Modular bathrooms help hotel construction proceed at fast tempo in Music City
In the super-heated Nashville hospitality market, Pinnacle Hospitality Partners anticipates trimming significant time from the construction schedule for a 14-story, downtown hotel by using pre-fabricated modular bathrooms.
Located in Nashville’s booming SoBro area of downtown, a short walk from the Music City Center convention hall and popular attractions, the 228-room Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites will be a full-service hotel with 7,000 square feet of meeting space. The property is among the more than 5,000 rooms at 33 hotels under construction in Nashville, as of January 2018 – a 48 percent increase from the prior year, reported The Tennessean newspaper.
In a tight labor market, Pinnacle Hospitality Partners sought construction methods that would enable the timely opening of a high-quality property.
“Through our due diligence, we were able to accelerate the construction schedule by using SurePods and the resulting streamlining of the punch list,” said Rakesh Govindji, president and COO of Pinnacle Hospitality Partners.
Poor bathroom workmanship is a chronic problem in the hotel construction industry. Bathroom rework accounts for over 60% of the punch list. Bathroom quality problems cost hotel investors hundreds of thousands of dollars in finance fees and lost revenue when they cause projects to be late.
In contrast to traditional bathroom construction methods, SurePods consolidate more than 10 construction trades – including electrical, plumbing and finishing work – into one prefabricated product. The modular bathroom units are easy to lift, place and connect, which helps save project developers time and money, while improving bathroom quality for hotel owners and guests.
“The quality of the SurePods is a step up from traditional bathrooms in terms of fit and finish,” said Govindji. The project architect echoed that point: “Consistency of detailing in the bathrooms will enhance the guest experience, the housekeeping efficiency and the long-term maintenance by the owner,” said Art Killebrew, AIA, LEED AP BD&C, of Bounds & Gillespie Architects. Interior designer Stina Funch also was struck by the SurePods’ quality. “We were very excited to visit the SurePods factory and review the work in progress,” said Funch, creative director with Atwater Inc. Studio. “The craftsmanship was excellent and consistent throughout all the pods.”
Using pre-fabricated bathroom pods also simplified construction in Nashville’s bustling downtown. “Serious lack of lay down area made just-in-time production and delivery of SurePods especially appealing,” said Killebrew. “Specifically, the ability to deliver the SurePods directly from transport trucks to the room bays, using the construction tower crane at off-peak hours.” Interior designer Funch added, “The pods all have electrical and plumbing installations done once they arrive on site, so they require no extra work during the installation process on site, other than the hook up.”
“Everyone is very open to this concept, and excited about SurePods,” said Chris Gregory, senior construction manager with contractor D.F. Chase.
What advice does the Nashville Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites project team offer others interested in using pre-fab bathroom pods? Funch said, “Embrace it!” Construction manager Gregory added, “It’s crucial to get the architect involved early to make sure the design accommodates the pod design/construction.” “The Oldcastle team thought of everything,” said developer Govindji. “They really took time to figure out how to fit the bathroom pods into our project.”
Project: Nashville Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites
Building type: Hotel
Developer: Pinnacle Hospitality Partners (Nashville, Tennessee)
Architect: Bounds & Gillespie Architects (Memphis, Tennessee)
Interior Designer: Atwater Inc. Studio (Los Angeles, California)
General Contractor: D.F. Chase (Nashville, Tennessee)
Project status: Under construction; scheduled opening for September 2018