Stack them up: The many uses of shipping containers

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Shipping containers are those massive corrugated boxes used to carry and transport goods and heavy loads all over the world. Their shipping life usually ranges from three to five years, and castoff containers could sell anywhere from $1,500 to $2000 depending on the type and quality. Buyers of these containers are usually attracted to their durability, size, and ubiquitous appearance, all of which make up for great building materials.

The functional steel block is built to withstand weather and decay so it’s no surprise that they’ve found their new use as a low-cost shelter material. Many architects have been able to transform container units into eco-friendly houses or stylish complexes made up of multiple containers. Ecopod in California is a great example of a single-unit design while London’s Container City is an emblem of good and adaptable complexes.

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If people can build complexes by stacking containers, why not build hotels? London’s eight-storey Travelodge, the world’s first container hotel, was built by stacking 86 modified shipping containers stylishly, cutting up 10 percent of building expenses and making construction 25 percent faster than ordinary hotel buildings.

Castoff shipping containers as business spaces are also becoming common these days. The Puma City container store is a standout on this front. It’s remarkable how designers were able to build a fully dismountable retail store that could be transferred from one location to another through a cargo ship.
Artsy-fartsy people have also drawn inspiration from shipping containers, converting them into museums, activity centers, and art projects.

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At this time of crisis, it’s good to know that people never run out of creative ideas to make this world a fun and amazing place. These builders have contributed greatly on the search for sustainable living while promoting the fact that cost-effective ideas don’t necessarily equate to bland concepts.

Thomas Pecora, president of H&H Transportation, a trucking company based in NJ, may have more information on container shipping on this Facebook page.

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