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Turning Your Unit into A Laboratory Research Facility

  • Conversion
27th May 2021

There are many reasons why converting cargo boxes into laboratory research facilities can be an effective solution for your needs. It may be, for example, that you are researching into climate change and need a facility that is mobile or can be put in remote locations. It might be that you are trying to develop a vaccine at short notice and need somewhere to do this. Or it might be that you need some overflow space for your business to research into a new product. A converted unit can be the ideal solution to all of these situations.

Shipping containers are essentially large metal boxes that are used to transport cargo from place to place. They are excellent as a construction material, allowing us to join two or more shipping containers together to create the perfect size building as well as to adapt them to give them all of the features that you would need – and expect – in a laboratory research facility.

In addition to this, converted shipping containers are mobile – although they are heavy, they can be moved with a crane to different places and an environmentally-friendly option compared to building a bricks and mortar construction. Converted shipping containers are excellent temporary or semi-permanent constructions that can be useful in a whole host of different situations.

Container Adaptations

Every laboratory research facility is different, each with its own different requirements. These ‘small’ differences can be easily accommodated in a bespoke conversion. However, there are also some adaptations that would be needed on a more general level. To create a laboratory research facility, you will need to consider factors including:

Size and Layout

The size of the laboratory needs to be the first consideration, along with its layout. You might wish to incorporate separate rooms, kitchens, and sanitary facilities, for example. You should replace the large original opening on the unit with a smaller personnel door that can be easily opened and closed, and windows can also be installed.

Internal Environment

If you are intending to have people working inside the laboratory, it needs to be made to be habitable. This means, for example, ensuring that the inside temperature does not get too warm or too cold. This can be achieved with lining and insulation. You might also need to ensure that the lab has the right humidity levels and ventilation for the activities that are being carried out within it.

Secure and Weatherproof

One of the most important aspects of your bespoke design is to ensure that it is secure from thieves, vandals, and any other unauthorised people. The metal construction means that it is already sturdy and robust – originally designed to withstand the forces of nature whilst at sea or on land, so they should be able to cope with extremes in temperatures.

If you have windows installed in the lab, these can be double glazed, and secure locking systems added to the doors.

Electricity and Lighting

It is important that the lab has adequate lighting for the activities that are being carried out in it. You will almost certainly require other power sources as well, and these electricity and lighting packages can be installed in your unit during the bespoke fabrication process.


There will be several features that you will almost certainly need to have fitted in the lab facility. These could include non-slip flooring, water sources and sinks, resin-based worktops, racking for organised storage, and specialised equipment.


It might be important that your lab also looks the part. Maybe you don’t want it to stand out in a natural environment, or maybe you do want it to stand out. Or maybe you would prefer to have your company branding on the exterior of the facility. This can all be arranged with professional painting, ensuring that it looks just how you envisaged it to look.

If you are looking for a laboratory research facility that is mobile, eco-friendly, and that you want design flexibility with, then a shipping container conversion could be the perfect solution.

Our specialist design team is on hand to guide you through the design and manufacturing process until the minute that your new laboratory facility is delivered to the site. They use the latest CAD technology to not only ensure that the lab facility is safe and effective to use, but also to give you accurate 3D images of how it will look and work.

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