Technical Spotlight #5: Prefab Bathroom Pods and MEP System Tolerances
Interested in using modular bathroom pods, but fear of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) issues keeping you up at night? It’s SurePods to the rescue! In the fifth installment of our “Technical Spotlight” series, we’ll answer three common questions around modular bathrooms’ MEP system tolerances, proving that prefab can once again save time and money with conflict analysis and simplified processes.
Question: When designing prefabricated bathroom units, do you run MEP conflict analysis?
While technology hasn’t always been sophisticated enough for MEP conflict analysis, today’s modern SurePods use Revit for BIM pod models to create 3D renderings and run analyses.
During pre-construction, our SurePods team works with the architect and general contractor, and then builds a model in Revit based off of the client’s plans. The architect then plugs the Revit model directly into their design and runs native conflict analysis. Subcontractors can evaluate the bathroom elements through Navisworks and suggest MEP adjustments before construction even begins, allowing for maximum efficiency.
Question: Is it difficult for the MEP trades to work with modular bathroom pods?
When considering bathroom pods, many general contractors worry that it will prove too challenging for MEP trade workers to hook up to toilet and shower waste pipes, vanity P-traps, toilets, showers/tubs and vanity supply stub-outs.
But since SurePods can engage project subcontractors from the beginning, post-construction MEP work is as simple as “plug and play.” MEP trades merely connect the modular bathroom pod to the building’s mechanical systems. As our first Technical Spotlight notes, “The pods are virtually indistinguishable from a site built bathroom.”
In addition, MEP groups are increasingly utilizing prefabrication themselves, from in-house lean construction to third-party projects like Surepods’. This familiarization means the trade workers are more than up to the task. And when combined with SurePods’ ability to coordinate multi-trade groups beyond MEP, prefab projects are finished faster with a greater potential for monetary, time and labor savings.
Question: Are there extra costs associated with coordinating MEP penetrations and hookups for pre-fab bathroom units?
Nope! Since there is no more of an issue with modular pods than with site-built bathrooms, the cost is the same. In fact, there’s even an opportunity to save money since SurePods addresses MEP problems up front during pre-construction.
Prefabrication further allows for coordination of a just-in-time delivery approach. With an exact delivery date in place, it’s easier to coordinate schedules with in-demand MEP trade workers and thereby accelerate construction.
Reports show that the skilled labor shortage isn’t slowing anytime soon, and MEP subcontractors continue to struggle with staffing enough workers. Modular solutions are, therefore, a must, relying on fewer bodies to get the job done safely, simply and speedily.
Have additional MEP questions?
Have additional MEP questions?
Contact Bill Seery, SurePods vice president of business development at [email protected] to learn more about how SurePods helps ensure bathroom pods align with building systems.