Case Studies

Student Accommodation, Newcastle


Project:                              Melbourne & Warwick House, Newcastle

Sector:                               Student accommodation

Client:                                 Urban Study

Main Contractor:              Interserve plc

Architect:                          Church Lukas

Pod type:                          GRP composite demountable bathroom pods

Number of pods:              191 pods

Urban Study approached Offsite Solutions when they acquired two office buildings in Newcastle which they intended to convert into student accommodation. Their chosen main-contractor Interserve had used Offsite Solutions bathroom pods previously and was keen to use them again. Unfortunately fully assembled pods could not be accommodated as this was the conversion of an existing building where the curtain walls were remaining in place. With this in mind we proposed our ‘Award Winning’ innovative demountable/panelised pod solution suitable for refurbishment and new build projects where there is insufficient access for fully assembled pods.

Originally developed by Offsite Solutions for military refurbishment projects, the demountable pod option is now available in the complete range of GRP composite 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 6-12 weeks to complete using multiple trades and requiring 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 sanitaryware 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 ‘yoghurt pot’ GRP moulds which have tapered walls – so integration is very 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 hotels, apartments, care homes, and healthcare.

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.

The Customer Perspective

Ian Packer, Senior Project Manager of construction company ISG, commented,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 also 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, said, “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 composite which is very robust and offers ease of maintenance and longevity. A wide variety of wall finishes are available for the sectional pods, including tile effect, matt or gloss and with feature recesses if required.        

Given that this project was the first time that demountable/panelised GRP composite pods had been used by Urban Study, Interserve or Church Lukas the construction went without any meaningful problems thanks largely to the positive and proactive approach of all parties.

Further Information:

Interserve plc.

Urban Study

Church Lukas Ltd.

Offsite Solutions demountable bathroom pods

Contact Us

Any additional information

I would like to opt-in to receive marketing communications from Off Site Solutions via:

> submit
Offsite Solutions - GRP composite bathroom pods
10 year anniversary/50 year guarentee

© Offsite Solutions 2024.
Hoopers Close, Isleport Business Park, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 4JU.

Contact Us Careers Terms & Conditions - Suppliers News & Blog Deanestor Dentalstyle Website by Verto