Green sensibility and creative freedom make cool shipping container cabins out of end-of-life 8×40-foot freight containers that otherwise would take up space in landfills. Given our modern society’s increasing awareness about reducing our carbon footprint and constructing energy efficient buildings, and the increasing pressure from environmentalists and green lobbyists to reduce post-consumer waste, repurposing shipping containers is indeed a great leap forward not only in constructing green and affordable living spaces but also in reducing global industrial trash.
But everyone is not exactly open to the idea of freight cargoes as bedrooms. Perhaps the greatest resistance against shipping containers as living spaces is psychological. After all, not everyone may feel at home inside steel structures that were originally built for shipment, storage and handling. Shipping containers as houses may altogether feel as cages for some. Apparently, creativity has to be exercised diligently to transform these corrugated steel boxes into homey and welcoming living spaces.
To peel away the stigma of shipping containers as just stacks of boxes on top of one another, a “green roof” can be designed during the transformation phase. Instead of just plain corrugated steel for a roof, colorful and green gardens can be planted overhead to regulate indoor temperature. Panels can be removed to give way to floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows; bamboo floors can be incorporated for a more earthy feel; and soft interior accents can be employed to complete the cozy look and feel of cool shipping container cabins.
In short, there are plenty of ways to repurpose hard-edged freight cargoes into inviting indoor spaces. It is also a huge advantage that these fold out structures are more affordable compared to traditional building materials, and more mobile without being less durable.
As such, households who want to expand their living spaces look to recyclable freight cargoes for inspiration. Because they can easily be dismantled when their usefulness ends, shipping containers can be reconstructed at some other place where additional living or garage space is needed or sold to others who may have similar storage needs.
In fact, that trend is slowly catching on. Log cabins are slowly giving way to cool shipping container cabins because the latter is easier to set-up and pack up. This means that households whose livelihoods are location independent can put up living spaces wherever their imaginations take them, given the ease with which these shipping containers can be retrofitted so that they both have grid and off-grid capabilities.
Repurposing freight castoffs instead of leaving them to rust in dry docks will one day revolutionize building and construction. If present interest in cool shipping container cabins is any indication, then that revolution is only going to gather steam and eventually become full-blown realities that we will consider as new normal.