There is an infinite number of ways that shipping containers can be used in society, but one of the major ways that they are contributing is through their use in the health industry. From temporary COVID testing centres to temporary and portable hospital buildings, shipping containers are an excellent option.
Buying a shipping container and converting it into a hospital building, for example, is easy and can be done quickly. This is especially useful when hospitals are under strain – and need to expand and contract at short notice. Converted shipping containers offer a quick and easy solution that is cost-effective and they can be delivered to the site ready to go.
A shipping container is essentially a durable and secure metal box, but the beauty of it is that it can be converted into a building with just a few adaptations. This can be done offsite, being delivered to the site when it is complete.
How can Shipping Containers be Used by the Health Industry?
There are many ways that shipping containers can be, are, and have been used in the health industry, including:
- They can be converted into a portable, temporary building such as a consultant’s room if there is insufficient capacity in the hospital building – whilst building work is being carried out, for example
- We saw COVID overflow hospitals being built out of shipping containers in China at great speed and low expense
- COVID or other virus testing centres are something that we are likely to be seeing more of, and a converted shipping container is an excellent option for a mobile and portable testing centre
- Shipping containers can be converted easily into staff changing and sanitary areas
- Staff canteens are another common use for customised shipping containers
- The safe and secure storage of documents and medical equipment, offering easy access and excellent protection from the weather
- The safe and secure storage of hazardous chemicals and sharps, being easy to lock securely and difficult to break into
Converting a Shipping Container
The process of converting a shipping container into a building to be used by the health industry is a similar process to designing and building a building, except that it can be done quicker, less expensively, and off-site.
The first step is to decide where the building is to go. You need to ensure that it has a solid base to be placed on – a concrete base such as in a car park or railway sleepers are excellent options. The space must also be easily accessible for our large delivery truck.
You can then choose the size of the shipping container that you want to convert. There are generally three sizes – 40ft, 20ft, and 10ft in length, at 8ft 6in high, or the high cube version which is 12 inches higher. These shipping containers can also be attached either horizontally, side-by-side, or vertically stacked on top of each other.
You can work with our expert design team to create your perfect conversion and our specialised computer-aided design technology can help with this process and allow you to get a 3D image of how the finished product will look.
There are several adjustments that you can make to the original shipping container, from special linings to create the perfect environment in your building, to the addition of electricity and water, windows, ramps for wheelchair access, and built-in container racking. We also offer a professional painting service, allowing you to choose how it looks and even brand it if you wish.
Once that the building has been completed in the workshop it can then be delivered to site where you can begin to use it straight away.
There are hundreds of ways that a shipping container can offer a solution for short-term and semi-permanent healthcare requirements. They are easy to adapt to healthcare situations and a cost-effective answer to a plethora of building dilemmas.