Case Study

Custom Storage Containers for Rare Books

Protecting High-Value Books & Manuscripts

LogoFunke Books researches, buys, and sells high-value rare books. The company has to store their inventory in an environment designed to protect and preserve the aging paper and bindings, as some of the books were printed as long ago as the 1500s. The owner, Mark Funke, was paying rent on multiple storage locations. Mark wanted to consolidate his inventory and store it in a large barn on his property. However, an open and drafty barn is obviously not a safe storage space for antiquarian books. Mark had to find a way to convert the barn into an environment that was safe for his inventory. That’s when he found Falcon Structures. 



Key Challenges

Create a Precise Storage Environment Within an Existing Structure

Mark considered traditional construction, but his property is in a rural area, which increases the cost. Specialty contractors were located several hours away. His cost analysis showed that if he opted for modular construction, it would be less than an on-site build out. 

With shipping containers in mind, Mark decided his company could essentially store its inventory in a building within another building. But an unmodified container wouldn’t work. Rare books and manuscripts like those at Funke Books can easily be damaged by moisture and extreme temperatures. To properly store these items, Mark needed a space that was well insulated on all sides, had heating and cooling, and electrical wiring to run dehumidifiers. 

Customized Shipping Containers for Rare Book Storage

Falcon Structures partnered with Mark to customize two of our climate-controlled storage container floor plans to meet his company’s needs. Because insulation is of the utmost importance for storing rare books, we swapped traditional batt insulation for spray foam insulation on all six sides of both containers, including under the floors. The climate control will maintain an ideal temperature in all seasons. We added extra outlets so he could run dehumidifiers as needed. As a final touch, Mark had us paint the exteriors a fun John Deere green. 

Once Falcon shipped the two finished containers, Mark hired a local crane company to move them into his barn. He says one of the advantages of using containers is flexibility. If he decides to use the barn in another way, the containers can easily be removed and still be completely weatherproof wherever they go. 

Because Funke Books frequently buys and sells collections of rare books, one of their largest business costs has always been storage. Now, Mark has plenty of customized storage space for his growing business, and he estimates Funke Books will recuperate the cost of the containers in less than three years. 


The Solution


Key Features Include

  • Two 20-foot containers
  • Spray foam insulation on all six sides, including under container
  • Insulation covered with ¼” wood paneling
  • Climate control
  • Coin vinyl flooring
  • Personnel door
  • 3’x3’ window
  • 12”x12” utility port
  • Extra outlets
  • John Deere green exterior paint