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Press releases

EUROPE'S FIRST MODIFIED SHIPPING CONTAINER HOTEL OPENS IN LONDON

15th Aug 2008


The first hotel in Europe to be constructed from modified steel shipping containers is to officially open today (August 15th) in Uxbridge, London.

The 120 room Travelodge has been built from 86 high strength steel containers which were constructed and fitted with the hotel room's fixture and fittings in Shenzen, China.

Transported to England by boat, on arrival they were then put on a lorry and fitted together like giant Lego blocks on the site in Uxbridge.

Paul Harvey, Managing Director, International and Development at Travelodge, said:

"The opening of Europe's first hotel to be constructed from modified shipping containers shows Travelodge's commitment to innovation and cost effectiveness. Customers will notice no difference in their room to a traditionally constructed hotel, yet they will benefit from the low prices we charge due to our desire to cut the cost of doing business".

The advantage of using this modular build technique, pioneered by Verbus Systems in the UK, is the affordability and efficiency gains in the speed of construction.

Without this new technique, it is unlikely to have been possible to construct a hotel on the site. It is land locked and on a busy road, meaning access was limited. The placing together of the 86 containers took a mere 20 days, ensuring the absolute minimum disruption to the local community.

Two different sizes of container were used to build the hotel, creating double rooms which measure 5m x 3m and family rooms which measure 3.5m x 6m. Disabled rooms are also available, as they are at all Travelodge hotels.

Travelodge is also constructing a new 307 room hotel at Heathrow using the modular build technique.

Paul Harvey continued:

"The modular build technique pioneered by Verbus Systems could herald a new dawn for hotel development. Where it is sensible to use, this technique will cut costs and speed up construction times significantly".

Verbus Systems a joint business venture between consulting engineers, Buro Happold and constructor, George & Harding - has developed its unique modular construction system over the last four years. The manufacture of the modules has been outsourced to the global market leaders in the production of shipping containers, China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd.
Mark Allies, Managing Director of G&H Group Ltd said:

"In successfully completing the Uxbridge Travelodge project, the G&H Group have clearly demonstrated that multi-storey schemes constructed using the Verbus System adds value for all involved no matter the logistical restrictions.

With reduced build costs and programmes, the use of the Verbus System drives enhanced cost effectiveness and hence earlier openings and revenue return. This really is the future of construction".

ends



Notes to Editors:
Photos of the construction of the Uxbridge site are available upon request.

The Travelodge in Uxbridge is located on Bakers Road, Uxbridge.

The Heathrow Central Travelodge is located on Bath Road, Hounslow and is set to open in December 2008.

About Travelodge

The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates 345 hotels (over 23,500 rooms) - nine in Ireland, three in Spain and the rest in the UK. Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 70,000 rooms (approximately 1000 hotels) by 2020.

Six and a half million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 87% of reservations are currently made online at travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start at 19 a night. The chain employs 5,000 staff and is owned by Dubai International Capital, who acquired the organisation from Permira in 2006.



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