Shipping Containers Converted to Trendy Restaurants, Homes and Pools

Shipping Containers Converted to Trendy Restaurants, Homes and Pools

The Bareburger restaurant on Long Island, New York says it was a natural progression to hire SG Blocks, Inc. to build a restaurant for them out of shipping containers.  The restaurant owner, John Simeonidis Jr., co-founder and chief design officer of Bareburger Group LLC told the Wall Street Journal recently ( that “we use reclaimed wood for floors and tables, recycled vinyl for seats and on and on. So we said ‘let’s think outside the box for the structure’ and ended up building a metal box that looks really cool.”

The restaurant was designed using 11 truck-size containers previously owned by Japanese shipping company NYK Line.  SB Blocks, Inc. specializes in creating buildings out of containers, and has designed buildings for other businesses, such as Starbucks Corp, Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell and Lacoste store. Shipping containers are usually between 20 to 40 feet long, and hold freight for transport worldwide.  Each container costs about $2,000 to $3,000 when purchased by a shipping company. A shipping container can last up to 18 years before it goes into retirement. The containers are being used for other purposes too, such as building materials for homes, swimming pools and even prison cells. They have become popular for their trendy look.

Containers do have their draw backs, and will not replace traditional building materials anytime soon. They are not easily insulated, and must be stacked together to increase square footage of a building.  The containers must also be cut to create windows and doors and reinforced with steel beams to create multistory structures.  Approximately 1 million containers are repurposed for inland use, according to executives at shipping giant Maersk Line, which has 2.7 million containers in use worldwide at any given time.  Rune Sorensen, the head of container sales told the Wall Street Journal that they sold 70,000 containers at $1,000 to $2,000 for other uses besides transporting goods in 2016. That was nearly double the amount they sold during the previous year.  He expects continued demand for sales of shipping containers for inland use, and said the market “is still discovering itself.”

Source: Wall Street Journal “Containers Find Out-of-the-Box Second Lives,” by Costas Paris, May 16, 2017

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