The 40 ft or 60 ft ISO shipping container is one (among others) shelter option for the fab lab as it provides, by design, adequate protection for the equipment. The container should have doors (on at least one of the long sides) to fully open the container and extend the fab lab “outside”. The fab lab equipment will be moved inside the container and the container securely locked at the end of every open day. Depending of the needs, the solution can also consist of several containers.
Used shipping containers that are still functional for your purpose can be procured for a reasonable budget but will likely require some modifications. To reduce cost, increase sustainability and support the fab lab’s surrounding economy, consider making your container modifications involving local businesses (electricians, welders, mechanics), collaborate with vocational training centres active in the area, etc.
A perimeter around the container can be “fenced-off” to control people flow and help the fab lab facilitators to keep situational oversight, or to create an enclosed space for children.
Tarpaulin spanned above the container will provide protection from direct sunlight on the container (to reduce heat inside the container) as well as a shaded area for the users and activities of the fab lab. To reduce cost, you can explore recycling opportunities. Ensure good anchoring of tarpaulin. Use adequate ropes. Plan water flow in case of rain.
Budget the solution for USD 10’000.-
- 5000.- for a used (i.e. “second-hand”) 40-60 ft ISO shipping container.
- 1000.- for local transport.
- 2000.- (if required) for modifications to the container.
- 1000.- for a tarpaulin solution to protect container from direct sun heat.