Shipping container modification has become a trend because of the durability, reliability, and portability that shipping containers offer. With the ability to add in doors and windows amongst other amenities in both new and old containers, they can easily be concerted to home offices or extra on-site space for training rooms and the like.

Shipping container offices or workspaces are a cost-effective option for temporary or semi-permanent site offices. Container offices are market leaders due to the insulation, ventilation and air-conditioning properties making them a viable workspace.

Building a Shipping Container Office (Modifications)

Do you know that a shipping container office, whether a home or site office, does not require as much work as other building structures? However, you have to keep the following things in mind for the modification of containers into office space.

Selection of A Suitable Container

The selection of a suitable container is the first and foremost responsibility of the owner. Usually, 10ft 20ft containers are ideal for home offices and 40ft containers are suitable for worksites mining sites. You can use both old and new containers for making offices. A used container will cost you lower but will require a little wear and tear. The experts prefer using used shipping containers for construction sites. However, remember that the condition of the container will hardly affect or resist modifications.

MEP Considerations

After you have purchased a container for conversion into an office space, you have to look for MEP considerations. Usually, the infill system of containers consists of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. Due to limited available space, you may face challenges during modification. Always use an internal frame to support electrical and plumbing components.

HVAC Integration

Whether you intend to make work from home office or site office, an HVAC system is a basic need for modifying a container because it makes containers habitable. However, you have to keep in mind the office space and surrounding temperature for the selection of a suitable heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system. For example, you can install window AC units and duct systems to ensure the easy flow of air to the compartments. Rooftop vents are another cost-effective option to control the inflow of air. Similarly, you can also use exhaust fans to regulate airflow in and out of the container.

Proper Insulation

Most people know that containers are made for shipping purposes and not for home or office transportable buildings. However, with a few modifications these containers can become habitable. Insulation is the primary modification made to portable buildings saving the interior from moisture and rust. When modifying your container, you can choose the most suitable insulation for your office space, however, insulation panels are the most popular due to being cost-effective.


Painting the container is often necessary for conversion into a home or commercial office. While it is more necessary with used containers than new containers, you may still like to have the container painted to help your business stand out, painting it in your brands’ colours. Painting will also help prevent rust in the container. This is a technical job that requires the old paint to be removed, and then repainted.

Lighting and Windows

Like all office spaces, shipping container site offices are a better work environment when they have sufficient lighting. You can ensure natural light flows through to your new workspace through the installation of windows and skylights, and these are economical options. You can also include more traditional lighting through your container giving you the additional light you need.

Transportation of Shipping Container Offices

Once your shipping container has had its modifications done, you will need to have your container transported to your locations. A truck is often the most convenient form of transportation, particularly if you aren’t having your container transported far. Containers can also be transported via train and then transported onto truck for those who live a fair distance from the container yard.

Remember that transportation of small containers like 10ft 20ft is easier and cheaper as compared to the shipping of 40ft containers.

Benefits of Shipping Container Offices

Shipping container offices offer more benefits than building office structures, including:

  • Portable and spacious.
  • Eco-friendly and customisable
  • Secure
  • Durable
  • Convenient and cost-effective

If you need additional workspace, whether permanently or temporary, the team at Shipping Containers Adelaide can help you choose the right container for your needs. Give us a call to discuss the type of container office and modifications that you need to make your working life a little easier.