New Sioux Lookout hotel a construction curiosity

Images taken during the 13-month construction process of the new Days Inn in Sioux Lookout, built by Ladacor using groundbreaking modular construction techniques that make use of recycled overseas shipping containers. Photos submitted

Days Inn the largest shipping container-based hotel in North America

By Samantha Hawkins

A newly constructed hotel in nearby Sioux Lookout used some groundbreaking techniques and interesting recycled materials in its recent construction.

Ladacor Limited, a Calgary based company specializing in modular based systems, constructed the 60 room two story Days Inn hotel and conference centre in a mere 13 months, far ahead of the standard two and a half year construction timeline.

Ladacor President Joseph Kiss says that eighty percent of the building is made of recycled sea containers, which while not made for construction purposes are made for carrying thirty tones of weight across the ocean, sometimes stacked up to nine tall, so make for a very strong and durable building component.

“A part of the technology that we developed is that we can interconnect the containers, we can create openings and open spaces to interconnect them and create much wider and larger rooms that really, once they are finished are indistinguishable from standard construction.”

With a lot of codes and standards to meet, product development for a project this size is done years prior, but with the time saved on construction and the economic savings that come with repurposing the one-way shipping containers, this advanced modular system has many possible applications, especially in the North.

“So in this particular case (Sioux Lookout) modular construction and building it out of sea containers made absolute sense,” remarks Kiss, “because in northern areas where you have seasonal challenges with winter and in some cases you have challenges with the size of the labour force and what not to finish large projects like this it is tough to do these types of projects in a conventional construction mode, in many cases there’s just not enough people up there to do it so you end up taking everyone from different locations and bring them up there and costs get quite high.”

With three new projects currently in the development stages in the area, Kiss says one of them is actually a winter road access project. With modules that easily fit on trucks and are legal loads, not over width or weight, this environmentally sustainable model for building in the North continues to grow in appeal.

Realstar Hospitality’s Byron Martin, the regional director of franchise development for Eastern Canada, says they look forward to working with Ladacor to bring hotels like this to many more regions across the country.

“As Days Inn continues to expand our portfolio of hotels, this new property is a remarkable addition to the brand. The method used to construct the hotel demonstrates the commitment our franchisees have to productivity and innovation. Without this technique, it would have been very difficult to build a cost-effectively hotel of this caliber on the Sioux Lookout site.”





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