San Antonio, Texas-based firms Development Strategies, Inc and Alamo Architects recently completed the first phase of a shipping container-based housing development in Encinal, TX. The project comprises seven container-based apartments and focuses on energy-efficiency and affordability.

The container-based apartments look pretty attractive, painted in orange and yellow and are enclosed by a prefabricated framework that adds stairs, patios, and additional rear sections.


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The interiors of the homes measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m), and come in both one bedroom/one bathroom and two bedroom/two bathroom configurations. Rent costs US$800 per month for the larger two bedroom unit and $600 for the smaller one bedroom units.

We're big fans of shipping container-based architecture here at Gizmag, but living in what's essentially a large metal box requires some serious steps be taken to ensure adequate insulation. Naturally we asked Development Strategies, Inc about this.

The firm reports that each apartment features high-density closed cell spray foam insulation, double-glazed windows, insulated doors, and energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. In addition, a secondary roof offers shade. The average electricity bill comes in around $70 per month for an occupied larger unit.

Having filled the initial phase of the development with tenants, another 69 container-based apartments are planned for later this year.

Sources: Development Strategies, Inc, Alamo Architects

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