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Shipping Container Trends You Never Thought Of

You may have noticed an unusual rise in the number of shipping-container homes and spaces around the world.

Studies have estimated that there are around 24 million shipping containers in the world that are unused. Thankfully, these sitting boxes have become popularly repurposed as an alternative building material for homes and other buildings. Specialist architectural firms and container fabricators have capitalized on this interest and have begun turning these adaptable containers into impressive living spaces.

What Are Shipping Container Trends All About?

In technical terms, a shipping container is a “steel intermodal container” that was initially used to import and export goods. Shipping containers are built as sturdy and durable structures that are accessible, affordable, and easy to upkeep. Their popularity originated in storage and transportation purposes, but their versatility is a recent realization which has contributed to many of the trends we’re seeing today.

Current shipping container trends have stemmed from their affordability, starting at $1,500. They are strong, flood proof, fireproof, and are built using a great material suited for building homes. Even governments have found a practical purpose for them, using them as disaster relief for quick and easy housing.

Although shipping containers are typically used for just 10-15 years, with the right treatment, they can last much, much longer. Although they aren’t the largest structures, ranging from 20 to 30 feet in length, they fit the bill for popular tiny homes.

Trend 1 – University Buildings

While we have to admit that shipping containers as university buildings aren’t a completely popular trend, it’s fair to say their popularity is on the rise. As a cheap alternative to massive university buildings, colleges like Ballard College drew attention when they introduced their new Media Lab in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York.  

The lab, which was built in just a single day, cost a total of about $200,000. Students are able to work in light-filled rooms pieced together in black and white. The large garage door opens to the main room, giving students a natural view of nearby trees. The shipping container design by MB Architecture can also be fitted with a kitchen and bathroom for those interested in turning it into their own home instead of a lab.

Trend 2 – Hotels

The Vietnamese studio TAK Architects are the brilliant minds behind a shipping container hostel in Nha Trang. Stacked on top of each other, the shipping containers at CCASA Hostel are laid out similar to a motel, each with furnished rooms housing worldwide guests visiting southeast Asia. Sitting just 600 feet from the beach, this shipping container hotel is a prime location for backpackers.

Trend 3: Guest Houses

This shipping container guest house by Jim Poteet highlights an incredible idea for those like to have house guests, but are so accommodating that they’d like to offer them their own personal space. While some might struggle to fit their entire lifestyle into 320 feet of space, creating a guest house is a much simpler experience. This small private residence located in a backyard in Texas goes to show you that shipping containers are even more practical than you might think.

Conclusion

While shipping container trends are on the rise, it’s exciting to see how these durable, practical structures are being used for everything from living spaces, to hotels, to out of the box ideas we haven’t even imagined yet.

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