Offsite Solutions launches demountable bathroom pods for healthcare
Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has developed an innovative demountable pod solution for refurbishment and new build projects where there is insufficient access for fully assembled pods.
Originally developed for military refurbishment projects, the demountable pod option is now available in the complete range of GRP bathroom designs from Offsite Solutions. This level of design flexibility is unprecedented and a UK industry first.
Demountable pods radically reduce work on site, and offer the superior and consistent quality of factory-built bathrooms. Eight pods can be reassembled on site in just one day with a three-person team. This compares to site-built bathrooms on a typical scheme, which can take six to12 weeks to complete using multiple trades and require a high level of site management and supervision.
In refurbishment and conversion projects, the only access may be through the window openings of an existing building – or internally via the main entrance and stairwells – and this may not be sufficient for a full-sized pod. The panel sizes of a demountable pod are specially designed to ensure full access is achievable.
The demountable solution uses a unique sectional design where the shower tray forms part of the floor and the wall panels create the shower enclosure. Holes for sanitary ware are pre-drilled and only the shower door is then installed on site. The pod walls are completely vertical with 90° corners – unlike pods created from complete GRP moulds which have tapered walls – so integration is simple.
Applications for demountable pods include student residences and military accommodation – where around 1,500 of these pods have already been installed. Other sectors include healthcare, hotels, apartments, and care homes.
Demountables can also be an efficient solution to maximise off-site construction on new build schemes where pods may not have been considered at design inception. Some areas may not have access for siting an assembled pod because of beam locations, columns or a complex architectural design. The use of a demountable solution for these areas and pre-assembled pods for the rest of the building, means that bathroom build quality is maintained across the whole project, with a single point of contact and significant programme savings.
Ian Packer, Senior Project Manager of construction company ISG, says: “Building bathrooms on site for multi-occupancy buildings does not make sense in my view and I would always recommend a pod solution. The demountable pods are a clever way of overcoming any access issues to maximise off-site construction.
“If bathroom pods are procured at an early stage in the design, the build-up will allow access. But we have had isolated areas of a building where access is just not possible – and where accessible pods have been too large for installation in a pre-assembled form. This is where demountable pods have been hugely beneficial.
“Speed on site with a sectional form is still much faster because the number of operations, trades, and drying periods are reduced to just one company and a single assembly operation. Why have up to seven different trades and 10-15 operations on site when you can have just one? There is less risk of programme delay and quality control is far greater, mitigating defects, and remedial works.”
James Stephens, Managing Director of Offsite Solutions, says: “Bathroom pods have traditionally been limited to new build. The development of our demountable solution expands the application of offsite to refurbishment and conversion projects.
“We can deliver, position, and reassemble factory-built bathrooms in a sectional configuration in a fraction of the time of site-based construction and with enhanced quality. This helps to reduce the reliance on subcontracted trades, at a time when the construction industry is facing such severe skills shortages.”
Offsite Solutions’ demountable pods are manufactured from GRP which is robust and offers ease of maintenance and longevity. A variety of wall finishes is available for the sectional pods, including tile effect, matt, or gloss, and with feature recesses if required.
Offsite Solutions offers a comprehensive and expanding range of bathroom pods to suit different building types and applications. Options include steel-framed pods with traditional tiled finishes for apartments, student residences, and hotels; robust and low maintenance GRP composite pods for student accommodation, care homes, affordable housing, and healthcare; hybrid pods for specialist projects, and the demountable pods for ease of installation in refurbishment or schemes with restricted access.