Creative Shipping Container Uses

Creative Shipping Container Uses

Shipping containers are an excellent building material due to their strength and ability to be easily customized.  This is why they are being used for all sorts of creative builds other than just housing.


Who didn’t love building awesome forts out of objects they found around the house as a kid?  It only makes sense that used containers are being utilized to build really awesome playgrounds around the world such as Skinners Park in Melbourne, Australia.  It was created using four containers and even the railings, overhangs, and balconies are made from parts of used containers.  Another unique playground sits in the center of the recently created Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas.  Here a shipping container has been converted into a 30 foot tall tree house with three different slides.

Skinners Playground

Downtown Container Park Playground

Swimming Pools

Shipping containers can easily be converted into the perfect pool.  The dimensions (20 or 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet deep) create an ideal swimming pool size.  The container can also simply be buried in your backyard to create an in ground pool.

Inground Shipping Container Pool

Shipping Container Pool


It takes quite a bit of creativity to turn shipping containers into a work of art.  “Trade Deficit”, located in Denver, was created by fusing together four containers to represent the area’s industrial past and the vertical expansion of the city.  Spanish graffiti artists Pichi&Avo, created a large canvas out of stacked shipping containers.  The breathtaking result was featured at a festival in Belgium.

Shipping Container Sculpture

Shipping Container Art

Shipping containers are also a great tool for clever advertisements.  For Power Smart Month in British Columbia, BC Hydro used two containers to promote energy efficiency at home and in the work place.  People passing by could see into the containers to compare the energy consumption of two different users and gained tips on how to be more efficient with energy use.  Nissan used a shipping container to promote its new Armada SUV.  An armada was placed into a container and set up in densely populated areas such as Times Square and South Beach Miami.  The reactions of people passing by were used in the TV ad.

Shipping Container Ad

Shipping Container Ad


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Are Tiny Houses Going Mainstream?

Are Tiny Houses Going Mainstream?

The tiny house movement not only has the internet abuzz, it has now invaded your television.  It’s not surprising that television networks are eager to be involved after seeing the success of tiny house blogs, videos, and documentaries.

Kirsten Dirksen has been blogging and creating YouTube videos about self-sufficiency, simple living, and tiny houses for years.  Her YouTube videos have had over 100 million views.  One of her most popular videos is a full-length documentary called We the Tiny House People she released in 2012.  For five years, Kirsten traveled around the world filming segments about tiny houses and the people that live in them.  The result is a wonderful in-depth look at an assortment of tiny houses and why people choose this lifestyle.

Other filmmakers have followed suit.  Tiny: A Story About Living Small was released in March 2013.  It follows a couple who is trying to build a tiny house on their own, as well as features other families who have downsized their lives to be able to fulfill their dream of living in a tiny house.

Related: Add a home bar to your tiny home.

Tiny Houses on TV

There are now five main television shows that are all about tiny houses.  All five shows are relatively new, premiering within the last year and I’m sure we will be seeing even more tiny house shows in the future.

The very popular Tiny House Nation on FYI is now on its second season.  John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin are renovation experts and the hosts of the show.  They travel across America to show off creative small spaces and the innovative people who reside in them.  They also assist families who are ready to downsize design and construct their dream tiny house.  The show features both luxury and budget residences and anything from an NYC micro-apartment to a caboose car turned into a home.

Zack Giffin from Tiny House Nation

Zack Giffin – Tiny House Nation

Also on FYI, is Tiny House Hunting.  The show is much like other house hunter shows, but focusing on perspective buyers interested in purchasing a tiny house.  Realtors show each potential homeowner three different small residences for them to choose from.  Full-time homes, as well as vacation homes are featured.

HGTV has also joined the tiny house movement.  Tiny House Builders is a new show featuring Derek Diedricksen.  Derek prides himself on building tiny structures around the world that make the most of their surroundings, which means the locations he builds in are some of the world’s most beautiful, but can also be treacherous.

HGTV has two other shows that feature tiny houses.  One is Tiny House Hunters, where potential home seekers view three houses under 600 square feet and then decide if they want to downsize and join the movement or remain in their current home.  The other new show is Tiny House, Big Living.  This show features couples going through the downsizing and tiny house creation process.  Some couples use a builder and some decide to build their tiny house on their own.

Many people view the tiny house movement as just being people living in cute little houses, but it’s so much more than that!  It’s all about the desire to consume less, leave a smaller carbon footprint, and live simply.  Thanks to the hard work of bloggers, film-makers, and mainstream television shows, more people can learn about the true economic and environmental benefits of tiny houses.

Are you ready to join the movement?  We can help make your tiny house dream a reality!  Contact us today!

Finding New Buildings in the Dust of the Old

With the continued and growing emphasis on sustainability in construction we could be on the verge of a radical shift in how we think about the current stock of buildings. The time may be coming when we stop planning for building replacement, and instead plan for building reuse. That in turn would significantly change the roles of designers and builders.

Continue reading “Finding New Buildings in the Dust of the Old”

How To Build A Construction Plan

Learn how to market your contractor business professionally. In depth knowledge of attracting clients with online marketing strategies and deep thinking about who you want your clients to be.

The housing industry has proceeded at a red-hot pace for several years running. An all-time record was set in 1998, when 886,000 new-site single family homes were sold. That represented a 10% gain from the robust total of 804,000 homes sold in 1997, and an 8.1% rise from the prior record of 819,000 units in 1977. Single-family housing construction accounted for $48 million of the total $125 million generated in the industry.

Continue reading “How To Build A Construction Plan”

The History of Shipping Container Architecture

History of Shipping Container Banner
Malcom McLean, also known as “the father of containerization”, developed the metal shipping container in 1956, which revolutionized the transport of goods worldwide. Little did he know at the time, his invention would also go on to transform modern architecture.

It is possible that containers were sometimes used for other purposes than shipping, but it’s not clearly evident until the late 80s. On November 23, 1987, Phillip C. Clark filed for a United States patent described as a “Method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building at a building site and the product thereof.” This patent, number 4854094, was granted on August 8, 1989 and the information and diagrams it contained were used as the basis for many shipping container architectural concepts.

Containers for Building

The use of shipping containers as a building material has been growing in popularity over the past several years.  They are appealing materials due to their fundamental strength and rather low expense.  Container usage is also viewed as more eco-friendly than the traditional building style.  Another big reason many architects and builders are choosing to use containers for their projects is the widespread availability of them.  Containers have a very long life span and are being stockpiled at ports around the world, so it’s an ideal opportunity for builders to take advantage of.

Shipping Container Construction at MODS A container being turned into a home at MODS

Although shipping container architecture has been around for years, it seems like it’s been more prevalent in the past few years. People worldwide have been using containers to build homes, offices, stores, advertisements, malls, hotels, and much more. 2014 showed us some great creations and it will be interesting to see what architects will create in 2015.

If you are interested in learning more about shipping container uses or if you are ready to begin creating your container dream, contact us today.