Storage facilities might take a page from Starbucks' book when it comes to sustainable building. This newly opened Starbucks concept store in Tukwila, Washington is made entirely of used shipping containers. As this story at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's blog notes, shipping containers are gaining use in sustainable design, like in this building project in nearby Georgetown, Washington, and even shipping container homes like the ones featured on ZeroCabin. The new location is being called the Reclamation Drive-Thru, but it also has a walk-up window and a seating area outside. It's LEED-certified and incorporates rainwater harvesting in its design. It's all part of an environmental initiative by Starbucks, which they call their Global Responsibility & Goals. Green building is included under their Environment category, with a focus on LEED-certified buildings.
Old shipping containers seem like the perfect fit for storage facilities interested in building with reused or reclaimed materials. They already serve the purpose that storage facilities aim to provide: simple, accessible storage. With a few adjustments, reclaimed shipping containers could be divided into several small units or even left in one piece to function as large RV and boat storage units. Storage facilities are already greening the business in both large and small ways, by setting their lights on timers, installing solar panels, creating landscaping that promotes sustainability and making simple changes like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs. Some facilities are now building new locations with reclaimed or reused material, and nothing makes more sense for industry expansion than something that's already built for storage, like a shipping container.