No, these aren’t offices made out of small shipping boxes or other cardboard boxes. Instead, they’re created from the huge shipping containers that are used on ships, trains, and other vehicles. These giant metal containers are often discarded after being used multiple times or after the company that uses them goes out of business. However, people have found a use for them—they build offices from them.
One of the most recent shipping container box offices is being built in Providence, Rhode Island. This office space is being created entirely out of used shipping containers. These tiny cubes, which are more or less small buildings by themselves, are being combined into an office space that will use about 25 percent less energy than a standard building will. Part of this is because the building is going to be very well insulated and will have a very energy efficient heating and air system. It will also use no fossil fuel to power its heating and air. The building will also use lighting that features response sensors. These sensors will measure how much light is coming in naturally and adjust artificial light as necessary.
The entire building will use 32 different shipping containers that have been reclaimed from US ports. The building will be three stories high and will be home to twelve new offices. In addition to saving money, the building will also reduce water run-off by over 65 percent by using rain gardens. These gardens will help storm water get back into the earth and provide nutrients to plants rather than simply be wasted.
While construction is underway (using completely green techniques), the final shipping container box office won’t be completed until March of 2010.