Architecture

Shipping container-based housing comes to South Texas

Shipping container-based housi...
The interior of the apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
The interior of the apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
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The interior of the apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
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The interior of the apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
The prototype container development features total of seven apartments based on adapted containers
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The prototype container development features total of seven apartments based on adapted containers
The containers are based within a prefabricated framework which adds stairs, patios, and additional rear sections
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The containers are based within a prefabricated framework which adds stairs, patios, and additional rear sections
Painted in yellow and orange, the containers look attractive both inside and out
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Painted in yellow and orange, the containers look attractive both inside and out
We asked Development Strategies, Inc about the practicality and comfort of actually living in what is essentially a large metal box
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We asked Development Strategies, Inc about the practicality and comfort of actually living in what is essentially a large metal box
The firm reports that each unit contains high-density closed cell spray foam insulation, double-glazed windows, insulated doors, and an energy-efficient HVAC system
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The firm reports that each unit contains high-density closed cell spray foam insulation, double-glazed windows, insulated doors, and an energy-efficient HVAC system
A secondary roof creates a thermal break and reduces direct sunlight onto the homes
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A secondary roof creates a thermal break and reduces direct sunlight onto the homes
The prototype container development features total of seven apartments based on adapted containers
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The prototype container development features total of seven apartments based on adapted containers
Inside the shipping container-based apartments
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Inside the shipping container-based apartments
Inside the shipping container-based apartments
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Inside the shipping container-based apartments
The apartments come in both one bedroom and bathroom, and two bedroom and bathroom models
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The apartments come in both one bedroom and bathroom, and two bedroom and bathroom models
The apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
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The apartments measure between 480 sq ft (44.5 sq m) and 960 sq ft (89 sq m)
Inside the bathroom
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Inside the bathroom
Inside the bathroom
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Inside the bathroom

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.

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.

Inside the shipping container-based apartments
Inside the shipping container-based apartments

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

6 comments
Daishi
I'm not sure I'm ready to live in one but an idea I saw and liked is using them for an inexpensive garage/parking space: http://i.imgur.com/OrK00mp.jpg There is one here that's finished better: http://wiselygreen.com/wp-content/uploads/Barns.jpg That has to be one the cheapest methods possible to build a garage.
nubwaxer
" . . . apartments measure between 480 sq ft . . . " if that's the dimensions of a single container, probably 40' length, makes them a perfectly reasonable size for an apartment for one person or a couple.
Wombat56
I would have liked to see the floor plan of the finished apartments. The narrow width of a standard shipping container makes them less nice to live in, unless you can place two together and cut out the walls, or unless you're desperate.
Jugen
From experience with container houses, Noise! Steel containers are fantastic conductors of sound, in these units you be able to hear: People walking up and down the staircase 24/7; people walking and talking above, beside and below; the creaking of the containers as they expand and contract with temperature... the list goes on. These houses will drive people crazy!
Nik
They could be a good example for a 'self build' alternative to trailer homes, as long as the builder can find a suitable plot. I wouldn't want to live in one, but there are probably plenty of people who would be glad of them.
BigGoofyGuy
I think those are really nice. I would not mind living in one.