- Marriott International announced it will build the world’s tallest modular hotel in New York City, the $65 million, 360-foot tall AC Hotel New York NoMad. The hotel is scheduled to be ready for final on-site assembly in late fall and will open in late 2020.
- The 168 prefabricated guest rooms will arrive on-site fully finished inside and outside and ready to be stacked on top of a traditionally built restaurant and lobby. The assembly of the modular units should take 90 days. Topping off the 26-story structure will be a modular roof and rooftop bar.
- "We wanted to demonstrate that modular building can do more than just harness the efficiencies of the factory," Danny Forster of Danny Forster & Architecture, the firm that designed the project, said in a statement. "It can produce a graceful and iconic tower. And yes, it can do so at the rate of an entire floor a day.”
With construction of the AC Hotel NoMad, Marriott is continuing to make good on its 2017 promise to increase the number of properties it builds using modular construction methods. Since the company began pursuing this initiative, 31 Marriott-brand properties incorporating prefabricated guest rooms or bathrooms have opened. All low-rise structures until now, they include a Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites, a Courtyard by Marriott and three AC Hotels. The largest modular property so far is a dual-brand, 354-room Courtyard and TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Hawthorne, California.
Also in 2019, one of the chain's developers will start erecting a modular Moxy hotel in downtown Oakland, California.
The initiative is driven by the chain’s desire to bring down construction costs for its franchisees and help them sidestep potential delays caused by the U.S. labor shortage. Since Marriott’s 2017 announcement, off-site and modular construction have continued to grow in popularity as other owners seek the same efficiencies. Hilton’s Home2Suites brand announced last year that it would use modular construction to build a hotel near San Francisco International Airport, the first modular hotel for Home2Suites and the city.
This push in the hotel business and in other areas of construction suitable for modular methods also is allowing modular manufacturing companies to grow their operations. Skender, for instance, recently opened a new plant in Chicago and hired construction industry technology veteran Stacy Scopano as vice president of innovation.
Katerra, which has drawn attention because of its aggressive acquisition strategy and several successful capital fundraising rounds, is using those successes as a jumping off point for the introduction of proprietary software aimed at making all phases of the building process and lifecycle management more productive.