In Amsterdam, the CitizenM hotel chain provides high end accommodations for midsize budgets. How is the hotel, which calls itself "luxury budget", able to offer designer furnishings and automated environmental controls via iPad for the same rate as a middle tier business hotel? Co.Design's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan writes that CitizenM is using prefabrication to lower its construction costs.
Every room in a CitizenM hotel is pre-assembled in a factory owned by the brand in Holland. Designed by the Amsterdam architecture office concrete, the rooms arrive on-site nearly complete. Each hotel (so far, Amsterdam, Schipol, Glasgow, and the two forthcoming London locations) is made up of hundreds of identical rooms that have been stacked to create the finished building. It’s a process that was pioneered in the 30s and 40s, and is widely used in the home building industry.
The hotel industry saw over $5.3 billion in construction starts last year. Smith Travel Research, a hospitality industry information provider, expects construction to continue to grow in 2012, at an increase of 15% over 2011. The growth can be attributed to high occupancy rates and increased revenue per room. In an already competitive field, cutting down the construction cost of rooms allows hotels to invest more money into the public and amenity spaces, which establish branding.