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Starbucks Coffee Comes in a Can - Four Of Them!

05.02.2012 - Posted by Updated On 05.02.2012    

Starbucks has taken an interesting step to expand the life cycle of shipping containers.  Previously, Starbucks only used cargo containers to ship their coffee and other items around the world.  However, In Tukwila, Washington they’ve taken an interesting approach to constructing a new walk up/drive through location by building it out of modified shipping containers.

The new, one of a kind location is constructed from four recycled cargo containers: one 20’ shipping container and three 40’ shipping containers.  The combined units provide 450 square feet of usable space, and while that sounds like a tight squeeze it’s enough area to house three baristas – the same area used in a traditional retail outlet.  Tony Gale, the chief corporate architect for the coffee conglomerate, had the environment in mind when designing the structure.  "We were able to open our minds to the use of very common elements destined for the landfill as structure for a high-quality, drive-thru coffeehouse design -- essentially creating an industrial beacon for sustainable thinking."

The structure’s environmentally friendly design doesn’t stop at the repurposed shipping container structure.  The flat roof is designed to collect rainwater and feed the sounding xeriscaping; further reducing the impact on the local environment.  Xeriscaping is a way to design the landscape so that it reduces, or removes, the need for supplemental irrigation.

Of Starbucks some 17,000 locations global stores, walk up/drive up locations are rare, and the Tukwila location is one of a kind.  That being said, it was designed with reduced costs and portability in mind.  The location is easy to set up, take down, and relocate. 

Starbucks Modified Shipping Container

"We can put a store like this on a lot that will be developed someday but is free for two or three years, and then we can move it." Gale states that well trained, quick baristas are Starbucks' solution to customers idling their cars as they await their morning coffee.

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