Hilton Brand Builds its First Modular Hotel

Originally published by: IWBCSeptember 3, 2019

The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. SBC Magazine is publishing this story to raise awareness of information publicly available online and does not verify the accuracy of the author’s claims. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article.

Editor’s Note: SBCA is collaborating with Forest Economic Advisors (FEA) on its Industrialized Wood-Based Construction Conference (IWBC). SBCA is a sponsor for the November 4-6 event hosted at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel in Boston, MA. SBCA and the IWBC are working together to highlight the benefits of structural component systems (such as reduced construction cycle times) and where they provide great economic solutions for emerging construction techniques, which include mass timber, CLT, offsite framing, and modular construction. The article below is an example of a trend in construction projects the conference seeks to highlight.

Baywood Hotels has ventured into the cutting-edge construction world with its first modular hotel. This building technique takes construction offsite and into a factory where rooms are built in their entirety and only have to be assembled online. The Maryland-based Baywood hotel introduced the Hilton Garden Inn San Jose in Fremont, California by holding a ‘stacking’ event that showcased the five-story hotel which will also feature a restaurant and bar and 12 EV charging stations for electric cars.

PHOTO CREDIT: HOME2 SUITES BY HILTON

“The San Jose/San Francisco region faces numerous challenges with finding skilled labor, primarily due to the boom in residential demand,” Baywood Hotels President Al Patel told Asian Hospitality. “The area was also recently faced with natural disasters, such as the flood and fires that have wiped out thousands of homes. Modular construction has many pros over traditional methods.”

With growing labor shortages in the construction industry, utilizing modular building techniques allows developers to better control design and quality while reducing labor costs. With consistent modules, the inspection process is easier and reduced onsite construction time means less noise and disruption to the neighborhood. Factory production creates less waste and allows for the effective recycling of materials.

“Baywood Hotels has been a longtime Hilton partner and supporter of the Hilton Garden Inn brand,” John Greenleaf, global head for Hilton Garden Inn. “Given this potentially challenging construction market and building site, they were eager to work with us to test this game-changing technique which offers a way to construct the hotel in a timely, cost-effective manner that reduces the overall disturbance in the building location.”

Modular construction means projects are not subject to adverse weather conditions and can be consistently completed on time. With faster construction times, modular building is becoming an increasingly popular option for hotel construction. This June, Southern Hospitality opened the Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, the first modular-built hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area.

BJ Patel from Flowood, Mississippi-based Southern Hospitality Services claims there are many reasons their chain also decided to use the modular building technique; “First, the quality of the product because it is built in an enclosed environment; acoustic-wise, there is nothing better. Second, the construction timeline is shorter. You know the saying ‘Time is money?’ In construction it is real money. And, third, in the Bay Area we have had a hard time finding enough skilled construction workers to complete a job. It is next to impossible.”

The Marriot chain is also utilizing the technique and will construct the tallest hotel using modular building. The AC Hotel New York NoMad will open in 2020 with a 360-foot-tall tower that will be stacked in just over 90 days and feature a modular rooftop bar.