'Green' strategies and approaches. A contribution from the off-site and upcycling of discarded shipping containers


  • Francesca Scalisi DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med. (Italy)
  • Cesare Sposito University of Palermo (Italy)




sustainability, design approaches, off-site, reuse, discarded sea containers


The Earth is in a vulnerable state that most scholars attribute to a model of infinite growth on a planet with limited resources. Taking into account this critical environmental context, the paper wants to stimulate new practices for the building industry by suggesting a systemic vision that simultaneously uses multiple sustainable and circular approaches and allows eliminating scraps and waste, by combining traditional and innovative techniques and technologies. In particular, the article shows the potential of off-site in reducing environmental direct and indirect impacts compared to an equivalent conventional construction and recent research on the upcycling of discarded sea containers: they are used as a good practice to enhance an industrial end-of-life product (therefore considered a waste) by re-inserting it into a ‘circular’ economy with a different use than its original one, through non-destructive recycling and, at the same time, improving its value, quality and performance.


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Author Biographies

Francesca Scalisi, DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med. (Italy)

Architect and PhD, she is the Research Manager at the Research Department of DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med. (Euro-Mediterranean Documentation and Research Center), Palermo, Italy. Her research areas concern the sustainability of the built environment for energy conservation of buildings, green materials, and nanotechnologies.
E-mail: demetracerimed.scalisi@gmail.com

Cesare Sposito, University of Palermo (Italy)

Architect and PhD, he is an Associate Professor of Building Technology at the Department of Architecture. His research mainly focuses on environmental sustainability, innovative materials for architecture, nanomaterials, energy saving in buildings, and the conservation process focusing on sheltering systems for archaeological sites.
E-mail: cesare.sposito@unipa.it


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Looking upward at the Yick Cheong Building in Hong Kong (credit: B. Lieu Song, 2019); A typical subdivided flat in Hong Kong (credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters, 2019). AGATHÓN 10 | 2021




How to Cite

Scalisi, F. and Sposito, C. (2021) “’Green’ strategies and approaches. A contribution from the off-site and upcycling of discarded shipping containers”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 10(online), pp. 92–119. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/1092021.



Architecture | Research & Experimentation

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