Home Publisher's Point of View If the Walls of This Days Inn Could Talk

If the Walls of This Days Inn Could Talk


Looking back in the archives of Green Lodging News, I found just two examples of lodging establishments constructed using sea shipping containers—the Out by the Sea Bed and Breakfast in Crystal Beach, Texas, and the Deer Lake Lodge & Spa, a 40-minute drive from Houston. That is why I chose to write this past week about the recently opened Days Inn-Sioux Lookout in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. The 60-room, two-story property is truly unique because it is comprised of 120 sea shipping containers. According to Joe Kiss, President of Ladacor Ltd., the company that prefabricated the modular units at its facilities in Calgary, Alberta, the Days Inn is the largest sea shipping container lodging establishment in North America.

I spoke with Joe about the property and he explained why it made sense to use shipping containers in the hotel’s construction. The Days Inn is located in an area that has a very long winter and where there is little access to construction labor. By taking a cost-saving modular approach to construction, project time was reduced from 2.5 years to 13 months. The mostly completed units were shipped from Calgary to Sioux Lookout. From an environmental standpoint, containers that otherwise would have been sitting somewhere, or that would have been recycled for their steel, are put to good use. The United States and Canada have an abundance of shipping containers because most come to North America from overseas but never go back. Trade imbalances can be bad for the environment.

Not That Difficult to Assemble

Joe told me that once the units arrived in Sioux Lookout, it was not that complicated to put them together in a Lego-like fashion. “It is quite simple actually,” he said. “It is very repeatable. You have a lot of repeatable modules.” About 80 to 90 percent of the finishing was done in Calgary; the remaining electrical connections and interior and exterior finishing were done in Sioux Lookout. On the exterior vinyl siding and cultured rock were added. A spray-foam insulation was used to ensure energy efficiency. Also making the property efficient: LED lighting throughout and low-flow water fixtures.

Once the project was finished, Joe 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.”

Joe 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.

Modular construction is nothing new to our industry but the degree to which the Days Inn project incorporated sea shipping containers is truly groundbreaking.

Green Lodging News Adds Sleep On Latex as Directory Partner

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