A new nine-storey hotel in Nanaimo is seeing quick progress these days thanks to building technology by a company called Nexii that’s also being heralded as being better for the environment.
Nexii panels are regularly arriving now for the 172-room Marriott hotel that is currently being built in the city’s downtown.
Vancouver’s former mayor, now a Nexii Vice-President, says the panels are part of a green revolution in construction.
“Incredibly energy efficient and the magic ingredient is what we call Nexiite and it’s a green concrete alternative so it’s lower carbon, very strong and you can work very quickly with it,” said Gregor Robertson, Nexii’s Executive Vice-President of Strategy and Partnerships.
For this particular project, it’s estimated the construction time will be up to 10 weeks faster than a conventional buildout.
Using 3D technology the company in its Squamish facilities is prefabricating 140 panels before shipping them to Nanaimo. They will form the building’s outer shell with the insulation already inside.
“You get an outside finished wall like you see here that comes out of the plant finished like that and it’s like drywall on the inside so you replace all of the different layers that are typically within a wall with a Nexii panel,” said Robertson.
The company is based in Vancouver and has been developing production facilities to see its Nexii panels used more broadly. This hotel is their largest building so far and their first project on Vancouver Island.
“We are hoping to have many more and have a great partner here who will be manufacturing called Alexzi on the south island. Those will be manufactured for buildings on the island going forward,” said Robertson.
Nanaimo’s mayor says it’s an important project for the community.
“As a mayor of Nanaimo with a conference centre that needs occupation with the ending of Covid the speeding up of the opening of this hotel is a really important thing for all of us and this technology helps us achieve that goal,” said Krog.
It’s expected the hotel will be completed in the fourth quarter of this year with many watching for its success.
Plans for a hotel for the Gordon Street property have been in the works for years.