Tag Archives: Shipping Container Buildings

Further proof that ISBUs RULE!

6 Mar

We’re doing it in Haiti. We’re doing it in Vietnam. We’re doing it in the Philippines. We’re doing it in Japan. We’re doing it in oil fields in North Dakota and Canada. We’re doing it on Native American Reservations to provide classrooms…

ISBUs were made for creating “outreach and aid stations”. Build them, store them, ship them and set them.

You can create entire ISBU based AID communities in days. DAYS. And, because you’re building with ISBUs, you’re weathered in and weather resistant.

They’re doing it in China.

It makes sense, since all the ISBUs (Shipping Containers) in the world come from there.

Shipping containers are just big boxes. Use them as modules and you can build almost anything.

INCLUDED (a non-profit organization) built something called the Community Cube, a new  community center for Shanghai’s migrant worker community. At just over 1600 square feet, the 2 story structure was completed last year and used ISBUs as the primary building components.

It’s located in the agricultural district of Chongming, which is a part of Shanghai. They didn’t weld the boxes together, they actually used big metal plates to bolt them together so that it can be disassembled and moved at a later date. Remember that it’s modular space. That means that you can reassign or multitask the different areas created to provide a library, play area, a computer area, and even large classrooms which can be further divided by using sliding doors to create smaller spaces.

They used whiteboard surfaces on walls and sliders to allow the surfaces to be used for education or entertainment purposes. (We do this in children’s bedrooms and in kitchen pantries to allow for art and list creation.)

The corrugation that was removed between the boxes was repurposed as part of the security fencing around the building.

They allowed the “filtered sunlight” to peek in by drilling holes in the boxes to increase illumination.

Existing ISBU cargo doors were left on so that the boxes can be opened to allow even more sunlight and fair weather in.

We’re not sure what they did about insulation, but you could easily use SPF (Closed Cell Spray Foam insulation) or RIGID to insulate the boxes for four season use.

A Mini Split AC unit could easily heat and cool the spaces. Run that mini split off a battery bank fueled by photovoltaics and you’d have a pretty slick set-up, anywhere that the boxes could be dropped.

Need a school, daycare center, local medical outreach program or a community center? You could do this for very little money.

Now… take this exact same design and add a service core to the center using one of our kitchen/bath/laundry modules to the middle and you have a HOME.

Just sayin…

RR Avatar  Image Credits: INCLUDED

Got Industrial Park? Check. Got ISBUs? Check. Hey! Make-over time! :)

10 Feb

We get a lot of email from people who try to pigeonhole ISBU housing as something that only “really rich or really poor people” find appeal in.


ISBUs are just metal modules, people.  They are Corten Steel boxes. In their raw form, they’re about as “vanilla” as you can get. I can’t think of a better high-speed format to build homes and buildings out of. If you can imagine it, you can do it. It’s the “big boys” version of building with Legos.

One area where ISBUs really shine is in the “high–speed remodel department” for manufacturers and industrial applications.

Due to the economy and market conditions, many businesses are moving away from building or purchasing “landmark” or “signature” buildings and taking advantage of all the commercial space that is available for lease (at bargain prices, no less), nation-wide. The economy and other “conditions”  are creating a train-wreck for small businesses and it’s a condition that is nationwide…

… it’s devastated businesses all across America.

gymkhana_02This is the state of “Mom and Pop” business in America. It’s carnage…

We’ve talked about this concept before, as businesses adapt their products and practices to industrial parks and warehouses all across America.

We admit that this isn’t without some “additional tasking”, as they seek to then define those new spaces in a manner that is economic and non-permanent.

We feel that ISBUs are perfect for this  purpose. They fit through truck doors. The slabs that these buildings usually sit on are reinforced and more than capable of carrying the weight of a High Cube  Container.  The boxes are easily configured. The boxes are easily positioned, allowing literally any configuration that you can imagine, from offices, to records storage, warehousing of small parts, employee lounges, you name it.

As we begin our own expansion into larger spaces, you can bet that we’re going to do exactly this. We’ll get affordable build space without a mortgage (and it’s commensurate down payment).  And we’ll gain the ability to “grow” space as we need it. As the business expands, we can remodel, simply by redeploying the existing ISBU modules and adding new ones in new configurations.

This new “style” of building repurposing is becoming very popular, especially in the “hip cool factor” business audience…

gymkhana_05If you’re stunt driver Ken Block and you’re located in a large warehouse style building in Park City Utah…

Ken lives “large”. Ken wasn’t going to settle for “vanilla” digs. He and his team used 17 ISBUs to create a 12,000 square foot facility that is divided into two distinct zones. One is an office/administration complex capable of housing 25 employees and the other is a manufacturing center for the company’s “bread and butter”… his team’s race vehicles.

 Note that because of high ceilings, he was able to stack the boxes to gain even more space. Note also that because the ISBUs are located inside an insulated envelope, there isn’t any demand for expensive insulation practices to be employed. These are “Rock Star” digs, folks. Can you imagine how his investors and business partners react when they see this? Kaching!

And what happens  when Ken gets “Super Mega-Famous” and his team requires bigger digs?

They just pick up the boxes and move on to a bigger building. It reminds me of a documentary I recently saw on Nat Geo… about Hermit Crabs.

It’s hard to think about Spring surrounded by feet of this white stuff, but Spring is about “rebirth”. It’s about nurturing  and letting new shoots pop up! Something similar is happening this Spring (2014) as we begin to “grow” into our new facility. Stay tuned because you’re not going to want to miss it.

  • Are you interested in growing your business by planting some boxes?
  • Do you operate your business out of a warehouse, an industrial park complex or even an Aircraft Hangar?
  • Have you run out of space for your administration, employees or parts inventories?
  • Can you imagine a sales operation working from this motivational configuration?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, contact us. You’ll be surprised at just how easy and how affordable this “remodel” is to accomplish.

Until next time,

RR Avatar Image Credits: Designboom.com

Youtube Credits; DC SHOES