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  October 23rd, 2020 | Written by

How Shipping Containers Can Be a Quick Storage and Office Space for Your Construction Site

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  • Shipping containers can be used in versatile ways in the construction industry.
  • Unlike steel, concrete, and modular buildings, shipping containers provide you the flexibility to customize every inch.
  • If used innovatively, there are infinite ways in which shipping containers can be configured for use.

Since all construction sites are temporary, the biggest need for any office or storage space is portability. But that is not all. Storage space on construction sites needs to be secure and durable. To have a professional workspace for your company, the office space on construction sites have to be comfortable with adequate heating and cooling facility and hygienic washrooms. You need a resting space for workers to recharge their batteries, and an area to have meetings with visitors.

Shipping containers or Conex containers are a growing trend in ‘cargotecture’ that has inspired designers and engineers to create attractive and useful buildings. Their use is widespread not only in the construction industry but also in education, healthcare, hotels and restaurants, student housing, manufacturing, agriculture, and more.

Types of Containers for the Construction Industry

Shipping containers can be used in versatile ways in the construction industry. However, some of the most common and popular uses are:

Storage containers/ sheds – Construction sites often have expensive machines and computers which cannot be left in the open or in unsecured enclosures because they can be easily stolen. Wooden sheds are not enough. Steel containers with a secure locking system can help keep the equipment safe. Containers with high-security lockboxes are useful where the equipment is very expensive and additional security is required. Shipping containers can also be used to store oil and fuel safely to prevent any leakages or accidents.

Office containers – Shipping containers are the right solution for on-site temporary offices with a built-in HVAC system. They can be customized to be used as private offices, conference spaces, and waiting rooms for visitors.

Temporary housing – At times the worker staff needs to remain on-site 24/7 for special needs. It is not recommended to sleep in the open or in any other unsafe space. Shipping containers can be a great solution for providing temporary yet comfortable housing space to this staff. They can also be equipped with hygienic toilets.

Office and storage combo containers – These convertible shipping containers are ideal for those construction sites where there isn’t enough space. Combo shipping containers can be used both as storage spaces and offices with HVACs and R-11 insulated walls and ceilings.

Recreation containers – Construction site workers need breaks. It is unsafe to sit among rubble of machines and tools or in any other unsafe place. Shipping containers can be converted into recreational rooms and sleeper cabins for site workers to take breaks.

Using Containers for On-site Offices

Steel containers are extremely sturdy with high structural integrity, making them durable in harsh construction sites. On average, shipping containers retain their durability for up to 25 years. They can withstand up to 60,000 pounds of pressure thus keeping any equipment or personnel safe from accidents caused by falling items.

20 ft. and 40 ft. shipping containers are ideal for on-site offices for project managers, logistics managers, architects, contractors, procurement and store manager, and other on-site personnel. They can be easily stacked or arranged side-by-side and connected to form large office spaces with an industrial lift or a staircase. Shipping containers can be a hygienic alternative to chemical toilets which can get very messy with time. It can be fitted with plumbing for shower blocks, sinks and taps, water storage tanks, and waste disposal units.

Since office containers come with pre-fitted lighting, electricity hookups, telephone, and internet accessibility, charging units, and windows it is very convenient to just assemble them onsite.

Construction site offices can also be extended to have an emergency medical aid facility for injuries caused on-site. Shipping containers can easily be converted into first aid centers with basic medical facilities, HVAC systems, hot and cold-water supply, examination beds, and other medical supplies.

Using Containers for On-site Storage

There is a range of items that need to be securely stored on construction sites for which shipping containers are an ideal solution. It includes expensive tools, machines, computer hardware and sensitive documents. These items cannot be left unsecured as they can either be stolen or destroyed leading to big financial losses. Containers used for storage can also be doubled up as on-site workshops with a separator door. They can be used for small tasks to maximize the usage of the space.

Shipping containers can be modified with lighting, high-security doors, and shelving to store tools and machines. They can also be temperature controlled with HVAC systems and equipped with ramps and rollup doors to store weather-sensitive items such as wooden doors, windows, steel bars, glass, paint, and cement.

Steel shipping containers are designed to weather the harsh conditions at sea. They can certainly save the equipment from fire, vandalism, theft accidental damage, and helps easy sorting, loading and unloading. They come in 10 ft., 20 ft., 24 ft., and 40 ft. sizes with simple and high-security lockbox options for your specific needs.

Containers can also store flammable fuel and oil safely on construction sites. They can be converted into a COSHH store with taps, venting systems, removable floors, and drip trays to safety store the fuel.

Benefits of Shipping Containers at Construction Sites

Customization – Unlike steel and concrete and modular buildings, shipping containers provide you the flexibility to customize every inch. You can add single or double doors, windows, ramps, roll-up shutters, interior accessories, shelves, electrical and plumbing units, and much more. The sturdy steel frame of shipping containers also allows them to be stacked on top of each other to assemble and disassemble multi-story buildings. The buildings can also be equipped with industrial lifts, ramps, scaffolding, and staircases for easy access. Such a level of customization at an affordable price can seldom be achieved via permanent construction of modular buildings.

Durability – Shipping containers are designed with highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and reinforced steel with a shelf life of 25 years on an average. They can easily bear the harsh environment of a construction site while providing a safe enclosure to your tools, machines, and personnel from any falling objects.

Cost-effective – Having a permanent or temporary office of steel and concrete can be more expensive than a steel container. Moreover, it takes more time to get a permanent structure up and running. With steel containers you can quickly assemble the structure you need at an effective monthly fee. When the construction is over, the building can be quickly taken down and containers returned to the service provider.

Portability – Since shipping containers come pre-fabricated they can be easily moved around the construction site and relocated if required. This is impossible with a fixed steel and concrete construction.


Keeping in mind the durability, versatility, cost-effectiveness and mobility of shipping containers, they are an ideal solution for every construction site. You can quickly set up the building you need that follows the required state and federal safety laws and OSHA guidelines. If used innovatively, there are infinite ways in which shipping containers can be configured for use at a construction site.