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Houston company packs offices into former shipping containers

Written by Andrea Rumbaugh for The Houston Chronicle: One of those 40-foot steel boxes integral to international trade is finding new life as a net-zero energy, zero-waste office space in Midtown.

Eight solar panels provide electricity. An atmospheric water generator pulls humidity from the air to make drinking water. The carpet tiles are made from recycled nylon fishing net, and the building comes equipped with compost and recycling bins.

"So we're addressing energy, water and waste all at the same time in this building," said Mike Dieterich, president of the 1½-year-old RISE Industries.

Turning shipping containers into homes, restaurants, bars or offices has grown in popularity over the past few years. The new office space at Wi+CoWork in Midtown is the first from RISE, which was incorporated in Houston in May 2016.

Moving forward, Dieterich is exploring such opportunities as a partnership with the nonprofit Medical Bridges to create a medical building in Guatemala. The 40-foot-long shipping container would have two exam areas, a surgical room, bathroom, 30 solar panels with battery backup and an atmospheric water generator capable of producing 80 gallons a day. READ THE FULL STORY

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