Shipping container homes have become increasingly popular over the past few years. With a few simple design changes, these homes can transform a shipping container from an ugly metal box to a beautiful example of recycled architecture. The use of shipping containers as the basis for new home construction has become so popular that Bob Vila even has a how-to section on his website dedicated to the topic.

Although the use of these old containers in homes has been around for years, the trend towards using them in commercial building products seems to be picking up steam. Earlier this month, an article was published here on MNN describing a new Travelodge that is under construction in the U.K. The building is being constructed, in part, through the use of 86 shipping containers.  

The products are also being used to construct office buildings; Providence, R.I., will be home to a 12-unit shipping container office building in the spring of 2010. Although the building is still under construction, and the U.S. economy is on shaky ground, the building has already pre-leased 37 percent of the space.

“There are thousands of empty shipping containers piling up in U.S. ports because of our nation's ongoing trade deficit," stated Peter Gill Case, principal, Truth Box Inc. "Containers offer a timely opportunity to promote green building principals and offer high quality design in an economy that demands affordable options.”  Source: PR Newswire

If you’ve never seen a building that uses shipping containers, I recommend visiting Zack Smith’s Shipping Container Architecture website. He has gathered images and information about a variety of shipping container projects around the world.

Photo by rolu dsgn

Related shipping container stories on MNN: 

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.