A Guide to Converting Shipping Containers into Welfare Units

It is not always possible for every place to have a permanent welfare unit. This is especially the case if you in a location temporarily. Perhaps a building site, music festival, film location, or wedding venue. You could also need a welfare unit at a school or sports club.

A welfare unit will normally consist of a minimum of toilets and sinks, but will often also include separate urinals, showers, and sometimes resting and eating areas.

Considering the fact that they are often of a temporary nature, converted shipping containers are often chosen to create these welfare units. They are more cost-effective than building a temporary bricks and mortar building and can be picked up using a crane and moved to a new site once it has been finished with there.

Considerations for Converting a Shipping Container into a Welfare Unit

There are a number of regulations that need to be adhered to when it comes to welfare units – both regarding the circumstances under which you need to have one supplied, and also the regulations around the welfare unit itself.

If you are thinking about buying a container to convert into a welfare unit, some of the considerations that you need to think about include:

Welfare Unit Size

Depending on the number of people that you are supplying the welfare unit to, different sizes will be appropriate. Fortunately, there is a range of different-sized shipping containers available.

A 20ft shipping container, for example, can comfortably provide 4 hand basins, 4 toilets, and 3 urinals, with other options available.

Shipping containers are easily available in 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft as standard.

You can choose a stock welfare unit or create your own bespoke shipping container unit to suit your specific needs.

Layout

Internal and external personnel doors and windows can be fitted to the shipping container for ease of access, ventilation and to allow in natural light if required. You can also add container ramps to the doors for wheelchair access.

When it comes to designing the layout for your welfare unit, you have the flexibility to move things around as long as it fits with your water and electricity supply. Our specialist design team is always available to help out at this stage if you need it.

Insulation

The welfare unit needs to be well insulated if people are going to be spending any time in there. Due to the fact that it started out as a metal box, it can get very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Insulation, therefore, is essential to make it comfortable for staff or guests. An insulating lining can be added to the walls, ceiling, and floor of the shipping container to help to prevent these extremes of temperature. They can also be insulated using foam or mineral wool.

Water and Electricity

Water and electricity are essential for the safe working of your sanitary unit. Water is, of course, needed for the toilets, sinks, and showers to work properly. Electricity is needed for lighting, heating, and appliances to work as well as power points. Electrical packages can be installed during the fabrication process as well as plumbing systems that can then be plumbed in when it arrives on site.

Ventilation and Fans

Ventilation units and fans can also be installed during the fabrication process to ensure that it is safe to be in and at the correct pressure.

Painting and Decoration

Ensuring that your welfare unit looks right is vital. If you are hosting an upmarket event or wedding, for example, you will need to make sure that it looks just as beautiful as a bricks and mortar toilet. This means decorating the inside of the unit maybe with wallpaper, painting the ceiling, adding side tables, mirrors, adding cooking facilities, and so on. It is these finishing touches that can make the welfare unit more comfortable on the inside.

You could also consider professionally painting or cladding the outside of the unit to make it look inviting from the outside. You can also add company branding or any other exterior decoration that you wish.

Converting a shipping container lends itself perfectly to whatever size welfare unit that you are looking to build. They can be bought in a range of different dimensions and can be adapted in any way that you wish to create the ideal welfare unit for you.

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