How to Build a Shipping Container Swimming Pool
If you’re looking for a unique way to create a one of a kind swimming pool on your property, have you considered a modified shipping container? At around 2.4m in height and width, and anywhere from 6-12m in length, a converted shipping container can be an easy solution for a portable, plug and play swimming pool. While constructing pools from shipping containers isn’t a service that we offer, it’s a pretty cool idea.
6 Steps to building a modified shipping container swimming pool:
1. First get planning permission from your local council and investigate any regulations regarding depth, fencing and any other things that might get in the way of the construction of your shipping container swimming pool. It’s far better to get these out of the way before you start construction than to be stuck with a 40 foot modified shipping container that isn’t full of people having fun in the water!
2. You’ll probably want someone with a structural engineering background on hand to help out with planning as well. Water can be, well… quite heavy! You’ll want to ensure that the container is strengthened to hold all that extra weight that is pushing out from the inside, as containers are designed to hold their weight on the base and corners of the structure. They will be able to give you the advice that you require to ensure that your new pool is strong and built to last.
3. You are going to need to decide on the height of your modified shipping container swimming pool. For many people a whole 2.4 metres in depth will probably be too much. Work out the depth that you require and cut to size. You’ll want to have a lip around the edge that covers any sharp edges, as well as reinforcing the structure of the container.
4. Next up you are going to have to make the container watertight. While containers are designed to be watertight from the outside, they generally aren’t designed to hold water on the inside. Shipping containers are generally lined with plywood which isn’t the best at holding water, so you’ll need to add an extra layer to keep your pool full. Generally this is done by watertight welding and an additional layer of steel on the inside of the container, before rust treating and painting both the inside and outside of the container.
5. Add the plumbing such as pumps, filters and intake pipes and you are almost ready to go. Talk to your local pool company about the best way to do this in your area, taking into account power supply (for the pumps), drainage and water supply.
6. Install and you are ready to go.
Here are some of our favourite modified shipping container pools:
Taxi Shipping Container Pool, Denver
This shipping container pool was constructed from two 40 foot second hand shipping containers that have been welded together end to end. Each shipping container cost approximately USD$4,000 before being modified, namely having their ends cut off, getting welded together and coated with 14 coats of bright orange paint.
The inside of the pool has been built with a sloping section, making it just over 4 foot deep in the shallow end and a full 8 feet deep in the deep end. Changing rooms and lockers have been built underneath the pool’s deck out of the offcuts from construction.
Pre-built in Australia
While building one yourself can be rewarding and fun, let’s face it not everyone has the skills or the time involved to do build their own pool. An Australian company called Shipping Container Pools makes complete shipping container pools that can be dropped in your backyard.
They come with a fibreglass lining and a full filtration system, and can just be dropped in your backyard by crane, hooked up to your home utilities, and filled for you to cool off in the baking Aussie summer. No mud, sweat and tears required!
Costing between AUD $20K-$30K the pools come in 5 or 11 metre sizes. While they are stood on top of the yard surface, Shipping Container Pools allows you to put whatever design you choose on the sides to augment your garden. While some have gone for urban artwork, others are a lot more conservative. This opens the door to you to have a really nice addition to your home that can both add value to the home, as well as sitting gently with its surroundings.
Leaving someone else to do the dirty work often costs a little but considering the price, luxury doesn’t have to break the bank. A pool can add value to the home too, so should you consider moving on you may well see your investment returned (or even a little more…) when you sell up and move on.
Container Pools NZ have come up with a design that can be used right through the day and late into the evening. This well thought out design is a great idea for those who like to share their investment with friends. Comprising a five metre swimming pool, a sun deck area and a six person Jacuzzi, you and your friends can cool off in the heat of the day and then enjoy drinks together in the hot tub in the cool of the evening.
The NZD $55,000 pool can be made to the depth you desire. If you have children or people around who won’t be very confident in the water you can have a shallow version, or for those who want a lot deeper, there’s up to 8 feet of depth available due to the dimensions of the shipping container. As with the Australian company’s pool above it comes with a filtration and chlorination system that can be used with minimum fuss.
One of the great things about raised shipping container pools is that smaller children and animals aren’t so likely to fall in. Having to climb steps to get to the pool surface, it adds an element of control as to who can or cannot get near the poolside. While toddlers will always try to surmount barriers presented to them (their sole reason for existence it seems…) the pool design can include a full height door on the steps that you have to reach over to open or close. Given the cleverness of toddlers where it comes to escaping car seats and entering forbidden places, a 5ft solid steel door is impenetrable for even the most determined of little people.
Tommy Hilfiger Container Popup, Berlin
Constructed at the old Templehof Airport (made famous for the Berlin Airlift many years before) the latest popup from fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger contains many repurposed shipping container buildings as well as a shipping container swimming pool.
The pool, which is a centrepiece of their “Bread and Butter Fashion Show” is constructed from used shipping containers and finished in glass and wood paneling.
Nagel Containerpool, Germany
The Containerpool by German company Nagel is a commercially available pool constructed from containers to be used at events such as shows, exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Completely self contained, it includes a full pool filtration system, lockers, electronic monitoring and more. Its unique design even has porthole style windows on the side that allow swimmers to look outside while enjoying the cool water inside during a hot German summer! The container pool received a prestigious design award in 2011.
Backyard Swimming Pool
Steve Beese, an architect based out of New Orleans in the United States designed this great looking shipping container pool with wooden decking. At a comfortable 20 foot x 8 foot in size, it makes the perfect lap pool for some exercise before of after work. This pool cost around $6000 USD (though this included the costs of labour, it would be cheaper to do it yourself!) to build and install, and the installation was a rather simple process. First he selected a good quality second hand shipping container without any significant damage or rust. He then cleaned the entire container and sprayed it inside and out with a layer of anti corrosive paint. A hole was then dug on the site of the pool and lined with limestone to prevent leaching into the soil. Insulation was added to the interior of the container before lining the pool with pool lining material. All that was needed then was to put the pool in place, hook up the filters and pumps and it was ready to swim in.
The best bit, if he moves house he can lift the pool onto a truck (after emptying it of course) and take it with him!
Tough Mudder Ice Pool
While not strictly a standard shipping pool, the team at Tough Mudder are using shipping container “pools” as one of their obstacles. Taking three 20 foot shipping containers, and lining them with plastic, before filling with water and LOTS of ice, these make a formidable obstacle as part of their off road endurance race.
Floating Shipping Container Pool
This great project in France is a floating barge made out of shipping containers holding two swimming pools. This design is slightly different – rather than making a swimming pool out of shipping containers, the changing rooms and amenities are housed in shipping containers located on the barge.
Need a Used Shipping Container For Your Next Project?
Please note that in this case Gateway Container Sales & Hire can only provide a second hand shipping container, we do not offer pre-made swimming pools for sale. In order to build your own you’ll need to acquire a container, planning permission, engineering certification to ensure that it is constructed safely and legally.