Pre-fab bathroom pods

Prefab Bathroom Pods: The Future of Construction?

| Washrooms & Beyond


Prefab Bathroom Pods: The Future of Construction?

While at the nascent stage in India, prefab bathroom pods offers significant savings in terms of cost and time especially in large hospitality projects.

In the construction industry, time is an extremely valuable resource, even a slight interruption in timelines can set off a chain of events that can cause unprecedented project delays. This has prompted the real estate industry to embrace component-based assembly, which focuses on saving time, thereby bringing in a host of benefits such as speed, efficiency, quality and significant cost savings. 

Bespoke component assembly is proving to be a real game-changer in the building industry and it has now entered the domain of bathrooms. Prefabricated bathroom pods, are turnkey bathroom units, which are setting a trailblazing trend in the future of offsite construction.

Pre-designed, pre-engineered and manufactured in factory-controlled environment, the bath pods are shipped to the project site, certified ready to plug and play, with all the fittings and fixtures, including tiles, sanitary appliances, mechanical and electrical installations. They are placed, connected on site for instant use—be it hotels, hospitals, apartments or commercial buildings. Needless to say, this greatly reduces the amount of time, headcount and work compared to the conventional methods on site.

How has this concept been received in India?

This concept has found favour among a host of hotel chains and real estate developers globally and in India too. Globally, large hoteliers like Sheraton Hotel, Marriot, Star Wood, Holiday Inn and Hilton are increasingly opting for smart prefab bathrooms that offer tremendous economies of scale.

The trend is fast gaining ground in India in both residential and commercial construction. With builders looking to significantly reduce construction time and deliver on time, the prefab pods are a big boon to medium and large-scale projects, with reported savings of up to 50% less time and 30% less cost.

In the residential sector in India, prefab bath pods are a nascent concept and are being fitted in premium residential complexes and luxury hotel projects, where time is literally money. As prefab pods follow a just-in-time delivery schedule, hoteliers and residential developers in India are realising the benefits of reduced stock maintenance on site and shortened project completion cycle (by at least 30%).

Pre fab bathroom pod
Bathroom pods are fuss-free, sustainable, easy to install and require less supervision and labor. Photo Courtesy- Julien Maculan

How does this concept work for different setups?

In residential complexes and apartments, the bath Pods come with a floor base frame, walls and ceiling, and fittings and fixtures such as washstand, mirror and shower enclosures and bathtubs.

For all sectors, prefab pods are tested and fitted with accessories and interiors such as sinks, toilets, taps, appliances, wall panels, rails, mirrors, shower walls, shower tray, shower base, shower partition, toilet partition and grab bars. These are then placed into the overall structure of the room and connected to plumbing and electrical systems.

Custom modifications include wall finish (ceramic/porcelain/natural tiles), floor surface (tiled or vinyl), wall and floor thickness. All first fix MEP run within the structure of the frame including hot and cold-water pipes, waste pipes and electrical services. General maintenance access points are reached through the bath panel, the vanity unit, ceiling access panel, shaft area.

In commercial buildings, innovative heating and cooling systems are being used to ensure uniform temperature across the floor and ideal vertical temperature layer. There are also technologies that ensure there are no draughts, noise and vibration. Automated robotic technology is also used to produce bathroom pods on a large scale.

The road ahead

The real estate industry in India is expected to touch $180 billion in 2020, driven by large-scale projects across the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. With the enforcement of RERA, efficient delivery and on-time completion of projects are of paramount importance. In the light of these developments, prefabricated structures will play a greater role in the days to come.

Apart from premium residential projects and luxury hotels, large office complexes, technology parks and commercial establishments too will opt for plug-and-play bathroom pods, which promise great economies of scale and high efficiency on all counts.

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