Are Modified Shipping Container Homes Eco-Friendly?

Clever layout architectural design gives shipping containers a surprising amount of available space

Philip Clark first invented the modified shipping container in 1987. Clark filed a patent for converting steel shipping containers into a habitable building. It’s hard to believe that this method has been around for 35 years and is only just starting to become a popular name. 

The “tiny house” movement is gaining momentum, and the perks of sustainability very likely have a role to play. This blog will look at the features of a shipping container home and judge whether or not they are an environmentally-friendly option. 

When Did Shipping Container Homes Become Popular? 

Shipping container homes were not created to be fun and whimsy. The history of these homes comes from poor infrastructure and the surplus of shipping containers. Thanks to their robust build and portable nature, these containers can range in size from 10 ft, 20 ft to 40 ft, and all can contribute to building a brand new home. 

Shipping Containers Are Sitting In The Middle of Nowhere

According to the Cambridge University Press, over 3 billion shipping containers are manufactured every year. While this means there must be so many shipping containers travelling the world, there is an unfortunate problem of them being left at their destination. 

Sadly, transporting empty containers is very expensive, and few companies believe in sending them back. This results in a heavy surplus of shipping containers sitting at major destinations. Conversely, many nations in the world are in a shortage of containers; certain countries have stockpiled theirs, which do nothing but gather dust.

A shipping container may be of no use to some, but it can be a ticket to sustainable and effective housing for an innovative mind. 

Easier on the Environment and Easier on your Wallet

With more and more people doing their part for climate change, repurposing materials has only become more common. Shipping containers have a lot of recycling possibilities due to their robust steel frames. The steel can be cut, shaped and welded into any shape or form. 

Much of your time is already saved, thanks to the existing shape and size of containers. With options ranging 10 ft, 20 ft and 40 ft containers, the ability to design and craft your dream home is in your hands. In addition, these homes are easily customised thanks to their malleable material, making them perfect modular buildings. 

Those looking for their first home should invest in a container home due to its sustainable nature and less-expensive materials. Something as simple as a 20 ft shipping container for sale in NZ could be the first block to your dream home. 

Are Modified Shipping Container Homes Energy-Efficient? 

The energy expenditure of repurposing a shipping container into a home is relatively low compared to traditional homes. Containers can also be insulated and fortified with other materials to allow for a solid structure. Thanks to their smaller design, the energy needed to power one of these homes ongoing would also be fractional compared to the conventional house. 

These days, shipping container homes are made from more than one container. In recent years, many architects and designers have jumped on the “tiny house” train, providing architectural solutions to these building blocks. Sustainable fixtures and appliances installed in these homes appease the eco-friendly residents within. 

Sustainable features would include: 

  • High levels of floor and ceiling insulation
  • Polyurethane foam insulation & ceramic coating 
  • Insulated panelling 
  • Eco-friendly paint, sealants and adhesives 


At ContainerCo, we pride ourselves on providing an extensive range of shipping containers for hire or purchase. Our range of 10ft, 20ft and 40ft containers can be used for various purposes, including shipment, storage or construction, to name a few. Featuring more than just containers in our product range, we also sell accessories and parts for shipping containers to ensure your container can be maintained and repaired after prolonged use. 

Offering specialised containers along with dry standard variations, ContainerCo’s containers include refrigerated, dangerous goods, high-ball, open-top and side-opening options. As a fully-established shipping container company, we also have the facilities to modify purchased shipping containers. Our specialised team can assist you with altering containers into workspaces, cafes, tiny homes or construction site offices. 

We can serve Kiwis across the country with facilities operating in Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, Wellington and Waikato. So next time you require a shipping container, make sure to hire or buy yours at ContainerCo today! 

Contact us on 0508 732 873 or request a free online quote today!

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