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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Manufacturing > Product Development > Manufacturing Design & Engineering for Sustainable Business

Award Winning Home from Shipping Containers

Green building use of recycled content reduces landfill content and saves money on natural resources used in green construction

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WasteWise, the U.S. EPA recognized Group 41 Architects, a Bay Area group among the winners of the second annual Lifecycle Building Challenge competition.

San Francisco-based "Contain Your Enthusiasm" by Joel M. Karr from Group 41 Architects used shipping containers to make a gracious 3-bedroom home of 1,300 sq. ft. with 9-foot ceilings.

The containers' industrial quality is softened with simple wood trellis elements to provide shading. The group "upcycles" the used containers as a highly "green" and responsible alternative.

Approximately 50 percent of shipping containers are designed for single use, and with the cost of re-use too high, they pile up at major shipping points and are left to rust.

The EPA acknowledges award winners for their innovative green building ideas that will help reduce environmental and energy impacts of buildings and assist the building industry to reuse more than 100 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent each year to landfills in the United States. Reusing building materials also reduces energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with extraction, production, and transportation of new materials.

In the United States, buildings consume 60 percent of total materials flow (excluding food and fuel) and account for 33 percent of the solid waste stream. Building renovation and demolition accounts for 91 percent of the construction and demolition debris generated each year, while new construction accounts for only 9 percent.

These issues can be addressed by planning for a building or building component's eventual deconstruction or adaptation. By creating building components that can be easily recovered and reused, materials are kept at their highest value, resulting in reduced consumption of energy and resources.

The EPA, along with its partners, the Building Materials Reuse Association, the American Institute of Architects, Southface Energy Institute, West Coast Green, and StopWaste.Org, invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and anticipate future use of building materials.

Group 41 Inc
Joel M. Karr
415-431-0300
Group 41 Inc



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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