Shipping containers can be modified and transformed into a myriad of functional, low-cost structures, including houses, cafes, bars, offices, pop-up stores, and more. As a result, shipping containers have become increasingly popular, helping to improve the quality of life for people across the globe. Repurposing shipping containers also helps to conserve the environment by preventing these bulky, steel structures from rusting away in landfills.
Here are some ways that shipping container modifications have helped households, businesses, and communities around the world:
One or more shipping containers can be used in the construction of small homes to provide either a temporary or permanent place of residence. They’re a particularly suitable option for families looking for a vacation home in remote areas, since they are strong and even more secure than other construction materials. They are also cheaper than conventional types of construction, with people enjoying savings due to factors such as size, design options, and even DIY labour.
More importantly for creating a home, the categories of homes that can be made from shipping containers are quite diverse for personalization. The common categories include single-unit cabins, homes-on-wheels, and huge container houses built with larger interior spaces created by removing adjacent walls. Moreover, there are all types of hybrid buildings, combining containers with traditional buildings in any kind of arrangement. Some are even adding exterior cladding and/or interior walls so you’re unable to tell that the base structure is actually a container.
Protection from Extreme Weather
Because of their rigid steel construction, many people living in areas that are prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, typhoons, and storms often use shipping containers to protect themselves and their valuables from the extreme elements. Owing to their solid steel construction, shipping containers are extremely hardy, durable, and even fireproof.
Furthermore, their rigidity makes them safe for protection from extreme weather compared to traditional building methods, while ensuring the longevity of the structure itself.
Shelter After a Devastating Natural Disaster
Shipping containers have transformed how aid is offered in humble communities after catastrophes. Because they’re sturdy but light enough to be movable using forklifts, cranes, and other handling equipment, they can be easily shipped or transported to distant places that have suffered a crisis. This can include things such as destruction from earthquakes or tropical storms and can provide temporary shelter for countless people left homeless after a disaster.
A modified 20-foot container can provide a small family with a safe and secure place to sleep. With skilled workmanship in the placement of air vents and insulation, sea containers can provide a comfortable dwelling environment even in extreme climates. They can be further customized for sustainability by installing solar-powered panels to provide electricity for lighting and other vital functions while reducing the carbon footprint.
It may not be practical to set up costly infrastructure in marginalized communities when providing aid to parts of South East Asia and Africa. This is particularly so for schools, considering that charity organizations operate with tight budgets and short deadlines to deliver results. Fortunately, shipping container mini-schools allow for massive savings on construction costs, in addition to a speedy setup, so children can start receiving an education almost as soon as the funds arrive. The classrooms are fitted with desks and chairs, while the sides are cut to let in natural light and ventilation. The openings are well secured to prevent theft.
Besides creating classrooms, the spaces can also be used as child care facilities, providing a safe haven for pre-school children when their parents go to work. Shipping containers can also be repurposed into well-equipped laboratories or school libraries that are fitted with shelves for books and desks for computers, providing a resourceful place for children to study. They can also be used to create mobile kitchens that are fitted with stainless steel work surfaces and stoves, and that are well ventilated for efficient meal preparation.
Pop-Up Emergency Medical Clinics
Pop-up hospitals can be compared to a strategically located ambulance, but they offer so much more. Although they’re not fully equipped, they contain basic medical equipment and supplies to provide standard care for the most common medical cases. This allows for a relatively low setup cost compared to a full-blown medical facility. Since containers also offer excellent security, there’s a low risk of theft of medical commodities.
But perhaps the most important feature is their portability, since they can be transported from one location to another as the need arises. This allows the most affected people to consult a doctor. In cases where the clinic can’t be located at the heart of the community, the doctors can carry the basic equipment to conduct tests on patients, and coordinate with the clinic for the delivery of medications and additional services. These transportable clinics are not only used for general medical practise, but also other services such as dental clinics, optometrist practices, and so on.
Pop-up medical centres have played a vital role in providing general and emergency medical care when and where it’s needed. Thus, improving the health and welfare of communities, especially in marginalized areas in developing nations. These people would otherwise have to travel long distances to seek medical attention or forgo it altogether.
Other Resourceful Applications
The humble but robust and modular shipping container allows for a variety of other practical, innovative, and life-changing uses across the globe, including:
- Portable toilets: for use during outdoor events, construction sites, or remote areas.
- Office buildings: their uniform sizes allow easy stacking to maximize vertical space.
- Storage: they can be used to keep inventory and equipment.
- Workshops: they provide a safe and secure workspace at home or other sites.
- Studios and art galleries: they can be used to create customized, awe-inspiring studios and/or art galleries.
- Restaurants: they allow for strategic placement of trendy fast-food or takeout joints.
- Hotels: they can be used as base structures for transportable or even permanent hotels.
- Swimming pools: with their rectangular shape and original length and depth.
- Theatres and bistros: they can be joined and designed with colourful lighting to create a unique recreational atmosphere in the wild.
- Nurseries and indoor gardens: they can be used to grow plants in a controlled environment.
The invention of cargo containers revolutionized the transportation of items over long distances, significantly increasing safety and protection of the contents within, while minimizing losses. Through creative shipping container modifications, these benefits can now be enjoyed in the building and construction industry, completely transforming the sector, while impacting lives across the globe.
For more information on shipping container modifications, call Secure Container Solutions (SCS) at 416-817-3216 or contact us here.