Why Pre-Fab Construction? An interview with Design Principal Greg Mueller
We recently reached out to Greg Mueller, CEO/Principal at California-based Tucker Sadler Architects, who has worked extensively with SurePods on the design side of things. Specifically, Mueller has worked with the modular bathroom pods in various multi-family and hospitality projects, including the AC Hotel by Marriott in San Diego.
SurePods: From an architect’s point of view, what advantages have pre-fab modular bathrooms afforded?
Mueller: Pre-fab bathrooms afford assured quality of construction and increased delivery time, meaning they help deliver a hotel or apartment building faster. The modular bathrooms also deliver on innovation in regards to green technology. Lastly, they offer a cleaner construction site with less waste.
From a design standpoint, the sky’s the limit. Whatever I design, SurePods can put into a pod.
SurePods: What 1-2 key challenges have pre-fab modular bathrooms helped you solve?
Mueller: The first major challenge is that there’s not enough skilled labor. Pre-fab solves that. The bathrooms are constructed within a factory under factory supervision. This results in better construction quality, and there’s no punch list when the pods come to the jobsite.
With the way the pods are constructed, we can also get a higher quality bathroom in place. This affords us extra space within the units themselves. Gaining inches in a very small unit of a hotel room makes a big difference.
SurePods: How has working with SurePods simplified your processes?
Mueller: SurePods uses the same Revit for BIM electronic data we use, so sharing the designs back and forth is simple and easy. They also generate a complete package for permitting, which speeds up our drawing time.
SurePods: How have your clients responded to pre-fab modular bathrooms?
Mueller: Every client that has used SurePods will never do another project without them, as they maintain the quality inside the bathrooms that our clients want.
The hurdle is helping them to understand that they’re not compromising on design when going with prefabrication in the first place. This simply is not the case with SurePods, since controlled environments allow us to have higher quality. For instance, modular bathrooms’ relatively thin floor assemblies give us a smaller threshold and tighter tolerances, automatically fitting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and offering the same slim profiles as site-built bathrooms.
SurePods: What advice do you have for other architecture firms considering SurePods and modular bathrooms in general, especially those new to prefab?
Mueller: My question is this, what are you waiting for? There’s no reason for design teams to not consider pre-fab solutions. And really, it’s only to the owner’s benefit to go in this direction. Modular bathrooms assure the highest quality with a fast turnaround for whatever building we’re designing.
SurePods: You’ve used SurePods pre-fab bathrooms on a number of hotel projects. Are you planning to expand your use beyond hotels?
Mueller: We’ve used SurePods in residential facilities, as well. There’s so much repetition with multi-family buildings, that there’s really no change when switching between hospitality and multi-unit residential.
We’re also starting to see prefabrication crop up in commercial applications. For example, retail centers are currently utilizing modular construction.
Learn more about the benefits of SurePods from an architectural standpoint by connecting with Bill Seery, SurePods vice president of business development: [email protected].