7 Unique Buildings Made From Repurposed Shipping Containers

According to Wikipedia, there are approximately seventeen million intermodal freight containers (A.K.A. shipping containers) in the world. Yes, you read that right. We're talking about the big metal rectangles that travel on the backs of semi-trucks, trains, and ships to transport goods across cities, states, countries, even oceans. Today, we want to talk a little bit about the second life these industrial containers have been getting after their "retirement". The recycling and repurposing of shipping containers, known as "Cargotecture," isn't exactly news. For years now, they've been used to build to homes, commercial buildings, and housing additions. Today, we're taking a look at a few ways some brilliant people and companies have repurposed shipping containers.

 General Motors is collaborating with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, which takes vacant land and repurposes it for better use. GM has built Detriot's first homestead made of recycled materials. The home (pictured in an artist's rendering above) will be occupied by a college student studying urban agriculture. The student conducting the urban farm study will serve as caretaker and will maintain the farmland around the property.


Seven colorful containers found new life as a library in Batu, Indonesia. The library is home to 6,000 books, and each of the containers acts as a different section. The green one is the main lobby, the red houses science and technology texts, the blue has entertainment books, and the yellow acts as a women's reading room. One of the best parts? These containers were only about $820 each.


Starbucks erected a drive-through cafe in Tukwila, Washington from four containers, which equals about 450 square feet of interior space. The space is enough to house three baristas in an area comparable to the size of the working area in a regular Starbucks store. We applaud large companies who come up with unique ways to increase sustainability and reduce environmental and operating costs.


This Ecopod pied-a-terre in Toronto acts as a mini retreat built to function off the grid. With flooring made from recycled rubber and thermal insulation consisting of soy-based products, this Ecopod is truly eco-friendly.


You'd probably never guess upon first glance that the Redondo Beach House in Manhattan Beach, California, is fabricated from eight shipping containers. This is a shining example of how repurposed containers don't have to give a home an industrial look. This elegant, clean-looking beach house has even won coveted architectural awards.


Les Grandes Tables, a restaurant in Paris, has been designed to maximize light and air and also contains a greenhouse and garden, which provides the chef with fresh produce. The construction of this restaurant complements the sustainability focus on sourcing organiz food and wines from renewable resources.


 Container-based construction isn't limited to residential and commercial buildings. Israeli architect Yoav Messer is in the final design stages of his Ecotainer Bridge which will be located in Ariel Sharon Park in Israel, an urban nature park centered on environmental ecology and sustainability.


Do you have any experience with repurposed shipping containers? What other brilliant examples have you seen of this unique type of architecture?


Customer vs. Client in South Carolina Real Estate

Do you know what the difference is between a customer and a client in South Carolina real estate? Read below to find out how your level of representation changes when you decide to sign a written agency agreement with an SC real estate agent.


What's going on this week in Charleston?

What's going on this week in Charleston?

May 7 - May 14

We are so fortunate to live in a city where there is something fun happening nearly every day of the year. This is what Charleston has to offer this week.

Wednesday May 7

  • Arts Festival Art Walk
    5-8 p.m. @ Park Circle 

Friday May 9

  • 44th Annual Greek Fest
    Greek Orthodox Church downtown

  • Free Friday
    5-8 p.m. @ Children's Museum of the Lowcounty 

  • Party at the Point
    5:30 p.m. @ Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

  • Movies in the Square (Feat. Monsters University) 
    6 p.m. @ Marion Square

  • Joe Zimmerman (Comedian)
    10 p.m. @ Theater 99 downtown

Saturday May 10

  • Bird Walk
    8 a.m. @ Dill Sanctuary

  • Leslie McCravy Memorial 5K Run/ Walk
    8 a.m. @ Folly Beach

  • Mom's Run + Family Fun Day
    8:30 a.m. @ Blackbaud Stadium 

  • Charleston Urban Growers Coalition - Greenhearts Workshop
    9:30 - 11:30 a.m. @ Mitchell Elementary School 

  • Taking Flight Comic Book Show
    Noon - 5 p.m. @ The Sparrow

  • Film Making Workshop With Bobby Putka
    3 p.m. @ Olde Village Community Center

  • River Dogs vs. Sand Gnats 
    6:05 p.m. @ Joe Riley Stadium

  • Hansel & Gretel 
    7- 8:30 p.m. @ Northwoods Baptist Church

  • Charleston Battery vs. Wilmington Hammerheads
    7:30 p.m. @ Blackbaud Stadium

Sunday May 11

  • Mother's Day Plantation Paddle 
    Hampton Plantation State Historic Site


For more information and up coming events please visit Charleston Events



What Does Buying a House Cost?

Buying a house is a huge investment, so when you go into the homebuying process, it's important to know just how much you can expect to pay. If you aren't sure about the costs that are involved in a real estate transaction, we've put together a quick guide for you below. In addition to your new home's purchase price, you should expect the following costs of buying a home:

Earnest money. When a conctract is written, the buyer presents earnest money to show their serious intent to buy the home. There is no set amount for earnest money, and it sometimes depends on the purchase price of the home, but a typical amount tends to be somewhere around $1,000.

Down payment. The down payment depends on the type of loan you secure, but you always have the option to make a larger down payment than is required. 

Home inspection. This is a very important step in buying a house, as it may reveal issues that need to be resolved prior to closing. In fact, many contracts are contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection. A home inspection typically runs from $300 to $500. Make sure to get a few quotes before you decide on who to hire.

Appraisal. The cost of an appraisal may be wrapped up in the closing costs. Your lender will choose who to order the appraisal from, but you pay the fee, which should be around $300 or $400.

Closing costs. Expect to pay anywhere from 2% to 7% of the purchase price in closing costs. Every transaction is different, and closing costs are definitely no exception to that rule. You might have to pay 100% of your closing costs, or the seller might contribute as well. Charges included in the closing costs vary, but a few examples are:

  • Credit report
  • Loan origination fee
  • Attorney's fees
  • Discount points
  • Appraisal fee
  • Title insurance
  • Title search
  • Escrow deposit
  • Recording fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • Taxes and insurance

If you have questions or apprehension about exactly what you need to be prepared to bring to the table, talk to your lender. They're always ready with a wealth of knowledge and reassurance.

Happy buying!





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