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4 Ways Shipping Containers Are Used in the Construction Industry

Shipping Containers for Storage in Construction

Construction sites are known to be very hectic work environments that require extensive planning and organization to keep projects running on time, maintain the budget, and ensure that everyone on-site is safe.

Most projects involve a significant amount of materials, equipment, and tools, many of which need to be stored on the job site for the entire length of the project. Having a safe and secure place to keep expensive project materials is critical, especially because most construction sites do not have access to permanent buildings. 

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One trend that has been gaining steam in the construction industry is the use of shipping containers as mobile, versatile, and secure options for storage and other functional applications. This blog will highlight some of the most common ways construction companies are repurposing shipping containers in the field.  

1. Storage for equipment and materials 

Construction tools, equipment, and materials are expensive. Especially with the current spike in lumber prices, it’s important for crews to protect materials from theft or damage. Used shipping containers, accessorized with special locks and security measures, can do just that.  

Repurposed shipping containers are structurally sound, secure, and weatherproof. One other storage advantage shipping containers provide over standard brick-and-mortar sheds or buildings is that they can be used right away – no waiting for something to be built.  

Shipping containers can also be moved from place to place on the construction site or even from one project site to another once work is finished.

2. Housing/breakroom for workers 

The work environment on the construction site can be harsh. Whether it’s hot and humid conditions, downpours or storms, or dry and dusty conditions, sometimes workers need a place to rest or escape the elements. Some construction crews use shipping containers as makeshift breakrooms, lunchrooms, or even temporary housing if they need to stay overnight. The containers can be outfitted with plumbing and heating, and cooling systems.  

Shipping container break rooms can be fitted with a small kitchen area, sitting area lockers to store personal items, and bathrooms. They can be modified with electrical outlets for charging phones or adding appliances like a coffee machine, refrigerator, or microwave.

3. First aid station 

Working with heavy equipment and above ground level can be dangerous for construction workers. Even when safety is a foremost concern, accidents can still happen. Just in case, construction sites need to have at least a first aid station available nearby. 

Customized shipping containers that serve as medical facilities or first aid stations for construction sites can be prefabricated with medical amenities, including HVAC, an exam bed, hot and cold-water systems, and other essential emergency medical supplies. 

These mobile clinics can be relocated to future sites so that workers’ health and safety are never compromised, and needed care is always available – on-site or between locations.

4. Temporary bathrooms 

Many times, construction sites are secluded. So, access to bathroom facilities isn’t immediately available. Commonly, crews rent port-a-johns for the construction site, but those can get messy or smelly.  

One better option the industry is leveraging is using old shipping containers for temporary toilet facilities. The containers can be fitted with more modern bathroom amenities like a toilet or sink for washing hands. These definitely provide a much more hygienic option.  

5. On-site office 

Project managers and forepersons spend a lot of time on the front lines supervising the work, but that’s not all they do. They also must handle many administrative tasks, like reading blueprints, completing paperwork, reviewing plans, and reporting project progress. They must have a safe and efficient space to do this. 

Shipping containers provide the perfect office environment where these tasks can be tackled. They can be turned into well-ventilated and furnished spaces with room for desks, chairs, and cabinets to accommodate on-site office staff. This mobile office can accommodate the project and logistic managers, architects, contractors, store managers, and other necessary personnel to manage the construction project. 

To learn more about how your construction company can use shipping containers on the job site or find out how to buy a shipping container, click here