Thinking Inside the Box
Sometimes I joke that with the high cost of living in D.C., I might someday end up living in a cardboard box. But it turns out my corrugated fantasy might not be so far-fetched: With the opening of a new hotel in Uxbridge, travelers to England can now stay in their own box—a chic, sustainable, well-designed box.
Travelodge recently opened this eight-story hotel, built almost entirely from shipping containers. From the outside, the hotel looks the same as its non-prefab counterparts, but the 120-room building saved the construction company ten weeks of construction and almost a million dollars, Inhabitat reports. Plus, the company recorded a 70 percent reduction in on-site waste.
Some critics have turned up their noses at the hotel, arguing that staying in a box must be claustrophobic and crammed, but officials say the size of the rooms are indistinguishable from those in the company’s other hotels—and they have a sleek modern design. At the very least, they’re certainly more spacious than some of the other accomodations tourists have been frequenting for years. Rooms start about £19.
The hotel is not the first building to be constructed from shipping containers (check out this New Zealand home), but it is one of the first such ventures by a major hotel company. Plans for similar hotels are in the works, including one to build a 307-room hotel in Heathrow.
There are still some kinks to work out: The containers were outfitted with plaster and electric wiring in China and shipped to England, and it’s not clear whether the containers were new or recycled. We’d like to see some used containers being employed, along with local labor. But it’s a good first step, and the company says they expect to save up to $18.6 million a year in construction costs through this innovation.
- Nat Geo Expeditions