As glitzy as the city it calls home, this redevelopment of a half city block in the heart of downtown Las Vegas replaces a defunct 1960s era three-story hotel.

Photos by Todd McBrayer
Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Project: Downtown Container Park
Photos by Todd McBrayer
Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Project: Downtown Container Park

The hospitality/retail/office hybrid—developed through a partnership between Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project Group—utilizes shipping containers and X-Cubes for much of its structure, and adds flash with a giant praying mantis that shoots flames from its antennae.

Breslin Builders was selected to bring the project to fruition. Once the firm had arranged to acquire the containers for the design-build project from ConGlobal/IPME in Long Beach, Calif., it became clear that acquiring the needed permits to actually assemble the structure would mean forging a new path, says Todd McBrayer, director of design with Breslin Builders.

"One of the major issues we had using modified shipping containers was the building codes do not have a section that allows for their use," McBrayer says. "After meeting with the various departments at the city, we found a solution that would meet their needs while still allowing this alternate method of construction."

The solution was for the project's structural engineer, Richard Warren of S3 Engineers, to provide the city with full structural drawings for each container, including modifications such as holes cut in walls. The design drawings incorporated tube steel, channels and other elements to demonstrate that full structural integrity was present.

After containers were delivered to the site, crews would start converting them into usable space by adding interior walls, insulation, doors and windows. "Once the container is set, the interior work is similar to traditional construction," McBrayer says.

In order to meet IECC energy code requirements, the exposed metal walls needed to have a furred out wall with standard building insulation.

Ceilings are exposed metal with roof insulation on the top of the container.

Judges were impressed with the coordination between the owner and construction team as well as with a safety record of zero recordable incidents during more than 40,000 hours on the job.

Downtown Container Park

Las Vegas

Key Players

General Contractor/Design Breslin Builders, Las Vegas

Owner/Developer Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas

Structural Engineer S3 Engineers LLC, Henderson, Nev.

Civil Engineer JHR Associates Ltd., Las Vegas

MEP Engineer Wright Engineers, Chandler, Ariz.

Subcontractors A&J Concrete; Alcal Specialties; AMI Mechanical; Anthony’s Glass; Artistic Iron Works; Chief Concrete; IPME; GM Whitney Electric; Helix Electric; Hirschi Masonry; Land View Landscape; Vantage Concepts; Nevada Contract Carpet; Night Shift; Otis Elevator; Pavestone; Phoenix Fire; Pinnacle Millwork; Specialty Coatings; Terra Contracting; The Original Roofing Co.; USA Shades; Western States Framing; XL Steel(all Las Vegas)