If you are looking to convert a shipping container into anything from a modular accommodation unit to a bespoke restaurant, it can be difficult for the client to visualise it. It can also be useful for the designers to understand exactly how it will function and flow. For this reason, computer-aided design technology is used by our designers when they are designing bespoke shipping container conversions.
Computer-aided design – or CAD – is software that helps to design constructions by enabling them to visualise and analyse it before it is actually constructed. Computerised models are produced in either 2D or 3D for ease of visualisation. It means that prototypes aren’t necessarily needed and can help designers to avoid costly mistakes and damage.
Designing a Plant Room
Converting a shipping container into a plant room can be a very simple process, but it can also be very complicated depending on the specific requirements of the plant room. If you are planning on housing batteries, water treatment rooms, or equipment that needs excellent ventilation, for example, CAD can play a major part in its design to ensure that it works as it is intended.
The specifications of a plant room can be very particular with many elements to consider at the same time, and this is where CAD technology can really come into its own.
CAD can help designers to visualise dimensions, processes, materials, and tolerances.
Converted Shipping Container Plant Room
Converted shipping containers make excellent plant rooms. The fact that there is such a degree of flexibility over their design capabilities means that they are the perfect solution to a plant room. There is also flexibility over where they can be located and are more environmentally friendly than a bricks and mortar building. Shipping container plant rooms can also be expanded as and well you wish to, making them an excellent option.
Some of the design considerations that you need to think about when a plant room is being designed with CAD include:
- Location – Where the plant room needs to be located – both in terms of its function as well as any noise causing disruption or distraction. You should also think about the potential for expansion and getting equipment in and out of the room. Shipping containers can be found in a range of different sizes and can also be joined together initially or gradually over time to expand the size.
- Materials – the construction material is important in the building of a plant room. It needs to enable you to create the optimum environment inside the room, keeping room temperatures balanced, humidity at the correct levels, and ensuring that the air circulates properly with adequate ventilation. CAD technology can be particularly useful for this aspect. You should also make sure that the room is fire resistant and able to properly protect both its contents from the outside and vice versa. Shipping containers are made from strong and durable metal meaning that it is fire resistant and also can ensure that the contents are well-protected.
- Interior walls – although the outside walls are vital in the protection of the plant room, its interior walls also need to be able to withstand minor impacts, avoiding any potential damage. With a shipping container, lining can be applied to the internal walls to help to protect it as well as to be used to attach storage such as racking or any other items to the walls.
- Electrical and lighting systems need to be carefully considered. They should be appropriate for the use of the shipping container plant room, whether it is in the placement of the wiring system, placement of plug sockets, proximity to chemicals or water, or other considerations that need to be made.
- There are other health and safety aspects that need to be accommodated into the design of the shipping container plant room, including the fitting of slip-resistant flooring, eliminating trip hazards, the distance between machines, and other aspects.
- If you are fitting windows to the plant room, you should ensure that equipment is not visible to those who are outside looking in, to help to prevent break-ins and vandalism. Likewise, doors need to be lockable with a secure locking system – and fire doors are recommended.
- If you have a plant room that is noisy, you can also use CAD technology to develop effective soundproofing solutions – from wall linings to outer cladding.
When it comes to designing plant rooms, CAD technology is the key to ensuring that it is safe and effective whilst being more cost-effective than building several prototypes.