Chapman Taylor uses steel shipping containers to create first volumetric modular hotel in Manchester

Chapman Taylor’s new 220 bedroom Holiday Inn Express, built off-site from purpose built steel shipping containers, has been completed at Manchester’s Trafford City.

It is the first hotel in the North West to be built using this particular type of volumetric modular construction. Volumetric modular construction is a method of off-site construction which sees a large portion of a building being constructed as a series of separate modules (or pods) in a controlled environment; typically a purpose built factory or large manufacturing warehouse.  The individual modules are then transported to the site where they are assembled to create the finished building.

Chapman Taylor’s Manchester studio, alongside the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, developed the detailed design for the off-site hotel adopting a completely different design process, which was informed by the modular provider’s system. All 220 guestrooms have been constructed off-site from purpose-built steel shipping containers; complete with fully factory finished interior furniture, fixtures and fittings, including carpets, curtains, wallpaper and full-height windows.

Following their delivery to site, the 125 modules were individually stacked on an in-situ built podium structure, meaning all 220 guest rooms were installed within a 4 week period. The modules arrived on site mid-November 2016 and were all in place by December 2016.

Chapman Taylor developed a fully co-ordinated BIM model to inform the detailed design and enable the off-site fabrication to commence in line with the ambitious programme. Each module contained two fully furnished en-suite guestrooms, complete with all building services including the light fittings. The rooms were orientated within each module to mirror one another across the corresponding section of corridor.

The outer corrugated steel finish of each shipping container incorporated a vapour control layer allowing the building to achieve water-tightness within a short period. The finished external envelope was then applied using a pre-finished rain screen cladding and single ply roofing system.

Chapman Taylor Director, Andy Carroll commented:

‘This is the first modular hotel that the practice has delivered and it has been built on time and to budget. Moving forward we are excited about continuing to build on our expertise in off-site fabrication and construction methods which offer innovative new building solutions for the future’.

The hotel, located next to Manchester’s EventCity venue on a 1.75 acre site,  is a joint venture between Topland, Marick and Mill Lane Estates and is the first Holiday Inn Express ‘Generation 4’ in the UK to be built using a ‘modular’ construction process.