions have helped slingshot the humble and mundane shipping container from an afterthought as a choice of construction material to a preferred alternative for many families and businesses globally.
In this post, we highlight some of these new and upcoming technologies used in shipping container construction to give you some ideas on what to expect if you’re planning on taking on a shipping container modification project in the future.
Although modular construction is not an entirely new technology, it is with the shipping container where the concept of breaking down a building into smaller modules for easier construction has proven invaluable.
In their natural state, shipping containers are self-contained modules in themselves that can be stacked or joined to create large buildings. With modular construction, each shipping container can be prefabricated in an off-site factory and then later all the units can be joined onsite to create the final building.
Since all the critical work on the shipping containers can be done in a specialised, controlled environment, modular construction helps keep costs low in addition to reducing the time of project completion.
As such, shipping container buildings can be constructed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional brick and mortar building and at an exponentially fast rate.
Already a staple with the computer geeks of the world, virtual reality is slowly and surely finding its way into the world of cargotecture. Thanks to this new and innovative way of interacting with digital content, buyers can get to see their finished projects first-hand even before they buy their first container unit.
With this technology, architects can make realistic 3D renders of their plans so that you can have a tour of your house during the planning stage. This way you can make necessary changes and adjustments before the actual construction starts.
Internet of things/ smart devices
The internet seems to be spreading its tentacles further into our lives with each passing day as it moves in and takes over more of our devices. Shipping container construction has not been left behind in this area either.
It’s now possible to have your container home outfitted with all the latest internet-connected gadgets. You can have your cargo container home fitted with smart air conditioning and heating, internet connected doors and security system, as well as smart fire detection and prevention systems.
Solar harvesting technology
With today’s concern over environmental degradation, everyone is trying to minimise their carbon footprint. For this, shipping containers are being fitted with the latest high-efficiency solar arrays and power storage batteries to make them self-sufficient in terms of energy.
With the latest in solar harvesting and power storage technologies, shipping container buildings can produce the power they need for lighting, heating, powering gadgets among other household and workplace uses.
Often referred to as ‘frozen smoke’ because of its semi-transparent state, aerogel is a new insulation technology that provides incredible insulation properties with four times better performance than foam insulation and fibreglass.
A thin layer of aerogel fabric is adequate to prevent heat or cold passing through the metal walls of a shipping container and will help moderate temperatures without the use of electricity.
Moreover, because only thin sheets are needed for insulation, space inside the shipping container is not reduced significantly once the insulation coat is applied – this is important as containers have fixed dimensions.
These are the most notable and more widely-used technological innovations being employed to make shipping container buildings more comfortable to live in and more efficient in resource usage. Others like transparent aluminium (a more robust type of “glass”) and 3D printing (where certain trims and pieces are produced with 3D printing tech) are also breaking through gradually.
With time, technologies such as these – 3D printing, transparent aluminium and others – will continue to trickle into the container construction space. And as they do, we’ll be here to keep you up to date with the latest!