Breathing Second Life into Shipping Containers

What started as a classroom project is now an up-and-coming business with a noble social mission. When two professors at Arizona State University challenged their pupils to think of a solution to the several used and abandoned steel shipping containers around the world, four engineering students formed G3Box, a company that provides design and manufacturing services to convert these giant boxes into medical clinics.

Founded by Gabrielle Palermo, Clay Tyler, Billy Walters, and Susanna Young, G3Box stands for Generating Global Good and aims to lead the container conversion industry by going beyond manufacturing norms as well as making container structures more acquirable and appealing.

Because of the high cost of returning shipping containers to their original location, a lot of companies simply leave them at their destinations. G3Box turns them into something that can help people, especially those in Africa, where the maternal mortality ratio is particularly high in many countries due to lack of adequate medical facilities and healthcare administrators.

All G3Box clinics are outfitted with an electrical power system, ventilation or air conditioning, insulation and interior design, and access to potable water. In addition to this standardized design, customers can request other features and modifications. Currently, G3Box can convert steel shipping containers into low-cost maternity clinics, medical clinics, general clinics, and emergency disaster relief clinics. Hospitals and organizations can use these durable structures to reach even the remotest of locations.

And while the steel shipping containers can be transformed into other uses, such as classrooms, dental offices, and food distribution units, the young minds behind G3Box feel that medical clinics are presently the most urgent need.

Palermo, who accepted Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2011 award, believes she has found what she was meant to do in life. “When I started college I didn’t really think I was going to be growing a business. Doing G3Box for my future career or starting up other companies that focus on social good is my passion now.”

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