When considering starting your own business, it is often most beneficial to find a niche that isn’t over-populated. One such niche is shipping container recycling. There is a current trend in recycling these cargo containers into dwellings and by getting in now you’ll be on the ground floor of the movement. Whether you match buyers with sellers, open a design firm or even construct these homes yourself, opening a business in the industry is sure to net you a tremendous profit as the idea takes its time coming to the forefront.
Here are ten ways that shipping containers have been turned into dwellings around the world:
1. Redondo Beach House
A beach house in California, built from eight shipping containers, this home has won awards and turned heads. Traditional building materials were coupled with cargo containers to create a home with an ultra-modern feel. Not only is the home beautiful but it is resistant to mold, termites, fire and high-speed storms.
2. Container City
Located in London, 12 studios stand three stories high and were completely built in five months. 80 percent of the building supplies were made of recycled materials. After the success of the studios, a fourth floor was added that contains apartments and living studios.
3. Container City II
Sitting next to Container City, version number two is five stories high and is home to 22 studios. Taking off on their idea for the original, the architects of number two included elevators and is fully accessible to disabled individuals.
You can find these modular spaces dotting the landscape of New Zealand. These small cabins sleep a family of four comfortably and come with a useable bathroom, kitchen, sink and toilet. The homes are perfect for those desiring a vacation home or are simply looking to downsize in a green way.
This amazingly mobile unit found in Kentucky is made from several shipping containers and has been given pop-out elements to expand the space. Shipping container homes, when not modified, are only eight-feet wide. This home incorporates a kitchen, reading nook, bed, couch, storage and desk that pop out accordion style. When the owner wants to move to another location, the elements are simply popped back in and the home is pulled by a trailer or shipped to its new location.
6. The Ecopod
The Ecopod is Toronto’s answer to the summer cabin. Soy based insulation keeps the pod warm in the cold weather and cool in the summer while the recycled rubber floors make for easy clean-up. The best feature may be the thermal paned window that, when lowered, serves as a deck.
7. Container House
The amazing home in Berkeley, California may be the greenest yet. With bamboo flooring, wool carpeting, dual-flush toilets and energy saving appliances, this home has a ridiculously small carbon footprint. This house is so incredibly built that many visitors and onlookers must be told that it is made out of shipping containers.
8. Manifesto House
Built in less than three months in Madrid, the home was made with four shipping containers and wooden pallets. Only 15 percent of the home is comprised of non-recycled materials making it eco-friendly to the max. The home is not only built from recycled materials but utilizes alternative energies to supply its power.
9. M2ATK Container House
Built in Mexico for an artist, this three-story home is not as minimalist as it would appear. Each story is designated for a different purpose: sleep, live and work. The home is not only interesting to look at but convenient to live in with modern amenities throughout.
10. Quik House
Available for anyone who has just under $200K to spare, these homes have a current waiting list of six months. The prefabricated kit contains everything needed to build the structure and make it livable. The shell of the home can be put up in less than a day and the inside can be finished in less than 90.
About the Author: Consultant Frank Sanders works with businesses to create new uses for a recycled or reclaimed storage container. Whether you’re thinking about a storage container rental, or purchasing a recycled one for a business project, you’ll find their many uses inspiring.
Image: Magnus D / Flickr