Shipping containers are the primary equipment used when transporting goods across the world. They are essentially huge boxes that can carry a huge amount of goods in a safe and practical way. The only problem with having such large shipping containers, is what do you do with them when you have finished moving?
As the containers tend to take on the shape of a block, they have often been used for building houses, everything from small huts to luxury hotels, it’s been done. The best thing about them, is that they environmentally friendly. So add that to their affordability and durable credentials, they are not to be ignored.
The idea of recycling shipping containers has been around for a while now; so what are some of the most interesting, creative uses?
A micro-brewery in the UK was in need of a beer cellar to help store their product at a strict two degrees Celsius. They had recently received a large delivery of a new dry van container at another location and decided a 20ft insulated container would make the perfect beer cellar.
Having recently refurbished an old bank building to use for their business they were in need of something that was smart enough to compliment the design, without having to purchase a brand new insulated container.
Once new refrigeration machinery was fitted, the result was a visually appealing, eco-friendly solution to their requirements.
The world’s first hotel built using shipping containers was built in Uxbridge, West London, back in 2008. Using 88 shipping containers, the 8 story Travelodge was built almost 25% faster than most other hotels. The process was also 10% cheaper that other hotel builds.
Due to the shipping containers being relatively easy to take apart, it leads the way for possible short term hotels to be erected in the future at festivals and major sporting events.
Due to the reduce costs and build times, this is eco-friendly method of construction could well be the future.
The use of four large shipping containers has given children in Melbourne, Australia afresh new place to play. The containers have been arranged to create a new activity centre that is strong and safe, while being recycled and made only using environmentally friendly materials.
This is a fantastic way to teach children just how important recycling is, and the project won an “Architecture Review Award for Emerging Architecture” back in 2008.
Due to the limited space and high levels of pollution, if you live in a city it is unlikely you are going to diving into agricultural hobbies any time soon. But this could all change with the fantastic shipping container greenhouse.
Damien Chivialle has designed some “Urban Farm Units”, which give urbanites the opportunity to grow their own organic food, wherever they can fit it. The units are made from greenhouses with greenhouses extensions on the roof. These can be moved around and kept wherever space will allow for it.
The units use an impressive aquaponics system which includes two cubic meters of water that flows in a circuit. Fish faeces are broken down to create a fertilizer for the plants. The water is then filtered and returned to the fish.
Shipping containers are becoming more and more popular when it comes to construction and other amazing uses, because they are durable and cheap. Their use as building materials could really be the future when it comes to housing and offices, but as you can see that’s not where it ends.
Using these containers is environmentally friendly as well as being fun and original, so who knows what we will see next.
Words by Caroline Mason of John Mason International, one of the UK’s premier international relocation and shipping companies. Operating continuously since 1884, John Mason’s team of dedicated move managers service all destinations worldwide.