Prefab Push

Modular Construction Cuts Time and Costs for Hotel Projects

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC.

Guest rooms for the AC Hotel in New York, New York, USA are built in Poland and arrive at the hotel site fully constructed.

To drive down construction costs, shave project schedules and sidestep the U.S. labor shortage hindering its build projects, hotel brand Marriott announced in 2017 that it would be embracing modular construction in a big way. Since then, 31 Marriott-brand properties have opened that incorporate prefabricated bathrooms or guest rooms, according to Construction Dive, all of them low-rise buildings. But with its US$65 million, 360-foot (110-meter) tall AC Hotel New York NoMad project, Marriott is stretching its modular ambitions all the way to the sky.

The project, which is slated to be completed later this year, is expected to be the world's tallest modular hotel. Each of the 168 guest rooms is manufactured in Poland as a distinct module, then shipped to New York, New York, USA for on-site delivery. The hotel's rooftop bar and roof will also be prefabricated, while the restaurant and lobby will be constructed with traditional methods. Once the modules arrive, the hotel will be erected in just 90 days.

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“This is the moment where modular construction takes center stage,” lead architect Danny Forster said in a statement. “This hotel takes every advantage of off-site manufacturing, as you might expect. But it does so in a way that defies expectation… And yes, it can do so at the rate of an entire floor a day.”

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—Danny Forster, Danny Forster & Architecture

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