Businesses have good reason to think about their environmental footprint. According to polls from Gallup, 66% of Americans have purchased a product because they thought it would be better for the environment, and 72% of Americans reported that an employer’s environmental track record was a factor in choosing a work place. Plus, governments are now encouraging businesses to build sustainably through tax credits. Considering all the incentives to go green, we’ve decided to revisit how shipping container structures can help organizations meet their sustainability goals.
Our research found that single-unit shipping containers can be an environmentally friendly option for three key reasons:
1) Recycled materials and long-term reuse
Using recycled containers means the walls, frame, and flooring of the structure are made recycled steel. Reusing the container at multiple job sites for many years may also prevent the construction of new structures.
2) Off-site modular construction
Because Falcon knows precisely how much of each material is needed to retrofit a shipping container, we minimize waste.
3) Minimal site preparation
Producing concrete for a building’s foundation is carbon intensive. According to the United Nations Environment Program, every pound of concrete manufactured produces one pound of carbon emissions. Wherever there is dry, flat and level ground, businesses can place a container directly on the ground and prevent thousands of pounds of carbon emissions.
If sustainability is a high priority for a business, we recommend modifying a recycled container as opposed to a one-trip container whenever possible. One-trip containers tend to have fewer dents and scuffs because they have transported cargo only once—hence the name, “one-trip.” To be clear, they are built to the same stringent standards as is every other container, but some feel that the short freighting careers of one-trip containers makes calling them recycled disingenuous. While one-trip containers still benefit from minimal site-prep and the potential for decades of reuse, we agree that recycled containers will always be the greener option.
Needless to say, there are many aspects to consider when businesses search for greener choices. To gain a fuller understanding of the environmental benefits of shipping containers check out “Shipping Container Structures: An Eco-Friendly Business Choice.” This guide discusses other key topics such as tax credits and energy efficiency. We firmly believe that shipping container structures have a place in the green building movement when organizations leverage their potential for reuse and mobility.