Casa Mar Azul - LEED Platinum 3 Bedroom Shipping Container Home, Isabela, Puerto Rico

First single family residence to reach LEED Platinum certification in the Caribbean.

About KONTi Design

ProjectCasa Mar Azul
Designer and BuilderKONTi Design
Build Time9 month
LocationBarrio Jobos, Isabela, Puerto Rico

A sustainable and profitable project, Casa Mar Azul 3 bedroom shipping container home, in addition to being aesthetic and innovative, is friendly to the environment as it is made of reused materials.

Puerto Rico is an optimal vacation center for both real estate strategies and vacation rentals, where a container house is a great attraction to stay.

LEED Platinum raised the value of the home by 25-30% making the certification worth it for families too and not just big corporations. Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and have a significant impact on our personal health and well-being. They offer us a better quality of life, while also lowering global carbon emissions, reducing electricity and water bills, and creating new green jobs.

Description by El Nuevo Dia

Casa Mar Azul, in Isabela, became the first luxury single-family residence to obtain LEED Platinum certification in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, celebrated the architect Carla Gautier, founder of the KontiDesign firm that designed the project.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the green building rating system that has become a global standard and was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

“As a designer it has been an incredible experience learning and going through the project certification process. Our main objective as an architecture and construction company at KONTi Design is to change the way we see typical construction, minimizing the use of new materials and maximizing recycling and upcycling strategies while achieving resilience against climate change”, Gautier expressed. “This project is the perfect example of how LEED certifications and efficient homes do not have to be only for large corporations, but can now also be profitable for families; and that is the beginning of the change”.

For his part, Richard Alvarez, owner of Casa Mar Azul shipping container home and general manager of the firm Ganadores IBR, stated that this project "proved to be replicable throughout the United States, providing accessibility for sustainable construction to anyone who wants to invest in themselves and in the future of their families.

Casa Mar Azul, built mostly with steel shipping containers, has three levels and is located on an elevated lot in Jobos, which gives you views of the sea. The Platinum certification was for implementing sustainable solutions and strategies and efficient use of resources. This included raising the house and surrounding it with permeable surfaces, so as not to disturb the flow of water and reduce the effects of heat, Gautier said.

In terms of energy and water, high-efficiency appliances and mixers were installed, air conditioning units with 'inverter' technology, a gas dryer and a photovoltaic panel system that lowered its Energy Star rating to 13; with 40 points it is considered positive.

Description by investors

If you think shipping container homes are small, uncomfortable, or limited in their possibilities, we want to tell you how Casa Mar Azul changed the landscape of shipping container homes in Puerto Rico.

This is one of the projects that Richard Alvarez and IBR Winners have developed from scratch, from the training program to learn how to invest in container houses and vacation containers.

We want to show you a little about the process that also led us to obtain LEED certification. We think it and we create it. We visualized it 9 months ago and today it is a reality. The work of an entire team materialized in Casa Mar Azul in Puerto Rico, our first Luxury Container Home.

In countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, containers are a construction trend not only for lodgings, but also for hospitals or restaurants.

At IBR Winners, in addition to teaching you how you can Invest in Real Estate, we have our own projects, and one of them can be found materialized in Isabela, a region on the north coast of Puerto Rico.

Choosing this type of construction is one of the best options for vacation rentals, since people will always remember a different and unique place.

Many people think of a shipping container home as small and cumbersome, until they step inside a finished one.

You may be surprised at how spacious and comfortable Casa Mar Azul is.

Architecture + structural engineering

The base material of Casa Mar Azul, Luxury Container Home is steel, so it is built and designed to withstand the worst weather conditions.

One of the most important pillars for construction is to correctly choose a structural engineer, who will be in charge of distributing the weight correctly considering:

  • Terrain type
  • Structural Weight Capacity
  • Weight distribution for up to 60 people

I also work together with an architect who works together on the aesthetics and vision of the project.

Self-sustaining project with Leed certification

LEED certification is a worldwide program that implies a position on a list made by this federal agency.

The Luxury Container Home, Casa Mar Azul, is the first Leed Certified Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) property in the Caribbean.

This also makes it more marketable should it be sold or offered as an eco-friendly Airbnb.

Although it would take an investment in more expensive equipment and accessories than a natural residence.

The aim is to make it self-sustaining and independent from government agencies in:

  • Light
  • Waste water disposal
  • Solar lighting
  • Solar heater
  • Gas

In addition, in the case of Puerto Rico, tax benefits can be requested for this type of project. As an investment destination, Puerto Rico not only has tax advantages, but also various conditions that facilitate business, and a well-trained human capital that is mostly bilingual in English and Spanish. In addition, Puerto Rico is an optimal vacation center for both Real Estate strategies and vacation rentals, where a container house is a great attraction to stay.

In the construction of Casa Mar Azul we strived to ensure that the project was friendly to the environment from start to finish.

From an Airbnb space to a Luxury Container Home

The Casa Mar Azul project went from something simple for Airbnb rental to a Luxury Container Home, since there are no limits for engineering and architecture.

The aesthetics, distribution, spacious, different, in addition to being sustainable is one of the main hallmarks.

One of the main ideas was to give a good distribution to the spaces with the help of an architect, and sometimes modifications were made to the initial project.

With this innovative form of vacation accommodation, the investment will be recovered in the short term through rentals on the Airbnb platform.

