Green Container International Aid


The need for speedy provision of housing in case of emergencies was reiterated after the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. To address this issue, an international team of green activists and designers, motivated by the initiative of architect Richard Moreta, proposed recycling and adapting shipping containers for temporary and long-term living needs by following a simple, cost-effective and easy to implement design and assembly process.

Abandoned shipping containers present a viable answer to the lack of housing for the homeless Haitians.

“Richard´s Architecture+Design” and “GMZ-Design” builds on prior extensive experience in using shipping containers for similar purposes in Bosnia (former Yugoslavia) in 2001, as well as in Milan and Portenonne (Italy) in 2002.

Our current proposal is based on a new concept of a metabolic macrostructure steel frame in which containers are inserted through rubber rollers also used for acoustic insulation. This was identified as an important need in this type of construction. This system is easily scalable in response to evolving needs, without interrupting the life of the inhabitants that are already living in the complex. Using such a system will facilitate the management process of the living complex, because the vertical arrangement of containers mimics the vertical nature of the cities.

This unique assembly system makes it ideal for earthquake zones given that it is light weight and structurally sound. The latest modifications to the system allows it to meet international standards of sustainable design.

As a result of governmental initiatives in the E.U. to lower the building industry carbon footprint, as well as new international regulations introduced in April 2006, all new commercial buildings are mandated to reduce their carbon footprint by 27%.

While many projects will strive to meet these criteria, the “Container City” system also lends itself perfectly as a more cost-effective way to recycle industrial products and contribute to achieving the carbon footprint goal.

Mr. Moreta collaborated with the United Nations and the U.S Corps of Engineers, to pioneer this adaptive and creative reuse of abandonned containers into functional, safe and cost-effective habitats.