A shipping containers are stacking up in port cities across the globe, more and more people are imagining ways to reuse these hulking steel structures. Arch Daily explains in a post titled “The Pros and Cons of Cargo Container Architecture” that shipping containers are often abandoned at the docks where they have been delivered due to the high cost of shipping them back to their place of origin in comparison to the price of buying new ones. As a result, many people are finding ways to repurpose and reuse these empty containers, and the Australian company Robust Pools has come up with a clever way to do just that.
On its website, Robust Pools states, “The upcycling of a shipping container into a swimming pool as a construction technology is a highly sustainable practice,” and once you see their design, it’s difficult to argue. The sturdy, steel frame of shipping containers makes them an ideal shell for an above-ground pool, and Robust Pools claims that shipping containers are much stronger than other above-ground pool structures you would now find on the market.
Robust Pools makes only two models, the Island 6m and Island 12m, both of which can be outfitted with one of three different filtration systems, as listed on their website. The filtration can either use a chlorine system, a salt system, or a Magna Pool system, which uses natural ocean minerals to sanitize. In a Magna Pool, magnesium and potassium chloride are added to the water for sanitation, and once formed into magnesium chloride, can be absorbed through human skin to aid in detoxification of the body as well as reduction of stress and pain. Another benefit of the Magna Pool system is that potassium chloride, after being combined with magnesium, can provide nourishment to plants if diluted at a 5-1 ratio, as described on the Magna Poolswebsite.
Because of its added benefits, a Robust Pool with a Magna Pool filtration system runs the highest costs, with the Island 6m priced at AU $23,500 ($16,917.41), and the Island 12m priced at AU $28,900 ($20,804.82). The salt filtration system is the midrange price point of the three systems, with the Island 6m priced at AU $20,500 ($14,757.74) and the Island 12m priced at AU $25,900 ($18,645.15). The chlorine filtration system is the cheapest of the three, with the Island 6m costing AU $18,500 ($13,317.96), and the Island 12m costing AU $23,900 ($17,205.37).
While Robust Pools operates in Australia only, the concept of repurposing a used container to design a small pool is being utilized stateside as well, but mostly by those who are ambitious enough to take on the project and design it themselves. Stefan Beese, an architect and designer based out of New Orleans, was featured in an article on treehugger.com for his radical repurposing of a dumpster (which is structurally very similar to a shipping container) to make a gorgeous backyard pool. Treehugger reported that Beese spent somewhere between $5,000 to $7,000 to complete the project, proving that building an above-ground container pool without the help of a specialized company is possible with the right amount of planning and knowledge.
If you’ve been considering a backyard pool, a shipping container design may be the sustainable solution to the amount of work and high costs associated with a standard pool. Whether you build one yourself or order a premade design like that of Robust Pools, a shipping container pool is an awesome and enjoyable way to recycle and reuse.