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Shipping containers have been with us for a few decades now. And over this time they have evolved from boxes that make shipping easier to a new age building material that can be converted into a lot of things. And why wouldn’t they?

With the booming global trade, idle shipping containers continue to pile up in ports all over the world consuming a lot of space.

Due to their wide availability and affordable prices, people have started to get creative with them.

Re-using or upcycling shipping containers is not a new thing. It has been done ever since the first container was retired. It was however not done widely and the conversions were not very professional. Today, people are starting to appreciate the versatility of the shipping container and the large number of applications it can be put into.

Environmental awareness has also helped boost the cargo container re-use trend. People now understand the impact their lifestyles have on the environment, and hence the shift towards recycling, upcycling and generally greener lifestyles.

People from all over the world are using this ‘new’ building material to create all sorts of things from offices to homes. Here are a few videos showing what people are using shipping containers for.

1. Shipping containers recycled into affordable, accessible Utah home (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLsuwNfRU_8) – This video is about one man’s quest to create affordable homes for everyone, and more so the elderly. He uses two 40ft high cube containers to create a comfortable yet affordable home. This video also highlights the major reason why building with shipping containers is not as popular as it should be: building codes are not container friendly. And this is not only in Utah – where this video was made – it’s a global problem. Governments are yet to update their building codes to accommodate the use of shipping containers and other new cheaper building materials.

2. Robust Pools Shipping Container Pool (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KDUFiy53KE) – Have you always wanted to have a pool but for one reason or the other couldn’t get one. Maybe because of budget or building restrictions. Well, shipping containers have a solution. It’s an over-ground pool shipped as a single unit complete with a filtration system underdeck.

3. Shipping Container As An Underground Shelter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3EAJex1RVo) – This video shows how to construct an underground shelter using a shipping container. It’s easy to construct and costs less than a traditional underground shelter. This guy uses his underground room as a wine cellar and the results are beautiful.

4. ReStart: Christchurch Shipping Container Mall (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3NyfO4PRAg) – After a series of earthquakes struck Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010/2011, the city centre was cordoned off to the public. Restart was a unique and vibrant retail development constructed entirely from shipping containers. This was the first post-earthquake development in and around the CBD. The whole project was done in just 8 weeks by Leighs Construction and was meant to help people start returning to the CBD.

5. Container City – London (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa2p_ux8ER0) – Similar to the Restart project, container city – a development at Trinity Bouy Wharf – proves that shipping containers can be used for larger projects that involve housing tens of people too. Container city comprises several containers stacked four storeys high which provide accommodation to 70 people. The project provides affordable office and home spaces.

These videos show some of the things people have been able to make out of shipping containers. And as their popularity as a construction material grows, you can expect to see even more uses. We at Tiger containers provide quality new and second-hand containers so that you can create amazing structures like the ones seen above.

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