Insulated Shipping Containers

Want to build using containers but not have the hassle of insulating them?

Too easy! Consider buying pre insulated shipping containers.

A few things you should know though, before spending your money…

Interior of insulated container conversion.

More on this project..

Why Spend the Extra Money on an Insulated Container?

Insulated storage containers can have an R value of anywhere between R2 and R7, depending on the type of insulation that has been used. In terms of thickness this insulation can vary between 25-100mm (1 inch – 3inches)

If you’re thinking about buying an insulated ISO container it pays to know the different types of insulation used, and whether you are getting a container that can actually be used as a building block.

It is both the different insulation materials used and their thickness that will influence the R rating and usually the price.

You'll need to take note in the condition of the container, and that it  has not been too badly damaged (during its working life) and had the integrity of the insulation compromised.

See this example of an insulated shipping container being converted into a home office


Internal wall thickness insulated container conversion

Insulation Types Used in Containers

There are three main types of insulation, and when you are purchasing a container it pays to know the difference..

  • EPS Containers have been insulated with expanded polystyrene (also called styrofoam) – what they use to package new tvs, and other more fragile items in boxes, lowest R value

  • PUR polyurethane – higher initial cost than EPS, comes with higher R value and increased rigidity

  • Vacuum insulated containers – highest insulation value for products requiring super insulation. These containers are generally for the movement of cryogenic bulk liquids and not suitable for building applications.

*Note - Think about how much you are going to be changing the envelope of the container as this is going to impact on the integrity of the insulation.


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More Types of Shipping Container  .  More on Insulation