For many businesses, a plant room is a vital part of their operations. Whether it is somewhere that looks after their server and IT equipment, battery storage, air ventilation systems, or water treatment systems, having somewhere to house this equipment and machinery is essential.
Plant rooms can be noisy, and many businesses try to keep them separate from the rest of their offices, workshops, etc. And this is why more and more are considering using a converted shipping container for their plant room.
To answer the question, you can use a shipping container as a plant room, as long as it has had some modifications.
Designing a Shipping Container Plant Room
If you are considering converting a shipping container into a plant room, there are several factors that you need to consider. It is important that the construction is safe and effective regardless of what you are using it for.
A shipping container is designed to be sturdy, robust, and withstand the pressures of sea travel, but when it comes to using it as a construction material, the most important thing is that it gives you a high degree of flexibility over its design. It is, in essence, a metal box that can be adapted in an infinite number of ways.
Regardless of the purpose of your plant room, there are several things to think about, including:
Although you might not have staff that will be directly working inside the plant room, it is important that there is access for maintenance and repairs when it is needed. Shipping containers can be adapted to have personnel doors fitted to make access easier – or larger doors to enable larger machinery to be taken in and out.
Ramps can also be fitted to aid in getting machinery in and out.
One of the most useful things about using a shipping container is the amount of flexibility that there is over the size of the construction. To start with, you can buy a shipping container within a range of different sizes. Standard shipping container sizes can range from 10ft x 8ft x 8ft 6in to 40ft x 8ft x 9ft 6in.
In addition to this, two or more containers can be joined together side by side, or on top of each other to create a larger space to house your plant.
A bonus to using converted shipping containers is that they can easily be expanded if you have space. If your need for space in the plant room grows, you can easily add another shipping container to enable it to expand – as long as you have space!
It is essential that the internal environment of your plant room is well controlled and optimum for your plant. Some plant rooms require cooling systems, others need excellent ventilation, others need very low humidity levels. Using a shipping container allows you to well control this environment through ventilation systems, heating, and cooling systems, insulating lining and moisture traps, and drying crystals.
Electrical and lighting packages can also be installed to run the machines as well as give you lighting for when personnel are inside the room.
It is vital that only authorised people can get inside your plant room. It is important, therefore, that the room is secure and lockable, protected not only from unauthorised people but also elements such as bad weather. A shipping container has been built specially to withstand temperature extremes, wind, and rain, but also thieves and vandals.
Your shipping container plant room can also be protected with a secure locking system to help to protect its contents and ensure that only those who should be in there can get in.
Some plant rooms can be noisy places, and if they are close to other areas where people are living or working, it can be very distracting. A plant room made from a converted shipping container can also be soundproofed to ensure that only minimal sound can be heard from the outside.
In addition to this, the mobile nature of a shipping container means that the plant room can be located wherever you wish, ensuring that it is as effective as it can be without being overly disruptive.
Due to the fact that a shipping container is made for storage, its empty interior means that the inside of your plant room can be designed in any way that you like. This means that you can fit non-slip floors, racking or shelving, storage, or separate sections according to your needs.
Although it is important that the interior of the shipping container plant room is right for its purpose, it is also important that it looks the part from the outside. Shipping containers can be painted professionally or clad to ensure that it fits in. You can also think about adding company branding to really make it blend in.