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Innovative Prefabrication of AC Hotel NULU

September 2017

New, Lego-like ‘stacking’ for urban construction

AC Hotel NULU is set to open in spring 2018. With the end of the year nearing, many are curious about the unconventional, and seemingly delayed, construction on site.
Largely unknown to the general public until now, the construction of this hotel has been underway in Liverpool, PA for months. Out of a manufacturing facility, rooms have been produced as modular units and transported to the site. Here, they are ‘stacked’ like Legos to construct the hotel. Today, invited guests were able to witness this process. Click here to see the video.

Modular stacking has proven to be a green practice, cost and labor efficient, and timely. The city of Louisville is excited to witness the culmination of such strategy and to see how innovative construction practices may take hold in the future.

The hotel will feature 156 rooms, 5,000 square feet of retail space, and “a distinctive European-inspired design and décor package appealing to design-conscious travelers.” The European design and décor of each room will appeal to the diverse wave of travelers that frequent the city of Louisville.

Why Louisville?

The hustle-and-bustle of Louisville can be attributed to the booming business district and constant flow of travelers. As a historic and exciting spot in this region, quality and prestigious hotels are necessary to accommodate the city’s hospitality needs.

Concord connected with Ron Turnier, CEO of Creation Gardens, about two years ago to start work on the AC NULU project. Ron had considered a hotel in the past but was unsure about how to make it happen in such an area that was already growing and thriving. As have many recent Louisville construction projects, AC Hotel NULU will feature the renovation of historic structures on the premises.

Another exciting note is that the hotel will create more than 50 permanent new jobs with the construction itself providing an additional 150. The high quality, elegant rooms will add to the growth and revitalization of the NULU area.

Pennsylvania to Louisville
Construction began nearly 600 miles away out of the Champion Commercial Structures facility in Pennsylvania. This is where the vision of AC Hotel NULU began to take shape. Prefabrication is a relatively new concept, and architects are still working out a few kinks in the process. From the beginning, a plan must be established and followed to a T because changes late in the process are quite difficult to implement.
“There are many benefits to building units in such a controlled environment,” according to Carl Hren, VP of Architecture & Construction for Concord Hospitality. Hren credits this process as being cost neutral because of better quality control and efficient scheduling. When the rooms arrive at the site, they “will be in a 99% complete condition – literally almost ‘vacant ready.’”
Typical hotels of similar size can take 12-14 months to complete – prefabricated units can speed the production up to 8-10 months. AC Hotel NULU will be the fifth prefabricated build by Marriott who began researching this process in 2014.

Perfect for Urban
At the corner of East Market and Shelby Streets, the project makes for a tight, urban job site, offering the perfect opportunity for the implementation of prefabrication.
Previous modular stacking projects have been effective in lessening social impact and disturbances to the flow of city traffic. Traditional construction projects, a well-known inconvenience in Louisville, can produce a lot of noise and debris. It is this growing list of issues that has called for the implementation of prefabrication.
The relocation of construction to a controlled facility has, in a sense, removed the dirty work from Louisville. One module takes about 14 days to be ready for transportation. Upon arriving at the NULU location, modules are stacked by cranes at a rate of one module every 45 minutes. The stacking contractor, Hayes Modular Group, will oversee this process. Of their extensive portfolio, Hayes has completed projects across the United States. AC Hotel NULU will benefit from their experience in a variety of modular projects, from school buildings to apartment complexes. After stacking, electrical, plumbing, and other details will be installed. The final step is simply to incorporate the European décor.

The general contractor for AC Hotel NULU is W.A. Randolph. As seen in their previous projects and plans for the future, their creations are focused around the comfort, flair factor, and overall experience for guests. The same will be true in NULU, an area that calls for – and thrives on – constant innovation of culture. A hotel, realized by W.A. Randolph, is more than just a place to stay – it is a place of relaxation that makes customers excited to return.

Future of Prefabrication
Champion Commercial Structures, a leading supplier of modular units sees that this process has significant potential to grow in popularity.
Chris Waters, Director of Business Development at Champion, is an advocate of the process’ ideal production line, creatively associating the term “Lego effect” to the stacking of these units. Waters is also excited about the many possibilities of such a modular scheme, noting that this type of “architectural flair” may soon be implemented in other projects.
As the stacking took place today for the public to observe, citizens watched in awe as the hotel came together before their eyes.

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About AC Hotels by Marriott
AC Hotels by Marriott is a lifestyle brand within the Marriott International global portfolio of 19 brands. The brand currently offers a portfolio of more than 80 hotels in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Turkey, France and the United States. Growth plans include more than 50 hotels set to open within the next three years throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. AC Hotels by Marriott debuted its first U.S. location in November 2014 in the iconic Cotton Exchange Building in New Orleans, followed by AC Hotel® Kansas City in March 2015, AC Hotel® Washington D.C. at National Harbor in April 2015, AC Hotel® Chicago Downtown in May 2015, and AC Hotel Miami Beach in June 2015. For more information, visit www.achotels.marriott.com.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 81 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
NOTE: The statements about the expected future growth of AC Hotels by Marriott are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company
As an award-winning hotel development, ownership and management company, Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company has spent the last three decades partnering with owners and its investors on more than $2.5 billion in in premium branded properties across the United States and Canada. As an operator, both for third party owners and partners, Concord Hospitality instills value from the ground up, developing and managing with a sustainable viewpoint, a focus on quality and a hands-on involvement to ensure long-term profitability. Learn more at concordhotels.com.

Champion Commercial Structures
As a leading manufacturer of modular units, Champion has established leverage and national experience. Champion Commercial Structures has found innovative engineering to be the driving factor in completing projects quickly, efficiently, and successfully. A commitment has been made to offering opportunities to help businesses grow while offering a peace of mind. Of their primary focuses in the practice of modular prefabrication is going green – a mark of a business that is intent on growing, moving forward, and innovating for a greater good. Learn more about the work of Champion at championcommercial.com.

About Hayes Modular Group, Inc.
Since 1986, Warren Hayes has been serving all areas of the manufactured and modular industry. Hayes Modular Group was established to focus on the high demand needs of large scale modular projects. With millions of square feet of modular projects successfully installed across the country, Hayes Modular Group is an industry leader in large scale installation projects. Whether it be military, commercial, or residential, these professionals are fit to ensure a safe and successful project. Learn more at hayesmodular.com.

W.A. Randolph, Inc.
With over half a century of high quality work and standards proven in every project, W.A. Randolph guarantees the absolute best. Of highest importance is customer satisfaction. They work to achieve this advocating integrity, completeness, and taking pride in successful projects. Randolph’s large and growing portfolio includes both large and small undertakings of various market sectors. The reputation of W.A. Randolph is centered around customers, for whom they strive to provide above average results. More information can be found at warandolph.com.