17 Awesome Ways to Use Shipping Containers
Check out these awesome ways you can ‘go green’ and use retired shipping containers in your own creative way! We’ve done some research and picked out the 17 coolest ideas for repurposing shipping containers. These modified container projects are not only kind to our beautiful earth, but they can be used in many unique ways that you may have not even knew were possible!
1. Barnhouse from Shipping Containers
Do you ever think about the constant fire hazard the hay around your barn may cause?
The fire resistant nature of a steel container is capable of containing the fire without burning the whole barn down. Cargo containers are also wind and watertight so if you live in an area that has a high risk for storms or tornados, this is a perfect option for you!
2. Shipping Container Beach House
Use a shipping container to make your beach house stand out – incorporate an artistic drawing or use custom paint colors to add a rustic flare or a bright and sunny color to create a vibe that feels right for you. And if you live on a beach or a place with high storm/ hurricane threats, a custom container is a great way to protect your home and belongings.
Shipping containers are made to withstand years of harsh sea conditions, so you won’t have to worry about your container house being torn apart in a sudden natural disaster. Now that’s staying ahead of the game!
3. Container Deck
Here’s to the people that are sick and tired of having to constantly keep up with your backyard deck. Stop letting the carpenter bees make their hives in the wood and little critters make themselves comfortable on your deck.
With a deck made out of a shipping container, you can have two things in one: sustainable construction that’s protected from all the nonsense. These custom shipping containers are not a luxury spot for carpenter bees and critters to live and they’re easy to clean!
4. Adjustable Pop Up Container Shop
This custom container project is perfect for pop-up food trucks or other types of businesses that sell their items on the streets. You can style your shipping containers using sliding or adjustable doors to fit your desired shop, making your business that more unique. This simplistic but intricate design expresses the originality of what container architecture holds.
Designed by Adam Kalkin and Illy in 2007, the 8-foot x 20-foot container cafe is in Venice, Italy. This innovative shipping container cafe expresses the “connection to beauty through art and design” and is operated on four motors that open and lower the sides of the container. Lowering the sides of the container provides more space and enhances the experience. The container space includes a living room, a kitchen that is surrounded by a bedroom and bath, a dining area, and a library in the center.
5. Schools Made Out of Recycled Containers
If you are in an area that’s on a tight budget to build a school for your community, these custom shipping containers are extremely reasonable!
And if high winds or tornadoes are a factor in your school district, these shipping containers are perfect for tornado shelters! Now that’s using our resources wisely!
6. Table/ Chair from Shipping Containers
If you’re into the old fashion look of furniture, check this out! A refurbished table and chair made out of shipping containers. This is a fun way to jazz up your room while going green!
Don’t worry college students, it’ll take a lot more than a crazy house party to ruin this furniture! Or should I say “don’t worry parents!” Sturdy, long lasting, and artsy!
7. Swimming Pools from Containers
Customized shipping containers can be made into a swimming pool that the whole family can enjoy! With the proper adjustments, you can creatively design your own pool to fits your needs.
Container pools can easily hold as much water as you want since shipping containers range from 10ft – 53ft lengths. You can also attach multiple containers together to widen or lengthen your pool.
Get craft with the way configure your container pool together or paint the bottom of the pool whatever color you want!
8. Backyard Container Patio
Turn a shipping container into a patio for a cozy place to relax while enjoying the fresh air right in your backyard.
Modify your backyard container patio by installing windows that you can leave completely open to ease your mind with the breeze and warm sun.
9. Portable Shipping Container Home
If you’re one of those people that loves to travel but still wants to be in the comfort of your own home, the portable house made from shipping containers is for you! Travel while going green.
Skip the expensive hotel rooms and travel around the country on your own time! Enjoy our beautiful earth and all it has to offer in your eco friendly house while still being able to sleep in your own bed.
10. Shipping Container Playhouse
Wouldn’t it be nice for your kids to have their own play room outside where they can be as loud as they want to? You can customize a shipping container playhouse to be a complete kids area or add a TV for your kids to have movie night with their friends.
Letting your kids play outside and release all their energy is great for them, but even better for you! And you can size your container and configure it in a way that’s perfect for your backyard.
