Shipping container hotel open for business in Bruderheim, Alta.

A new hotel in Bruderheim is thinking outside the box by inviting guests to sleep inside refurbished shipping containers.

'You can't tell that it's built out of shipping containers at all,' says Edmonton hotel owner Boris Javorski

The Studio 6 hotel, built almost entirely out of recycled shipping containers, welcomed its first guests earlier this month in Bruderheim, Alta. (Ladacor)

A new hotel in Bruderheim, Alta., is thinking outside the box by inviting guests to sleep inside refurbished shipping containers.

The $6-million structure is almost entirely built out of containers — making it the largest structure of its kind in North America.

The new hotel offers 63 rooms, all with kitchenettes. It has a lounge area, fitness room and large meeting room. Room rates range from $119 to $139 per night.

The Studio 6 Extended Stay Hotel, located beside a vacant Shell lot off Highway 45, illuminated its vacancy sign for the first time Dec. 2.

"You can't tell that it's built out of Sea Cans," said Edmonton entrepreneur Boris Javorski, who owns the hotel.

"It's stucco on the outside. It looks no different than any other hotel. You can't tell that it's built out of shipping containers at all." he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

Calgary-based Ladacor Advanced Modular Systems constructed the four-storey hotel, which is designed to provide much-needed accommodation for workers in the Industrial Heartland region.

Eighty steel shipping containers were cut apart in Calgary and reshaped into 40 module units. The units were then transported by truck to the construction site. Even the elevator and stairs came complete in their own steel frames. On-site construction began in September 2015. 

In the end, the structure was erected using 250 tonnes of recycled steel.

"All these shipping containers, they come in, they cut the steel out based on the drawings, and then they spray foam for the insulation and start doing drywall," Javorski said.

"Everything, this entire hotel, was basically built in a shop and then craned in."

'Shipping container graveyards'

Though construction of the prefabricated structure was quick, it was complicated, said Javorski.

"We didn't save much money because there was a lot work being done. There was a lot of engineering.

"It's not like we could have copied somebody, and that was the biggest issue. We had to test everything to make sure it was going to work. But the next one, it will be much cheaper."

He hopes the construction industry will take notice of the unconventional structure. He says the country is riddled with "shipping container graveyards" he would love to see emptied.

For his next project, Javorski is thinking big. He's started drafting some designs for a highrise made entirely out of the steel shells.

"Sea Cans give lots of different options. I think it's possible."

About the Author

Wallis Snowdon


Wallis Snowdon is a digital journalist with CBC Edmonton. She has nearly a decade of experience reporting behind her. Originally from New Brunswick, her journalism career has taken her from Nova Scotia to Fort McMurray. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca