Container homes debut in Tempe - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Container homes debut in Tempe

March 25th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Container homes debut in Tempe


A development comprising shipping containers turned into homes debuted earlier this month in Tempe near the main Arizona State University campus.

FREIGHT Tempe is billed as “a modern, sustainable multifamily project” with one-bedroom and studio units that is the first of its kind in the city.

“I have always loved great design, and the ability to partner with Local Studio and build something cutting edge has been a dream,” said Jeff Berghoff, one of the developers of the project.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods called the project “on the cutting edge of innovation, sustainability and design.

“It blends well with the neighborhood and provides a unique approach to multi-family development,” he added.

Local Studio has been a leading designer of shipping container architecture in the southwest, using natural wood, custom metal work and composite materials in a soft green shade that contrasts with the rust patina of the containers.

The buildings are designed to reduce solar load and heating and the builder said they are intended to be reminiscent of Tempe’s agrarian history.

The landscape features mature fruit trees, landscaping and numerous seating areas and outdoor spaces by Berghoff Design Group of Scottsdale.

The 11 units have natural wood floors refurbished and lacquered from the original container floor.

“We wanted to keep as much of the character as we could from the original containers as possible.  Not only is it environmentally responsible building, it’s so cool to think that your living space has actually travelled around the world,” said co-developer Bill Jacoby.

Units also feature either a spacious outdoor patio or balconies.

FREIGHT Tempe was nearly three years in the making and the developers said they had to educate Tempe officials on the advantages of shipping containers.

“These were originally designed to be stacked 20 or 30 feet high and cross rough seas so the containers themselves are incredibly strong, weather tight and well insulated,” said Brian Stark of Local Studio.