Construction Today - June 2017 - 32
Modular Focus | MARENGO STRUCTURES
MARENGO STRUCTURES THINKS OUTSIDE THE BOX IN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING. BY JIM HARRIS
he resiliency, portability and
manufacturability of the shipping
container have long made it the
backbone of the transportation
and logistics worlds. For Marengo Structures co-founder Christian Salvati, these
qualities also make shipping containers an
ideal option for environmentally minded
homeowners and communities.
"Shipping containers have an extremely
strong structure of corten steel, which is traditionally used to build bridges, overpasses
and ships," he says. "Corten steel is prohibitively expensive to recycle; consequently,
unused shipping containers are piling up
in our ports. Our process enables them to be
up-cycled for use as sustainable buildings."
Salvati first considered shipping containers as a viable option for buildings in 2006,
when another company he co-founded
was hired to design a luxury hotel that
could be disassembled and moved between
locations in Europe and the Caribbean. That
company, The Virtual Office of International
Design - also known as Vooid - designed
the hotel from shipping containers because
of their mobility.
"At the time, employing containers for
buildings was a low-traction concept in the
United States outside of the military, which
has done it for more than 20 years," he says.
"There were a lot of concepts and renderings, but very few things were actually
containers are an
ideal option for environmentally
A Solid Process
Advancing the use of shipping containers as
a modular building method is the mission of Marengo Structures, which Salvati
established in 2010. The company designs,
develops and produces custom, cost-effective buildings using containers, which
typically weigh two-and-a-half tons, and are
designed to be stacked as tall as eight stories.
Marengo Structures prefabricates and
retrofits shipping containers in a yard before bringing them via crane to a work site,
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JUNE 2017
where the containers are assembled into
buildings and placed on concrete foundations. Fabrication work includes cutting
the boxes to accommodate windows and
utilities, as well as removing exterior walls.
"Traditional construction works from the
ground-up. We prepare foundations and
bring in utilities on-site while prefabricating the building off-site," Salvati says.
The company's two completed projects
are the first of their kind in the state of
* Headquarters: New York City
* Employees: 3
* Specia y: Modular construction
"We want to up-cycle hipping
containers for use as ustainable
- Christian Salvati, co-founder