• London-based developers Urban Space Management use shipping containers to create Container City, a 22-unit modular building.

    Credit: Courtesy of Urban Space Management (CONTAINER CITY) Ltd.

    London-based developers Urban Space Management use shipping containers to create Container City, a 22-unit modular building.
As the green building trend accelerates, more developers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Not to mention, reducing construction costs and time. And in London, they’ve found a rather quirky way to do just that.

The next wave of environment-friendly living spaces? Recycled shipping containers.

Container City is a building system of recycled shipping containers overseas, created by London-based Urban Space Management. The containers are linked together using prefabricated steel modules that can be combined to create high strength, varied live and work spaces–anything from living units to classrooms.

Best, this modular technology chops construction time in half and is more environmently-friendly than its traditional building counterparts. By fitting containers off site and craning them into the development space once the units are ready, the installation time is cut drastically to about 15 days for 15,000 square feet of space, for example.

The above model, located by the water in East London, is the second phase of Container City. The first phase featuring 22 artist lofts/workspaces was completed in only eight days. It’s an added bonus to the already vibrant and booming creative community in which it resides.

And Container City is remarkably easy to remove. Boasting units that range from about 180 to 420 square feet, the structure’s containers can be reorganized and transferred to other blocks of land should the need arise.

The low cost building also employs wind turbines, and incorporates green roofs for thermal efficiency. And it's something of a trendsetter: Close to 40 container projects have sprouted across London of late, with a restaurant and hotel slated for completion later this year.