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In 2016, the U.S. construction market was worth approximately $1,162 billion, and engineers continue to push the envelope when it comes to cutting-edge technologies and building designs. One recent innovation includes shipping containers, which have been used in countless different ways in modern design. Here are just a few common and innovative uses for shipping containers around the world.
Shipping Container Homes
First and foremost, shipping container homes are growing in popularity in numerous locales due to their low-maintenance and low-cost nature. Durable, steel shipping containers average a 25-year lifespan and require minimal maintenance, and if you have the initial investment, you can work with industry professionals to design and build a shipping container home to your exact specifications. Tiny home living is sustainable and all the rage, and shipping containers were the impetus to this growing movement.
Shipping Container Pools
Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that marine lovers have developed countless ways to recycle materials for pools. Shipping container pools are still a relatively new innovation, but one Canadian company — Modpool — has made it their mission to create custom mini swimming pools from upcycled shipping containers. They’ll work with anyone to create a pool built to their exact specifications — they even ship worldwide. Best of all, they have some pretty high-tech and overall luxurious features: “The shipping container pools that they make are highly modified, with a portion of one wall cut away and replaced with a viewing window. A portion of the pool also has eight body-massaging water jets, and it’s separated from the rest of the pool by a sturdy and heat-resistant plastic partition. The pool has a sanitation and heating system, LED lighting that changes color, and it is capable of holding about 4,800 gallons of water. It also typically comes in black but can be painted in different hues,” says Point2Homes.
Shipping Container Stores
Finally, shipping containers are being repurposed and converted into free-standing stores for short-term or long-term marketing endeavors. Marketing firms are popping up all over the country dedicated to helping businesses expand their brand awareness and customer base through customized shipping container stores and experiential marketing events. These types of events are effective in immersing customers into an interactive experience they’ll remember and associate a memory with. Still a relatively new innovation, shipping container stores can be customized based on a business’s specific needs — sizing, features, and other details are all calculated ahead of time.
Buying a Shipping Container
If you’re interested in taking on one of these projects or want to purchase a shipping container of your own, inspect it in person if possible, though this will limit your choices due to geographical location. You’ll also want to make sure to check the local zoning laws before undergoing any construction.
As more and more ships deliver goods across the globe, it’s not surprising that the international shipping industry carries around 90% of world trade, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. Shipping containers continue to be used in countless ways around the world, and their applications will only expand through innovative technologies.