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Why Pre-Fab Construction? An interview with Chris Shinkle, Vice President – Development & Const

We caught up with Chris Shinkle, Vice President – Development & Construction for Midas Hospitality during SurePods’ first installation in the St. Louis market. While the new Element by Westin is set to open Q3 2020, Shinkle is already a proponent of prefabrication, noting its ability to speed up timelines, while delivering high-end aesthetics.

SurePods: What made Midas Hospitality decide to go with a modular approach for this project?

Shinkle: One of the main reasons we went in this direction was to address the challenge of complex logistics and tight time frames. We’re proud to be leading the modular movement in St. Louis and beyond. We see modular innovations as a way to save time and improve margins for our subcontractors, and reduce construction duration.

SurePods: What problems are SurePods helping solve?

Shinkle: The SurePods solution helps us overcome safety concerns and tight schedules, while delivering on quality. It also helps us align with the Element by Westin brand’s focus on producing greener products, as pre-fab reduces material waste.

We anticipate that during the finish phase, the pods should save us at least two months on our schedule. This helps the owner bring the product to market faster, which reduces carrying costs with a shorter construction period.

SurePods: Element by Westin’s guest rooms are spacious and offer cozy furnishings bespoke of home. How do the bathroom pods help achieve Marriott’s signature quality?

Shinkle: The pods carry the prototypical design of a spa-inspired bathroom. They also keep eight-plus trades from working in a 50 sq. ft. space, ensuring quality finishes thanks to the controlled environment. Our subcontractor partners and the city of St. Louis have been very supportive of this innovation in the construction industry.

SurePods: Element by Westin has an emphasis on the extended stay, so was there an interest in the pods’ durability and longevity?

Shinkle: The expected ratio is 40/60, short term/extended stay guests. So, durability and longevity absolutely came into play. These pods have also been proven, as they’ve been in service for 10 years with impeccable moisture resistance. Moisture has been an issue we’ve seen in every past renovation we’ve done before going pre-fab.

SurePods: Do you think Midas Hospitality will use the modular bathroom units in future applications?

Shinkle: What excites us the most about pre-fab is that it’s changing the way we think about traditional construction. It’s helping us align with minimizing risk, be environmentally friendly and improve the quality of the product for our guests and investors. In fact, we’re using the pods for some of our other projects as well.

For additional insight into the benefits of implementing modular solutions, email us at: [email protected].


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