Marriott goes modular in push to build hotels like stacking blocks

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We visit a hotel that Marriott is building using a modular technique where rooms are manufactured off-site and then stacked together like building blocks!

If you remember playing with building blocks as a kid, you understand how Marriott is building a new hotel in Hawthorne, California.

marriott modular hotel hawthorne

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"Just because we’ve been doing it the same way doesn’t mean that’s the way we should [in the] future," explained Eric Jacobs, Chief Development Officer for Marriott International.

Eric Jacobs, Chief Development Officer for Marriott International
Eric Jacobs, Chief Development Officer for Marriott International

He's giving me a tour of a brand new 350+ room hotel that will soon become a combination Courtyard and TownPlace Suites.

The hotel is being built in a unique way using modular construction. The rooms are made in Boise, Idaho, then hauled on tractor trailers to the construction site, which is just down the road from SpaceX. Crews use giant cranes to stack the finished "building blocks" on top of each other to make the finished product.

"You will not tell the difference walking into a modular unit versus a site build. The quality we think is superior, because it needs to withstand the trip down the road," said Jerry Goodwin of Guerdon Modular Buildings, the facility making the rooms.

Jerry Goodwin, CEO of Guerdon Modular Buildings
Jerry Goodwin, CEO of Guerdon Modular Buildings

Crews can stack up to 25 rooms in place a day. Each modular unit is the standard hotel room size of about 12 to 14 feet across.

"Essentially we do the connect of the plumbing, electrical and HVAC and also some seismic rods to make sure it's stable," explained Goodwin.

The rooms arrive on site fully complete. The walls are finished and all of the furnishing are strapped together in the center of the floor. A team of people unwraps everything and puts items where they go.

"Once the unit is in place and we’re ready to outfit the room, we can send four bodies in and they can set up 10 rooms a day and have them completely finished and ready to accept a guest," said Jacobs.

Marriott says the benefits of modular are mostly time, a higher quality build and less environmental waste. This particular hotel will go up in about a year compared to double that time if it was built completely on site.

"[There is a] ton of work upfront in the design phase, but when we go to construction, this is arguably one of the fastest construction projects going up in the U.S. right now," said Brad Wagstaff, Owner and Managing Partner of Mogul Capital, the hotel's developer.

Brad Wagstaff, Owner and Managing Partner of Mogul Capital
Brad Wagstaff, Owner and Managing Partner of Mogul Capital

Guests will also notice that the rooms are quieter thanks to double walls between them.

"I love our factory, seeing it in the factory, but this is really the fruits of our labor here when we actually see the building go up," concluded Goodwin.

NOW WATCH: See a modular room go from all packed up to ready for guests.

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