Hotel rooms built in Poland being stacked in Seattle's South Lake Union

One by one, 40,000-pound hotel rooms are being lifted by a crane and stacked into place along Westlake Avenue in Seattle’s South Lake Union area.  Project leaders for the citizenM Hotel say the modular construction method saves them four months and reduces construction waste by 60 percent.

In August, KIRO 7 detailed how Seattle City Council is considering similar construction methods to build affordable housing.

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Each of the 264 rooms of the citizenM Hotel were built in Poland and shipped to the Port of Everett.  They come fully finished with everything but the mattress. Washington State Labor and Industries already inspected each room.

“When we were over in Poland with this, L and I was there doing inspections and testing,” Mortenson Construction project manager Lauren Boedeker told KIRO 7.  “So that when the city of Seattle comes when we're done they don't have to come into the mods. They simply can sign off the building as a whole.”

Each of the rooms are connected to each other using built in steel plates. On the bottom of each unit, another steel plate connects them to the flooring and to the main concrete column. That's what holds the building together.

The rooms are 150 square feet each and have a tablet that controls everything from the electricity to free movies on the TV.

“So, we stripped away the things you don't actually use,” citizenM design manager Ben McGhee said.  “And focus on things you do use.”

This isn't the first building put together this way in Seattle, and project leaders told KIRO 7 they anticipate more here, given the benefits.

“One of the advantages of this is speed to market, but there's also the fact we're building this in a controlled environment,” Boedeker said. “So over in the factory, you have workers where it's conditioned. We're not having to climb floors to get places.”