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The Strongest Box in The World

Friday, March 18, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the ‘strongest box in the world” is? You have probably come across these ‘super boxes’ in a shipping yard or have seen it elsewhere, without giving it too much thought. You might be surprised to discover that there is a growing trend to re-use these ‘boxes’ because they are so strong, versatile and fairly simple to use. 

shipping container nz

According the General Manager of The ISBU Association International, John Sanders; “The world is waking up to the new ISBU trend. These shipping containers are the strongest, most flexible construction module in the world.” They are constructed to withstand the most severe weather conditions.  It is the most secure stationary structure for a home, pop-up store, storage unit, student dormitory, emergency shelter, to name but a few. Members of the ISBU association and readers alike have reported that the strength and durability of the shipping containers were of more interest than the cost. Let’s explore why it is referred to as “The Strongest Box in the World,” and how the surplus shipping containers stacked up in Global ports can be re-used.

Shipping Container Dimensions:

The standard ISO shipping container is 20-foot or 40-foot long; 8 feet wide; and 8.6 feet high. The taller HQ (High-Cube) container is available at 9.6 feet high.

The containers are constructed with Corten steel, which is stronger than traditional steel and is less likely to rust or corrode.  

The floors are made of very strong and durable plywood (thickness 28 mm) which is supported by a steel grid.  This comprises the base structure of the container.

These steel containers are adaptive to effective Eco insulation.

The containers are designed to ensure that they are weather resistant and resistant to mould, rodents, and bugs.

Versatility of Shipping Containers:

Due to the large numbers of unused shipping containers accumulating in the ports around the world, there is an increasing interest in re-using them.  They can be cleaned, and refurbished with any of the modern amenities and features required.  The 9.6- foot HQ containers are especially popular for designing houses. 

Art- spaces are created using shipping containers.  Artists are always at the cutting edge of innovation and design. It is not surprising that they would identify the potential of shipping containers and discover unique ways in which to use them (check out our modification page).  A nomadic museum was created in Santa Monica, by using shipping containers.  It was designed with the express purpose to travel around the globe. The “Hot Box Pop-Up Art Gallery Phoenix” is another example of how 20-foot shipping containers were used to create a pop-up gallery space. Artists are able to exhibit their work on a monthly basis.

Thanks to their durability, versatility, and friendly environmental footprint, an increasing number of shipping containers will continue to travel across the oceans, as well as create a second life as housing, emergency shelters, or just about any structure you can think of.

For more information about shipping containers don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly team of experts.

Upcycling of Shipping Containers

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

It has been estimated that there are over 17 million shipping containers in circulation worldwide, and only about one third of these are in active circulation.  Since these shipping containers typically see an active use of only about 20 years, and since they are a resource-intensive product, there is a growing trend to re-purpose (up-cycle) old used shipping containers.  In fact, old shipping containers have a shocking amount of potential applications, many of which are overlooked and typically depend on the creativity of the person using the containers.

Used shipping containers can be re-purposed in order to create a variety of interesting and modern-looking spaces, enclosures, and structures.  In general, these can be categorised into housing structures, yard/landscaping features, recreational applications, commercial applications, structural elements, and artistic designs.

There is already one cleverly designed housing development in London that is made almost purely out of old shipping containers.  These containers were arranged in such ways as to provide comfy lofts and even have built-in windows and staircases.  Other living-related applications include the building of new wings on houses.  Need an extra room in your house, but you’re limited to a tight budget?  Consider designing your new room from an old shipping container.

Even some food truck businesses are being replaced by “food shipping containers”, which are modified to have hinged walls that can be closed overnight but opened for business.  Shipping containers also have the benefit of being fire resistant.  If a grease fire starts in a food truck, at least the whole store won’t burn down.  The container is also usually much cheaper for the business owner than buying a large truck or trailer.

Among the more striking and creative uses of old shipping containers are landscaping applications like sun rooms, gardens, tool sheds, and pools.  A shipping container can have the sides removed and placed onto moving hinges in order to have pop-up walls that can be returned to regular position during bad weather but lowered on nice sunny days.  By simply digging a large hole and filling it with a container with a removed-top, you can have a very basic swimming pool—of course you’ll want to paint the inside white, or another light color.  This sure beats the normal cost of swimming pool installation.  You can even build a multi-use structure that has a tool shed inside, and a garden on top!  If space is limited in your yard, this can be an excellent solution.

The use of shipping containers for novel applications has two major benefits.  The first is the low cost of shipping containers, compared to traditional building materials.  Shipping containers provide the buyer with a pre-made structure that already has great strength and durability and does not require any construction (aside from modifications).  Secondly, there is a great benefit to the environment by using recycled containers, which require a large amount of mined iron and enormous industrial processing.  By using shipping containers for your next do-it-yourself home project, you are potentially saving money and helping the environment.

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