Once shipping containers have lived out their usefulness getting goods to market around the continent or globe, they can still serve a purpose for many years afterward as stationary storage spaces, offices, studios, and most recently, as residences. They are easy to transport and can be inexpensive to obtain. With careful planning, they can also be cost-effective and quick to build with. This can make them an ideal construction choice in densely populated areas. Such centers often have both extremely high demand for fast, low-cost housing options and a large supply of retired shipping containers previously used to service that large population that are now simply awaiting disposal.

What are container homes? A container home is constructed from a retired or new corrugated steel shipping container. It’s a relatively recent architectural trend that’s been growing in popularity alongside the DIY movement and environmental consciousness. The first US patent for converting a shipping container to living space dates to the late 1980s, and there are certainly homes that predate even that. But media attention did not pick up steam until the mid-2000s. Container homes – and offices and studios – can be found in all climates and around the world. They can range from emergency temporary shelters to spartan low-cost housing to high-style, high-concept architectural showpieces.