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    Shipping containers: the future of ‘green building’

    Example of shipping container architecture

    As we enter 2022, construction companies are thinking more and more about their environmental footprint – keen to limit the impact of their buildings on the planet. ‘Sustainability’ is now a huge focus in the industry and one particular building material has started to boom in popularity…

    Shipping containers.

    A growing number of architects and engineers are using these humble steel boxes as the basis for their ‘green building’ projects. Shipping container architecture is a new and exciting trend that is sweeping the globe. And here at Gap Containers, we truly believe it’s the future of construction. Here we take a look at why.


    Why is shipping container architecture a sustainable option?

    Unfortunately, shipping containers have become somewhat of a ‘disposable’ item.

    Most countries import goods at a much higher volume and frequency than they export them. What’s more, it’s usually far cheaper to receive a new container than it is to send one back empty to the supplier. And as a result, millions now lie dormant in warehouses and yards across the world.

    Not only do these dormant structures contribute to the global waste crisis, the continuous production of new containers also leads to increased resource waste (i.e. fossil fuels). In turn, this adds to the level of greenhouse gas emissions – and, ultimately, global warming.

    So how can shipping container architecture help?

    Quite simply, it’s a form of recycling. Rather than letting the containers stack up, they can be used as a green building material – repurposed to create a home, office space, gym, swimming pool, storage unit and more. And this process of repurposing and re-use can have many benefits for the environment – helping to cut down on waste, conserving natural resources and significantly reducing carbon emissions.


    Designs for potential shipping container architecture


    Other benefits of containers as a sustainable building material

    Protecting the planet is the main driving force behind shipping container architecture – but that doesn’t mean it’s the only benefit. Using containers as a building material can offer the construction industry a range of other advantages, including:


    1. Affordability

    Compared to traditional building materials, sustainable options typically come with a higher price tag. But this isn’t the case for shipping containers. In fact, they’re incredibly cost-effective. Used containers can be bought at a low-cost and fabricated in line with the specified budget – therefore making ‘green building’ a viable option for more projects.


    2. Speed

    Shipping containers are an efficient way to build. Simple structures can be created in a matter of days, whilst more complex designs only take a few weeks.

    What’s more, the structure can be fabricated at the builder’s site and then easily transported to its location via a Hiab wagon. This reduces the need for heavy machinery, materials and personnel at the project site – and, consequently, can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the project even further.


    3. Creativity

    Shipping container architecture allows for creativity. Not limited to the confinements of traditional methods and modifications, the architect can think outside of the box (pardon the pun!) and come up with truly innovative and unique designs – designs that simply wouldn’t be possible with bricks and mortar.


    Sustainable building materials available at Gap Containers


    Green building and container conversions

    Here at Gap Containers, we’re by no means visionary architects or specialist engineers. But we do believe that shipping containers are a fantastic option for the construction industry – and the best way for amazing buildings to be created, whilst having minimal impact on the environment.

    We may not be involved in shipping container architecture ourselves. But we can supply your sustainable building materials, in the form of new and used shipping containers.

    We’re also specialists in shipping container conversions and frequently recycle and repurpose containers for use as offices, classrooms, pop-up shops, mess huts, restaurants, bars, canteens, and more. So, if you have a project in mind – and wish to be as eco-friendly as possible – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts.

    We’re always on hand and would love to provide the metal building blocks for your new structure, whatever that may be. Just give us a call on 0870 240 9405. Or if you prefer, send an email to and we’ll respond as soon as possible.


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    January 13, 2022 | Lauren

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