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.

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.

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