PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A unique building along Phoenix’s skyline is now open. IDA on McKinley, named after President William McKinley’s wife, is a six-story building made out of repurposed shipping containers. It’s the tallest project of its kind in North America. The building at Third and McKinley streets is made up of 64 shipping containers, including some used for commercial space and a water detention system.
Some think that building an apartment complex out of shipping containers in the desert would be a bad idea, but Brian Stark with Local Studio said working with steel is great for the desert heat. “What we’ve done is painted it white here with a high reflective value and a high albedo, and that high albedo allows you to release that high quickly,” he said. “The steel releases it quickly, like a pan. You turn the heat off, and the pan cools off. And so the skin of the building does the same thing.”
Stark said tenants will enjoy lower electric bills because of that. People living on the ground floor could see the smallest electric bill of them all since solar panels help cover the sidewalk. Instead of selling the electricity or keeping it for the developers, it’s given back to the tenants. “To cover the sidewalk with more than trees and then on top of that to use solar panels is just a nice idea,” said Stark.
The steel and solar panels are just a couple of the reasons why Local Studio calls IDA on McKinley the most sustainable apartment development. Porous walkways are between the units and help harvest rainwater, and bioswales help stormwater runoff. But the most noticeable are the steel containers. “We didn’t have to make 615,000 pounds of steel to build this building. We didn’t have to do that, it already existed, and we used it. That reduces our carbon footprint unbelievably,” said Stark.
The complex features 19 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with the area on the ground floor available for two businesses. However, there’s no parking available at the property and instead has exterior showers for those who bike or walk to work, plus an electric bike charging station. A one-bedroom apartment reportedly goes for around $1,700, while a two-bedroom costs about $2,000 per month.
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