SIOUX LOOKOUT, ONTARIO—Most sea shipping containers that end up in the United States or Canada from points west never get shipped back. Trade imbalances can have burdensome repercussions on the environment. Many shipping containers are recycled for their steel but occasionally the containers are creatively reused—even in construction. Case in point is the recently opened Days Inn-Sioux Lookout in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The 60-room Days Inn, a Realstar Hospitality franchised hotel that is managed by Liberty Hospitality, is comprised of 120 sea shipping containers on two levels. The modular units were prefabricated off-site in Calgary, Alberta by Ladacor Ltd.
The location of the Days Inn, in a remote northern Ontario area where the winters are long, helped sway the owners to build as much of the hotel off-site, says Joe Kiss, president of Ladacor. Kiss adds that by building the hotel that way, the overall construction time was reduced from 2.5 years to 13 months. The modular approach also reduced the cost of the project.
Ladacor has used its Advanced Modular System in other projects but the Days Inn was its first hotel project. Most of the interior finishing—about 80 to 90 percent—was done in Calgary. Once the containers arrived in Sioux Lookout, Kiss says they were connected in “Lego-like” fashion. There, electrical connections were made and final finishing was conducted on the interior and exterior. A spray-foam insulation was used to ensure energy efficiency. Also making the property efficient: LED lighting throughout and low-flow water fixtures. On the exterior vinyl siding and cultured rock were added.
“It is quite simple actually,” Kiss says. “It is very repeatable. You have a lot of repeatable modules.”
Containers ‘Invisible’ to Guests
Once the project was finished, Kiss says one would never know the hotel was built from shipping containers.
“We were not constrained by the shipping containers,” he says. “They are very strong. Each is designed to hold 30 tons of goods. They are very durable and corrosion resistant.”
Kiss says that while the Days Inn in Sioux Lookout is two stories tall, one could possibly build as high as eight or nine stories using the containers.
In a press release about the hotel, Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality, said, “The method used to construct this hotel demonstrates the commitment our franchisees have to productivity and innovation. Without this technique, it would not have been possible to cost-effectively build a hotel on the site. With great opportunities for continued development in a multitude of markets across the country, Days Inn-Sioux Lookout is a highly anticipated addition to our portfolio of hotels.”
Go to the Days Inn-Sioux Lookout.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.