Thermal Performance Assessment of Shipping Container Architecture in Hot and Humid Climates

Ghada Mohammad Elrayies


The reuse of shipping containers (SCs) in architecture has grown in popularity worldwide. However, few studies have focused on the thermal performance of buildings constructed with the use of refurbished SCs in hot and humid climates. This paper intends to (1) present a foundation for the understanding of environmental issues related to container-based buildings (CBBs) and (2) assess the thermal performance of CBBs in Port Said, a hot and humid region. To meet those targets, this paper first highlights the literature concerning such construction systems to identify gaps in related research areas. Second, this paper presents a comparative analysis of six simulation models, including a conventional building as a base model, an uninsulated SC, and four externally insulated SCs with four different thermal insulation materials: rock wool, wool, closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF), and straw. The paper concludes that thermal insulation is irreplaceable in SCs reused as habitable spaces and that the most compatible thermal insulation for CBBs in the hot and humid climate of Port Said is ccSPF. Whereas straw performs more effectively than ccSPF as a cooler in the summer, it performs less effectively as a heater in the winter.


Cargotecture; shipping container architecture; container-based buildings; hot and humid climates; Port Said; prefabricated buildings; Ecotect

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Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development