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Offsite Solutions Wins Pod Contract for New Eco Hotel in Exeter

Offsite Solutions has been awarded its third project for Zeal Hotels. This is a £700,000 contract for 134 bespoke GRP shower pods for a highly sustainable new hotel at Exeter Science Park – the first of a number of eco hotels around the UK under the Zeal Hotels brand.

The scheme is also the first application of a new GRP tile-effect bathroom pod finish that was recently developed and launched by Offsite Solutions.

The latest project for Zeal follows an increase in demand for bathroom pods for the hospitality sector and Offsite Solutions’ successful delivery of two earlier pod contracts for the Ibis Plaza Hotel and Holiday Inn Express in Bridgwater, Somerset, which were also developed by Zeal Hotels.

Due to open in 2024 and designed by ECE Westworks, the new net zero carbon hotel in Exeter is targeting a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating and will feature co-working space, meeting rooms, restaurant, bar, gym, gardens, and EV charging points. The main contractor is Red Construction South West.

Commenting on the choice of bathroom pods, Tony Clark, Director of Zeal Hotels, said, “Sustainability was the main driver for our specification of GRP bathroom pods because of the recyclability properties of GRP. We have worked closely with the Offsite Solutions team to develop a carbon reducing solution for the bathrooms. The use of pods will also radically reduce traffic to site and optimise materials to cut waste.”

“There are also clear quality and programme benefits of manufacturing the bathrooms offsite. The Offsite Solutions team are proactive, collaborative, have performed on every Zeal project, and are committed to the sustainability agenda.”

James Stephens, Managing Director of Offsite Solutions, says, “Modular bathroom pods are a perfect solution for hotels which tend to have aesthetically identical bathrooms that are ideal for manufacturing offsite. The pods are delivered to site as finished bathrooms, having been fully fitted out and tested before leaving the factory. The quality of finish is enhanced in a production line environment and by reducing work on site, we can contribute to a faster build programme and ROI for the hotel developer.”

“Having worked on a number of Zeal Hotels projects, we are absolutely delighted to have been appointed for their first net zero hotel and the first to be operated under their own brand.”

Sustainably manufactured and fitted out offsite in controlled factory conditions, the finished bathrooms will be installed on site in just a few hours. This approach reduces construction waste through more efficient use of materials. Quality will also be superior and more consistent with offsite manufacturing.

The Offsite Solutions design team collaborated with Zeal to develop the contemporary bathrooms for the new Exeter hotel. Each ensuite shower room will feature two GRP tile-effect finishes in matt white – a new horizontal stack bond metro design on the bottom half of the walls with a 350mm square tile-effect above.

The tile-effect finishes are integral to the pods and remove the need for grout and tiles to the wet areas. This means the pods will be much easier to clean and maintain over the life of the bathrooms – an important benefit for hotel operators – whilst having a contemporary and high-quality aesthetic.

The shower rooms will have a 1300mm shower with sliding glass door, thermostatic shower on a sliding rail, and a modern metal box frame to support a solid surface vanity top, counter-top rectangular hand basin and integral towel rail.

There will also be a back-lit rectangular mirror with integrated demister pad, wall hung toilet with white solid surface vanity shelf above, towel shelf, LED lighting, and an acoustic vinyl floor in sun-bleached oak. The bespoke metal work for the vanity box frame and towel rails will have a striking grey-green metal finish.

Offsite Solutions offers the largest range of bathroom pods of any UK manufacturer and to suit different building types, tenures, and market sectors. Options include steel-framed bathroom pods with porcelain-tiled finishes for high-end apartments, PRS, student residences and hotels, and robust and low maintenance GRP composite shower and bath pods for student living, build-to-rent, care homes, social housing, and healthcare.

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