Classrooms, Offices and Bathrooms: Shipping Container Industry Evolves Amid Coronavirus
From shrink-wrap coverings to prefab bathrooms to portable shipping containers: these all represent the new normal as the construction industry makes adjustments to adapt to safety protocols demanded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Builders are facing a lot of challenges lately, ranging from project cancellations to slowdowns in available supplies and labor. The health crisis also took a bite out of the industry’s employment base. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country’s construction sector added 158,000 jobs in June, yet employment was still down by about 472,000 jobs since February.
The industry is certainly going to look different going forward.
Making the Changes
There’s a big demand for materials that can be cleaned easily and that do not absorb bacteria and viruses, to be installed in high-traffic areas, such as restrooms, lobbies and corridors. One anti-microbial product works like a shrink wrap, whereby you can place it on door handles and it will last six months, killing germs on contact. This is one inexpensive retrofit.
Other, bigger solutions have been in development for some time now, and that’s an increase in off-site production of building components like bathrooms and panelized wall systems, designed to cut the risk of workers being in close proximity on a job site. When these components are manufactured off site in a controlled environment, they can be fabricated and delivered to the site.
School systems are investing a lot in the portable container industry now as well, where shipping cargo containers are getting a new lease on life as classrooms. This solution is quick and mobile. Plus, they can be easily heated in the winter months – a real challenge to the existing solution of using tents outdoors.
Portable shipping containers remain an affordable storage solution for school assets like sports equipment and laptops. They’re easy to relocate and secure, plus they help high schools, colleges, and universities scale up the resources available for students.
Modifications for school storage include:
- Lockers and benches
- Custom racks for weights and other athletic equipment
- Overhead roll-up doors
- Personnel doors
- Overhead lighting
- Climate control
Containers can be used for a multitude of purposes, such as classroom overflow, lunchrooms, locker rooms, equipment sheds, garages for riding mowers, and school and sports field storage.
Pre-fabricated interior and exterior walls are being utilized for multiple-story healthcare buildings and medical offices. Pre-fabricated walls are also being used on balconies and in home offices where space is at a premium and privacy is needed. For example, those who are living in small apartments or studios with no private open space and no balconies can use pre-fabricated panels to go outside, read a book, have a glass of wine, or just relax in privacy.
Balconies are becoming a necessity in multi-family developments, along with rooftop decks and outside fitness areas where people can still gather while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Floor plans can easily be adjusted to better accommodate the many people who are still working from home during the pandemic. Instead of a traditional two-bedroom arrangement, more units are in demand with one bedroom and an office area, for example.
Contact Dry Box
Whether you want portable office space, refrigerated units or portable containers for school buildings, we have the solution. Get a free quote now when you contact us at 866-549-9823.