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Shipping Containers are the Newest Trend in Commercial Real Estate

Most people are familiar with shipping containers as the large metal crates that hold cargo on ships. But did you know that these boxes are also the newest trend in commercial real estate? They’re being used to build everything from tiny homes, to skyscrapers and even malls. The idea of using shipping containers as building blocks may seem odd at first, but the practice actually goes back decades. In fact, one of the most famous examples is built right here in Denver! This is what you need to know about this awesome trend:

They're sustainable.

As if you needed another reason to love shipping containers, they're also environmental. They're made out of recycled steel, which means they require less energy to produce than traditional building materials. The fact that they can be recycled at the end of their life makes them even more sustainable: when a container is no longer needed as a building, it can be reused as anything from playground equipment to the foundation for a new home.

They're modifiable and customizable.

  • Modifiable and customizable.

  • Can be configured to suit any purpose, from a retail space to an event venue, by adding extra walls or removing existing ones.

  • Can be modified and adapted as needs change over time.

  • Built to meet any size requirement on-site, making shipping container construction cost effective (no need for expensive materials or labor).

  • Built in any location—within the city limits (or not) of your choice.

They're quick to assemble.

The container is pre-fabricated with all the necessary components, making construction time significantly shorter than traditional building. Construction can take as little as a few days when on-site and up to two weeks when off-site. The same goes for demolition; it’s easy to dismantle and reassemble the containers at another location if needed.

All of the parts are factory built to standard sizes, meaning that there is no guesswork involved in using them—the space fits perfectly every time. This makes them more resilient against natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, which would cause things like doors or windows not fitting properly if they weren't assembled properly in advance.

They have been seen as restaurants and clubs.

As far as trends go, shipping containers are the latest and greatest.

They have been seen as restaurants and clubs in the past, but now they’ve taken on a life of their own. The trend is increasing rapidly, with some cities leading the pack while others lag behind.

They can be built more easily in some locations than traditional buildings.

When it comes to container construction, the ease of construction is one of the most attractive features. It's no secret that building a traditional building can be time consuming, and often requires multiple permits from local authorities. This can be especially true for high rises or other structures that reach into the sky.

Container buildings, on the other hand, are built to be impervious to natural disasters like earthquakes. They're also designed with reinforced steel frames and double walls that make them extremely resistant to hurricanes as well as fires caused by lightning strikes or electrical malfunctions (a very common occurrence in commercial properties).

Because they are so sturdy in terms of strength and durability, containers can be stacked up vertically without any issues related to weight distribution—something which would cause problems with traditional buildings due to their weight distribution requirements per square foot versus cubic foot metrics. When you add in how easy it is these days using software programs like AutoCAD or Revit which allow designers even an amateur level knowledge base access into these types of design tools; plus how inexpensive they've become over time since starting out at $4k per unit just 15 years ago...

They have some drawbacks.

But before you buy a shipping container, there are some issues to consider. For example, shipping containers are not suitable for all climates. Because they are made of steel, they can be damaged by rust and corrosion if exposed to the elements for too long. Additionally, many shipping containers have been used to transport chemicals, which means that they may contain harmful residues that can contaminate the surrounding environment or even pose a health risk to humans. Finally, considering the cost of purchasing or renting a shipping container—which ranges from $2,000–$3,000 in most cases—it is important to determine whether buying rather than leasing will save enough money over time to justify this expense.


As we’ve discussed in this post, shipping containers are a hot commodity in the commercial real estate market right now. We’ve outlined some of the reasons behind this trend, as well as some examples of how developers have been able to make awesome workspaces out of these repurposed materials. This is only one of many factors that are reshaping the way we think about office space today—but it’s definitely an exciting one!


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