Going Green With Cargo Containers

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Back in 2010 Wally Westbrook of Westbrook Designs asked me if I would do a project for him in Sketchup. I had heard of using Cargo Containers for creating buildings but I had never actually seen one built so I was excited to be a part of this project.

The original concept for the building was developed by a group of architectural students from the University of Houston. They created the initial layout in Sketchup. epic software then contracted Wally Westbrook to redesign the concept and come up with the final building plans.

On February 11, 2011 KHOU TV out of Houston, TX ran a feature about the epic Creative Co-Op. You can find the story and video here.

epic also created a Blog following the entire progress of the project. It is a very interesting story and I would encourage everybody to check it out.

I swiped this quote from the Westbrook Designs web site:

Westbrook Designs, a leading residential and commercial design company was awarded Project Management responsibilities for the epic Creative Co-Op, an innovative Cargo Container building and green screen video production facility. Wally Westbrook, President of Westbrook Designs said "We were honored to win this contract and are excited about working on a project that is truly unique in a number of different ways.

Westbrook is referring to the fact that the building will be created using 12 large steel cargo containers as primary building blocks. When cargo containers are converted into residential or commercial structures, they are called ISBU's or Intermodal Steel Building Units. In the Houston area, ISBU's are both plentiful and inexpensive. They also are extremely strong, and designed for hurricane force winds and extreme temperature conditions. "We see building with ISBU's not as a fad, but a trend and a way to upcycle used containers converting them into viable residential and commercial buildings" said Westbrook.

The Creative Co-Op was conceived by Vic Cherubini, president of the epic software group, inc., a 20 year old, Woodlands, Texas multimedia production company. Epic operates from a 4000 sq. foot production facility located on Sawdust Road. "From recent sales our clients are telling us that the future of the internet is high quality video, 3D animation and web sites that are rich in content. To deliver on these we need to add to our studio and work closely with other creative individuals such as writers, artists, animators, web developers, and photographers. The best way to achieve this was to build a unique environment for our creative partners and a one stop shop for our clients" said Vic Cherubini, President of the epic software group.

"We selected Westbrook Design because of the impressive portfolio of projects they have designed and in some cases built over the past twenty years. I visited several of their completed residential and commercial buildings in The Woodlands and surrounding areas and I was very impressed with their attention to detail, and the comments from Wally's clients. There are a number of special challenges in building with ISBU's and I liked the fact that Wally has been a builder, so he understands both design and construction. Wally also creates his designs using state of the art 3D software that allows us to know before we begin construction if an idea will work or not." Cherubini went onto say.

The Creative Co-Op will feature a 44' x 28' green screen production studio, and four rental units. The anchor tenant for the project will be Silver Rock Productions who will occupy 50% of the building. The remaining lofts will be available for lease in the summer of 2010. The architectural design for the Creative Co-Op was done by ShapeSpace Architects of Houston, and the engineering on the building will be done by Ron Saikowski.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

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