11. Pop Up Container Garden
Are deer or other animals eating your garden away? Growing a garden takes a long time and a lot of labor. Easy to maintain shipping container gardens can help your hard work pay off!
By choosing the right size shipping container for the produce you want to grow and pre-fabricating it be a fruitful greenhouse, you can grow delicious fruits and veggies without worrying about the animals eating them 1st! Install adjustable windows on all four sides, and your popup container garden can enjoy the right amount of sun it needs.
12. Playground from Retired Shipping Containers
Playgrounds are full of kids screaming, laughing, running, and playing games. Kids have the most creative imaginations when it comes to making up new games to play. And different playground styles make kids think of completely different ideas for what games they are going to play!
A shipping container playground is definitely a first for many kinds and a great place for them to exercise their imagination!
13. Eco-Container Bridge
A fantastic example of the usefulness of steel containers is the Eco-friendly Econtainer Bridge functioning as a gateway into Ariel Sharon National Park. The park itself was previously a landfill that was turned into a beautiful, green space for the people from Tel-Aviv, Israel to escape from the city. The 525-foot-long bridge is constructed from a continuous line of retired shipping containers.
Together this bridge and the park symbolize the notion of creatively recycling and reusing something for the greater good.
14. Container City
London’s Container City is a new housing development made from retired shipping containers. These cost-effective and durable containers are stacked 5 high, holding eco-friendly studios and dual purpose lofts.
Container City was designed by architects Nicholas Lacey and Buro Happold, but Urban Space Management- a leader in attractive and creative retail initiatives in London- thought of the idea. Urban Space Management’s initiative are based on 3 principles: 1) tread lightly on earth…2) be timely, site specific, and cost-effective…3) leave space for creativity and listen to the particular place and the people. Container City encompasses all of these principles and has been a jumpstart for other projects in London, including the BBC Broadcasting Studios, Portishead Quays, Islington Boxing Club, Necropolis Waterloo, and many other shipping container projects.
15. New Orleans Voodoo Music and Art Festival
New Orleans Voodoo Music and Art Festival is another great example of the innumerable possibilities of recycled shipping containers. In 2009, the annual, funky festival repurposed and modified six 40-foot retired shipping containers to create a VIP lounge and storage space. With these modified containers, Steven Beese of RE:BE Design was able to design a perfect representation of what the Voodoo festival strives to communicate: creativity and unconventionality.
This two-story structure features a large balcony made from two of the six containers, while the other four containers were joined to create the base. The base is outlined with perforated cutouts of the word “VOODOO” that stretches across the sides, creating viewpoints to look upon the festival. The affixed four containers that make up the foundation of the structure encapsulate a luxury bar and lounge. Throughout the year, when VOODOO fest is not in action, the container structure is utilized as storage space for other festivals and gigs.
16. Eco-Cargo Container Home
The Cordell House, designed by Christopher Robertson and developed by Numen Development, L.P., could be one of the most eco-friendly container homes in Texas because of the number of green elements, the energy efficiency of the design, and the minimal construction waste produced (only 12 contractor bags!). The home screams creativity and innovation.
This ecotainer home is built with four up-cycled shipping containers, bamboo flooring and low VOC-paints , a white roof, non-toxic insulation, glazing and position accommodates passive solar design, and last but not least a driveway that consists 70-80 per cent recycled glass and 20-30 percent granite.
17. Pop-up MiniFarm in Shipping Containers
Sponsored by Burt’s Bees, this little eco-friendly “pop-up” Mini-Farmery not only brings beautiful living walls and aesthetics to the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, but it also yields local and organic food that customers can pluck right off the green, living walls! Remarkably, this Mini-Farmery is comprised of a retired 20-foot shipping container and standard greenhouse components.
The inside of the container is used to grow mushrooms, a green roof to grow tomatoes, flowers, and sweet potatoes, and interior wall panels to grow herbs and other greens. This solo 20-foot container is just a hint of what Ben Greene’s innovative agriculture project, The Farmery, will look like in a year’s time. The Farmery will be comprised of a 45-foot recycled shipping container that will encompass an indoor, organic farm on the upper level and a market to sell the crops on the lower level.