Travelodge , the UK’s fastest growing budget hotel chain, has opened on August 15th in Uxbridge , London, the first hotel in Europe to be constructed from modified shipping containers. The 86 high strength steel containers used in the 120 room Travelodge Hotel were constructed and fitted with the hotel room’s fixture and fittings by China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., Ltd.  in Shenzen, China. Transported to England by boat, on arrival they were then put on a lorry and fitted into the steel frame of the building, bolted together and stacked up to eight floors. Two different sizes of containers were used to build the hotel, creating double rooms which measure 5m x 3m and family rooms which measure 3.5m x 6m. The placing together of the 86 containers took a mere 20 days. The building project was developed by Verbus Systems a joint business venture between consulting engineers, Buro Happold and constructor, George & Harding.
Paul Harvey, Managing Director, International and Development at Travelodge, said: «The opening of Europe’s first hotel to be constructed from modified shipping containers shows Travelodge’s commitment to innovation and cost effectiveness. Customers will notice no difference in their room to a traditionally constructed hotel, yet they will benefit from the low prices we charge due to our desire to cut the cost of doing business (…) the modular build technique pioneered by Verbus Systems could herald a new dawn for hotel development. Where it is sensible to use, this technique will cut costs and speed up construction times significantly«. Building with shipping containers cuts 10% of the build cost for each hotel and improve construction speed by 25% and will cut millions of pounds from the cost of its hotel development strategy.
Travelodge is also constructing a new 307 room hotel at Heathrow using the modular build technique. The hotel chain, owned by Dubai International Capital, operates 333 hotels in the UK, nine in Ireland and three in Spain (Madrid Las Rozas, Madrid Torrelaguna and Barcelona Hospitalet) with plans to add on average 4,000 rooms (approx 40 hotels) every year up to 70,000 rooms (around 1000 hotels) by 2020.