April 26, 2011

Cambria Suites – Appleton, WI


Building Use—Hotel
Size—70,365 square feet
Design-Builder—Consolidated Construction Co., Inc.
Architect—Design II Architects

The Appleton Cambria Suites’ original bid from the franchise was an untested prototype that was $600,000 over the developer’s budget. This challenge stalled similar projects around the country, yet Consolidated Construction optimistically re-evaluated the design and value engineered savings that made it feasible. The team not only developed a new Cambria Suites brand model, including a patent-pending carpentry method, they completed the project in an unprecedented 10 months.

• Innovative thinking established a new design model for the franchise, while saving money
• New porte-cochere entry design is more distinctive and saved the budget thousands
• Panelized wood framing systems reduced costs by 16% and construction time by 37%
• $90,000 saved (material and labor) by redesigning entrance columns
• $25,000 saved with revolutionary dividers separating a room’s living space from the sleeping area
• $20,000 saved by modifying pool windows from removable glass panels to fixed windows
• $20,000 saved by using EIFS instead of pre-cast on the roof soffit
• $10,000 saved by modifying lighting package

Cambria Suites chose to “Consolidate it” with one call.


The project was conceived by, and site selected by, the Consolidated Construction business development team. The franchise provided the prototype plans, which did not meet budget requirements. Consolidated used a high degree of value engineering, totaling over $600,000, to reduce the budget enough to make it feasible.


Multiple trips to Cambria Suites corporate headquarters were required for redesign of the original prototype and approval. Subcontractor innovations in design, carpentry, metal panels, lighting, HVAC, and drainage brought the project within budget goals while maintaining the contemporary, distinctive features that would appeal to the target market—upscale business/leisure travelers. The team’s redesign efforts not only nailed the budget, it resulted in a new nationwide brand image for Cambria Suites.


Consolidated Construction thoroughly examined every aspect of the building, looking for design opportunities that addressed market-specific needs and preferences. From lumber to bolts to flooring, cost-effective alternatives were found by Consolidated and subcontractors. One example is the pre-fabricated, wood panelized frame system that allowed for complete enclosure within three months. Another is the entrance area, which not only saved thousands, it created the distinctive Cambria “swoosh” cantilevered porte-cochere.

Setting the Standard

Not only did Consolidated complete the Cambria Suites project on a fast-track (10 months), it recorded no worker injuries or accidents. It is now the franchise’s brand model, featured in electronic and print marketing materials. Cambria’s Design and Construction Project Director considers it the standard of quality excellence, “When I meet a prospective developer or builder anywhere, I bring them to Appleton. It’s kind of the ‘How to Build a Cambria’ model.”