Case Studies

Urbanest London

Project:                      Urbanest City, London              
Sector:                       Student accommodation  
Client:                        Urbanest   
Main Contractor:       Balfour Beatty   
Architect:                   Hopkins/Apt
Pod Type:                  Steel-framed shower pods
Number of pods:       500+  

The Project

Urbanest City is a £90m mixed use student scheme at Vine Street in the City of London, built by Balfour Beatty. It will deliver 656 student beds alongside 75,000sqft of commercial offices and 10,000 sqft of incubator space for start-up businesses.

The Vine Street project is transforming a historically sensitive site into a new landmark structure and destination, with high-quality student homes, and office and retail space. The development also includes a public exhibition in the basement which houses a preserved section of the original Roman London city wall.

The Bathroom Pod Solution

The £1.8m contract awarded to Offsite Solutions is its fourth project for student accommodation developer, urbanest and involves the manufacture of over 500 high specification ensuite shower pods.

Offsite Solutions has a longstanding relationship with urbanest, having supplied bathroom pods for other high-quality student schemes across London.

By moving bathroom construction into a controlled factory environment, fewer materials and labour are required on site which is a key benefit for a constrained central London site.

A Premium Steel-framed Construction

The ensuite shower rooms for urbanest City have a premium steel-framed construction and were fully fitted out in the factory to reduce work on site to just a few hours.

Features include:

  • Large format porcelain floor and wall tiles in an anthracite grey matt finish
  • Large picture mirror set into the tiles
  • Wall-mounted toilet and basin
  • Glass vanity shelf
  • LED lighting
  • Shaver socket
  • Towel rail
  • Thermostatic shower with bi-fold glass door
  • A number of the pods have heated walls.

Accessible Pods to Meet DDA Requirements

Offsite Solutions is manufacturing 46 accessible pods designed in line with DDA requirements for this project, to allow easy wheelchair access. These shower rooms are floorless to achieve a continuous level floor and have wall-mounted and drop-down grab rails, two wash hand basins at different heights, an extended WC pan and a fold-down seat in the shower.

A Range of Different Pod Types

In addition to managing the complexities of supplying pods to a site of historical importance, Offsite Solutions has the design and production capabilities and robust processes to manufacture and fit out 11 different pod types for this project.

Each pod will be produced for a precise location within the building to ensure a highly efficient delivery and installation programme can be implemented. The pods were installed using a tower crane.

The Customer Perspective

Angus Kearin, Head of Development, urbanest:

“Building bathrooms offsite for multi-occupancy buildings such as student accommodation makes really good sense in our view, particularly in the centre of London. Maximising offsite construction saves a huge amount of work on site and allows us to dispense with several processes. The quality of bathroom pods is superior, and delivery is consistently on time and on budget.”

“We have worked with Offsite Solutions very successfully on a number of our projects. They collaborate with our design and construction teams to give us exactly the right product offer for our students. Their logistics and the reliability and quality control of their pod manufacturing process are unparalleled in the market.”


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