Drive-thru Container Conversion Keeps Things Moving

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In a bold move towards greener, more sustainable business practices, American coffee giant Starbucks opened its first Reclamation Drive-Thru in the brand’s home state of Washington in 2011.

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Designed by in-house Starbucks architects, the 2-storey coffee hub is constructed from four recycled cargo containers.

Made according to LEED green building standards, the hip drive-through shipping container cafe features water-efficient irrigation, energy performance optimisation, green power, construction waste management, recycled content, and low-emitting materials.

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Collaborating structural engineers MA Wright used off-the-shelf container parts to modify the structure for its new use.

Starbucks spokesperson Alan Hilowitz told Inhabitat:  “Our designers were inspired to create this store both as a result of the shipyard that can be seen out the back windows of our headquarters in South Seattle, as well as a desire to recycle the same kind of shipping containers that transport our coffees and teas around the world.”

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The Reclamation initiative is part of a broader Starbucks strategy to promote green building to minimise energy use and operational costs and encourage innovation in environmental retail design.

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Hilowitz added, “Our store designs reflect Starbucks’ core mission as a gathering place for the communities we serve, as well as a commitment to reduce our environmental footprint and use our scale for good.”

Located in sleepy Tukwila, a small suburban city on the southern outskirts of Seattle, the unconventional shipping container cafe is certainly the most innovative looking building on the block.