By investing in Vacation Containers, you will have a safe way to invest and increase your profits. Increasingly, tourists are looking for cheaper and more accessible options for their budgets. With a container you can offer them what they are looking for while you watch your project grow.



About KONTi Design

Our mission was born after Hurricane Maria, when our lead designer was working for FEMA as a construction inspector, and realized that the biggest problem with housing in Puerto Rico was the lack of accessibility to proper construction. When the median income in Puerto Rico is approximately $20,000 and the median house costs around $100,000 the math just does not add up. KONTi was born as our team set up to find sustainable and resilient solutions that are also cost effective for the majority of our population. Using shipping containers as base structures we have created housing, schooling, and multi-use facilities that are resilient to adverse climatic conditions, self-sustaining, and quickly deployable.

Our vision is to build back greener! Building using less resources, recycled materials, and generating less waste. Changing the way we build in order to protect our human existence from the devastating effects of climate change.

Our LEED Acredited Professionals are ready to help guide you so you can be part of the Build Back Greener movement.

Carla Gautier Castro, AIT, LEED Green Associate is a third generation Puerto Rican architect raised with the guiding belief that community is one of our greatest assets. She earned both her BA and MA in Architecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston where she focused on sustainable design.

Her passion to create ecologically intelligent designs led her to Berlin, Germany and later to Benin in West Africa, where she learned alternative forms of construction and sustainable living practices.

Desiring that architecture serve people, she returned to her roots in Puerto Rico in the summer of 2017. Three months later, Hurricane Maria hit the island. In an effort to help, Carla worked with FEMA as a construction inspector. There, she observed firsthand how the bureaucratic process frustrated and delayed progress. People were not getting the help they desperately needed, and Carla saw an opportunity to make real change.

Together, she and her father worked countless hours to design a house viable for small families that would be strong enough to withstand inclement weather and atmospheric conditions. Unfortunately, natural disasters are imminent. Decades of abusing non-renewable natural resources are devastating not only the island of Puerto Rico, but the entire planet. Carla’s vision is to rebuild houses, schools, and multi-use facilities in Puerto Rico that are sustainable and resilient to severe climate conditions.

With that mission, she founded Konti Design Built Studio, a family operated, environmentally conscientious business, to inspire and teach people to move forward after Hurricane Maria with access to proper, sustainable construction. Her innovative designs use recycled shipping containers as opposed to new, mined materials, and she is committed to helping the island thrive by using local labor and local materials. Carla believes a harmonic synergy between humans and nature is the only path forward, and she has dedicated her life toward building safe housing.

In 2020, CNN featured Carla and Konti Design Built Studio as Champions for Change. Based in San Juan, Konti is building affordable hurricane and earthquake-resilient homes equipped with solar panel systems, rainwater collection tanks, and bio garden septic tank systems. She seeks not only solutions for communities in Puerto Rico, but global solutions that will benefit families worldwide.

Why Use Shipping Containers?

There is a world wide buzz about shipping containers being turned into homes, businesses, and other types of structures. But, why is the world turning towards this end?

Climate Change and how its affecting our Planet

We cannot deny that climate change is happening fast. In the United States alone, everywhere from California, where we are seeing an increasing amount of forest fires that are constantly threatening people’s lives and homes; in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida where hurricanes constantly flood the areas where people live; up north, where winters are becoming longer and more dangerous; and finally in our home land the Caribbean where hurricanes and earthquakes are constantly threatening our way of life, destroying our homes and landscapes and quickly taking back our land to return to the ocean.
To really understand how we can take action, we have to take a step back and understand why this is happening in the first place. There is no point in blaming past generations for what they did not think or act upon. But there is no denying that we need to change the way we use resources from now on. 
We need to find ways to build that are resilient AND that do not continue to impact the planet’s resources and spaces where we build in a negative way.
Building our dwellings in this manner impacts the natural environment in a positive way directly where the structure is to be built and indirectly towards a less contaminated world.
At KONTi we believe that shipping containers have a 3 way benefit.


Shipping containers are the strongest boxes in the world! They are designed and built to withstand the worst atmospheric conditions: changes in temperature, traveling the ocean for months, waves, waterspouts (tornadoes that form over the ocean), etc.
By themselves, they can withstand 175mph impact winds. When attached to a proper foundation, our structural engineers will make sure that demands 250mph designs are met when necessary.
Furthermore, when talking about earthquakes, because we are using steel as a base structure, our designs are flexible enough so that your home dances away as needed but does NOT break!


There are over 11 million decommissioned shipping containers in America alone that have been thrown in what they call “container graveyards”.
This happens because the manufacturer only gives containers a warranty of 25 years. After the warranty expires, the insurance will not cover damages or loss, therefore it is less risky for the navieras to toss them away, sell, or use them for something else.
Every shipping container we buy for a home is one less that goes into the graveyards that add up to pollution.


When we use any material for construction we need to really think about where this material is coming from.
For example: Concrete: To make concrete, we need to mine sand from our rivers and explode an entire mountain to obtain the gravel and cement.
Can you imagine how many ecosystems and species we are murdering this way?
Giving used shipping containers a new purpose and allowing them to be our main structure lowers the need to destroy our planet’s resources and therefore, allows for our planet to heal.

Shipping containers are our vehicle to help reverse climate change.

AddressGuaynabo, Puerto Rico, 00969, PR
Phone(787) 309-5505

Casa Mar Azul - LEED Platinum 3 Bedroom Shipping Container House, Isabela, Puerto Rico