Christian Salvati of Marengo Structures thinks shipping containers make great building blocks, and in time, he hopes it will become an affordable and quick method of building homes.
As full-scale R&D, in 2012, he built Connecticut’s first shipping container homes: a two-story duplex built from six containers. Two years later, he stacked higher using 27 containers to build a 6-unit apartment complex he hopes to rent to students in the New Haven area (the building is wedged between Yale and University of New Haven).
While containers are uniform, modular and easily sourced (Salivati buys from a depot in Newark, NJ), the building process is still slower and more expensive than it should be given the lack of codes for this type of building.
Salvati thinks that by sharing information, architects and builders can help improve both zoning issues and the currently steep learning curve that prevents containers from becoming a more universal modular alternative.