If there’s anything that we can take from the past few years about recycling the humble shipping container into a sustainable living space, it’s that these stackable, durable and virtually weather-proof steel boxes have far more uses than what many of us think.
Below are some of the major developments regarding the different uses of shipping containers this past year or two:
An Eco –Friendly School
The German International School in Sydney opened up new classrooms earlier this February. But they weren’t just any other type of classroom. Instead, they were the first classrooms in Australia made from shipping containers. Yes, you read that right. And, understandably enough, the eco-friendly expansion project consisting of two free-standing buildings made from 12 modified shipping containers quickly gained national and international attention.
Overall, six 20 foot and 40ft shipping container were used in the project.
The Container Globe
One of the most important industrial hubs in the United States, Detroit has seen its fair share of unique developments when it comes to shipping containers. This includes museums, restaurants, homes, and even a greenhouse. However, none so far takes the cake from The Container Globe project by the New Zealand Developer Angus Vail.
The developer claims that they are looking to replicate the entertainment provided by the Globe Theatre in London. The only difference? Their theatre won’t be a stationary building. Instead, it will be modular and mobile, made entirely out of shipping containers.
Referred to as The Container Globe, the project is an open-ceiling circular venue. The developers intend it for it to be very easy to dismantle, move and reassemble, making it ideal for travelling musical acts and shows. It has a seating capacity of up to 1,200 people.
GrowFrame, the Travelling Farm
When design student Philippe Hohfeld from London’s Royal College of Art saw that half of the containers going back to Asia returned empty, he thought of a great concept. He later then came up with GrowFrame. The concept behind it is using simplified hydroponics to create a farm that cultivates food in an empty 20ft shipping container or 40ft shipping container.
By cleverly isolating each of the plants into their own microsystem, the farm grows on their own inside the containers over the next three to five weeks as they make the journey back to Asia.
Other Major Developments
Of course, these are just some of the major developments happening in the shipping container craze. In Houston, businesses and homeowners alike have begun using it as a cheap and portable storage solution. Meanwhile, International healthcare provided “Clinic in a Can” has used repurposed former containers to create portable state-of-the-art clinics to provide support for communities in need of medical attention, such as those in Haiti, Nicaragua, Nigeria, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and even the Philippines.