10 Creative Shipping Container Transformations

In recent times more and more people have begun to use used shipping containers in more creative ways as building materials to build things such as Restaurants, Hotels and Housing. Below is 10 creative ways you can transform a shipping container into something creative.

1 ) Eco-Friendly Green Roofs

In today’s world the focus is on green living, and has moved to the world of shipping containers. Transforming your containers roof into a place to grow plants and flowers. These green roofs provide many benefits when installed correctly such as, Water Storage, decreasing flood risks, aesthetic impact and habitat creation.

Green roofs are popular in conversions for schools, where they can be used to teach kids about nature and habitats. It’s also used in conservation areas to blend in with natural surroundings. On top of this if you plant bee friendly flowers and plants you can do your bit to increase the worlds bee population.

2) Swimming Pools

Shipping container pools are a growing trend in the real estate market for many reasons:

  • Being an affordable alternative to above ground pools that will last a lot longer than standard pools, as they were originally designed for supporting large loads and dealing with open-sea travel
  • The beauty of using a shipping container is that it’s Eco-friendly as reusing one that is beyond it’s usual life purpose. On top of this it is a financial benefit for you house price as who doesn’t want to buy a house with a pool

3) Temporary Homes For The Homeless

In 2016 the go ahead was approved to provide emergency accommodation to those in Reading. And since then more have popped up over the country with 87 thousand households in temporary accommodation in late 2019. Which lead to the increase of shipping containers used to be a quick fix to the growing crisis. Such places include Ealing, Cardiff, Southampton and Wrexham to name a few.

These conversions however were done cheaply and rushed not being properly insulated to keep the heat in during the winter and out in the summer. Not being properly treated can cause mould or damp and bugs to come through gaps at the bottom of the doors.

4) Bars

Shipping containers are produced to be adaptable, secure and resilient. Made from ‘one trip’ containers they can last for 20 years. So every container is affordable and adaptable for many uses such as bars.

Fever Tree pop up G+T Bar was designed from two twenty foot shipping containers including an integrated roof terrace which can be collapsed flat and resurrected easily to allow for easy transportation between events.

The conversion project consisted of two twenty foot containers joined together to create a large roof terrace with easy access, seating and parasols. The side opening container allows full bar service potential complete with a retractable awning. The side opening doors are used to hang menus, whilst the second back container was used for storage.

5) Covid 19 Hospital

The first covid-19 intensive care units were made in Italy in April 2020, the temporary portable two bed units could expand hospital space fast in nations struggling with the pandemic.

Capable of being deployed in a number of ways from being self standing or connected to a hospital containing all the equipment needed to treat two ICU patients.

They are connected via inflatable corridors that serve as a changing room or storage units, and use negative pressure “biocontaninent” fans¬† to remove infectious particles. Each pod has glass windows so visitors can get close to loved ones without placing them at risk of infection.

6) Container Farming

The local food trend is not going away anytime soon. As demand increases, traditional supply channels are faced with a challenge of providing fresh, hyper-local food year round. This is in direct conflict with how accustomed we’ve become to an endless variety of produce available on store shelves, regardless of the season.

So, in order to feed the rising demand for local food while meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population, we need to marry year round availability with growing methods that can produce local food even mid-winter. This is where indoor farming – specifically inside of shipping containers.

A hydroponic vertical farm is fully climate controlled and built inside of a compact thirty two square foot container. This makes it uniquely qualified to not only meet the demand for local food by allowing you to put it anywhere even in the middle of a city, but also provide the same level of freshness all year round.

Furthermore, the automation inside the farm makes container farming less labour intensive than traditional agriculture and other indoor growing techniques, meaning you have more time to grow the business side of your operation.

7) Apartments

A container apartment is an apartment that takes advantage of shipping container architecture. This however comes with lots of variability, as some are two or three – storey mid risers and others can be 7 floors high. Some use a single container as a footprint and others span across multiple containers.

The benefits of using shipping containers for this is to be cost effective as requires less time to construct and limited space allows more focus on essentials rather than aesthetics. Being shipping containers they are tough to withstand sea travel and on top of this they are semi-permanent so if required can be moved via crane and lorry to another location.

Some disadvantages however is the ceiling height of the container being just under 9 foot at most and this is reduced by flooring and additional roof installation. Width of interior can also be cosy at just seven to eight foot wide which is liveable for one to two people same as a small studio flat. Additional work is needed to provide installation for apartment buildings made of steel.

This is the future of real estate.

8) Hotels

The trend of using colourful shipping containers to design creative sleek hotels from around the world being a more Eco-friendly version than creating static hotels.

An example of this is one in the Czech Republic which has been designed to be as self-sufficient and Eco-friendly as possible, it includes a built in reservoir for the showers and sinks, water saving tips, and water less toilets. With an exterior of reclaimed wood and bright blue lacquer , the hotel consists of three stacked containers. The lower two containers house bathrooms, and the 40 foot long containers perched on top is filled with four modest, contemporary rooms with full-length windows. The containers shared terrace offers expansive views wherever it pops up. Because the hotels location can change based upon being made from portable shipping containers.

9) Market Stools

Over the many decades Camden has always been synonymous with markets, so is surprising it took until 2020 to make a shipping container market.

The Eco-friendly Buck Street Market consists of 26 food brands housed which are committed to sustainable practises and over 50 ethical fashion trends with the entire market operating a zero plastics policy.

The market has raised questions about gentrification, it is unclear if any of the old Buck Street Market traders have been housed in the stacking shipping containers. However, the market is clearly trying to appeal to the local community.

10) University Dorms

Another popular application of container living has been for university dorms, where students have responded even more enthusiastically than designers anticipated. These container dorms look pleasing to the eye, have common areas that draw students into community and can be built for a fraction of what ordinary dorms cost.

They have been found to be surprisingly quiet and a wonderful option for students who cannot afford the prices of urban housing. These dorms often have central heating, supercharged WiFi and bike storage areas. Most of the containers have large windows, study areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, small kitchens and even balconies, students love living in dorms that are keeping the planet green.



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