In our last blog we profiled how the nonprofit healthcare system, Atrium Health, partnered with DPR Construction and Rodgers Builders to expand their main campus with a state-of-the-art Critical Rehab Hospital and Bed Tower to meet the growing needs of Charlotte, NC. With Atrium’s commitment to every community it serves, DPR Construction and Rodgers Builders understood the importance of speed to market.
With this in mind, they developed aggressive prefabrication strategies including SurePods prefabricated bathroom units to help increase productivity and reduce construction duration. To dive deeper into how the pods can help streamline construction processes, we sat down with Scott MacLeod, Project Director at DPR Construction, to get the inside scoop.
SurePods: Based on your Atrium Health project experience, what advantages have prefab modular bathrooms afforded in healthcare settings?
MacLeod: Using prefabricated modular bathrooms allows us to build in parallel in a controlled environment, which improves our schedule and quality. It is important when working on large complex healthcare projects, to do things right the first time. Eliminating delays from rework of improperly installed and repairs for damages in the field to materials, components and equipment. Another major concern we were able to address through prefabrication was mitigating labor shortages resulting from a volatile pandemic environment. You can build the pods in an off-site controlled environment with more productive and therefore less labor and store them until it’s time for installation. This simplifies logistics and can also provide more control over market volatility by mitigating risk to material availability and escalating prices.
SurePods: How has working with SurePods simplified your design processes?
MacLeod: Because we were standardizing patient-room bathrooms enterprise wide, for multiple healthcare campuses, one of the biggest challenges was designing something effective, efficient and that everyone agrees on to achieve economies of scale. Along with consistency, maintaining the same bathrooms and patient rooms in every hospitable helped to reduce operating and maintenance costs and will allow staff to move easily between different hospitals. SurePods made it possible for the builders and designers from each hospital to work together with the manufacturer to standardize a bathroom that fit the needs of multiple campuses under the Atrium Health umbrella.
SurePods: How have your clients responded to the prefab modular bathrooms?
MacLeod: Our clients are very pleased with the results, especially in today’s pandemic environment. Building with SurePods in their factory-controlled setting improves safety, quality and productivity. All this contributes to mitigating new unique challenges in the marketplace and helps us build faster, safer and better to serve the communities here on a wider scale. It’s solving a real need.
SurePods: What advice do you have for other construction firms considering SurePods and modular bathrooms for healthcare, especially those new to prefab?
MacLeod: It’s a journey, and you have to start early when incorporating DFM (Design for Manufacturing) techniques into the design phase. Your teams have to demonstrate commitment and develop a prefabrication plan early to leverage the benefits during construction. Not only do prefab solutions offer quality and scheduling efficiency, but they are also a huge labor saver in markets where it is difficult to find qualified and experienced labor. Plus, it also makes it much easier for onsite workers, giving them one less thing to worry about during the whole project.
If you’re a contractor or developer with a project in healthcare and you want to learn more about how modular bathroom pods can benefit your build, connect with us at: [email protected].