Quick. What's the first thought that comes to mind when you think of library buildings? If you're typical, you imagine either a weather-beaten brick-and-mortar building that has suffered greatly from budgets cuts, or a once modern building that, too, badly need of repair and suffering from budget cuts.
Fortunately, not all parts of the world find themselves restricted to such confining designs. Case in point: the Amin Shipping Container library located in Batu, Indonesia. As you can see from the image, the Amin library is not composed of brick, stone, mortar, or wood. The library is made from shipping containers, eight to be exact, and steel stilts. Each unit costs roughly $829.
We've covered how storage containers can be used for office space, housing, and even decoration. How about using storage containers to grow food in cities?
That's the brainchild of Kate Hofman and Tom Webster. Through GrowUp, their urban farming business, the entrepreneurs want to demonstrate how it's possible to nurture food products in crowded urban settings; in this case, the city of London, UK.
At $41,000, you can take home the ultimate stress reliever, a sauna that is constructed out of wood, solar panels, and a shipping container. Castor, a manufacturing company, has created a sauna that looks pretty astounding. This sauna features a western red cedar interior, a wood-fired stove that heats things up, and other electronic amenities that are powered by a solar panel on the roof. The real question is though, is this worth the money?
Containers that have been shipped across the ocean and have transported goods are now being repurposed for all sorts of purposes such as bars, restaurants, housing projects, and hotels, but one question that’s on everyone’s mind is, is this just a fad or could this be something that will take off? “A shipping container has a lot of built-in strength to it. These containers travel across the ocean and withstand hurricane-force winds and storms that occur on the ocean, so they’re very strong structural individual elements,” said Patrick Beville, professional engineer and a LEED-accredited professional who has built half a dozen homes out of the containers.
Twelve shipping containers will be converted into affordable housing projects via the Atira Women's Resource society, in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Atira CEO Janice Abbott said plans changed the following year when the society submitted a winning proposal to BC Hydro, which was giving away two shipping containers to a non-profit group. Abbott said six of the 12 units will be occupied by women who are over age 55 and currently living in a shelter or a single-room occupancy hotel.
"What we hope is to set up an intergenerational program," Abbott said. "We have housing for young women next door and we'd like to set up mentoring relationships between them."