SurePods Close Up: Debunking misconceptions about the pods

Many preconceived notions and misconceptions prevent building professionals from making the leap to time- and labor-saving modular construction methods. Some envision a unit that’s only a step above a jobsite trailer, or a bulky, boxy structure that takes up valuable space. Thanks to advances in manufacturing methods, today’s modular bathroom pods are virtually indistinguishable from a site-built units.

In this week’s SurePods closeup, we’re debunking two common modular misconceptions:

Misconception #1: prefab bathrooms come with thick floor assemblies

Contrary to popular belief, modular bathrooms’ subfloors, like SurePods’, can be considerably thin. Rather than having to depress or modify the slab in anyway, crews can simply slide the prefabricated pod into place when they arrive at the construction site. Teams then only have to install a custom-engineered sloping floor threshold, as they would do with any on-site built bathroom. The threshold ensures that the transition between the flooring inside and outside of a prefab pod is ADA compliant.

While many residential and commercial applications don’t require slab depression, healthcare is the one exception. Sometimes, healthcare projects require the bathroom to be a wet room, where the floors are sloped to a drain in the center of the floor, and the entire bathroom works like a shower pan. This allows employees to completely hose out the room, utilizing the center drain. In these instances, healthcare contractors would need to plan for a slab depression to accommodate that slope within SurePods’ floor system. This is a key reason why Revit® BIM conflict analysis is a part of the pre-construction process with SurePods.

Misconception #2: prefab bathrooms require an increased vertical clearance

While you might guess that prefab, modular bathrooms require an increased vertical clearance space to maneuver into position and to place, the standard 104 in. (8’ 8” in clear) top of slab to bottom of ceiling height common in commercial project scenarios is adequate to accommodate bathroom pods. Once prefab bathroom pods are in place, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) trades make the connections to the building’s mechanical systems, the exterior of the pods are sheetrocked and then floor thresholds are installed.

Regardless of project type, the key finding success with modular methods is to reach out to the manufacturer early. Early analysis with engineers and project teams is essential to ensure all parties understand how to properly integrate prefabrication into the architects’ and contractors’ vision. Problem-solving can occur before construction even begins, saving valuable time and resources.

If you think your project is a match for SurePods as we head into 2021, let’s talk. We have a checklist of technical issues we review with the project team based on our extensive experience to make projects seamless. To get started, contact us at [email protected].

Did you miss our previous article…

Construction Market Update: Modular Methods Going Mainstream

Just as expected, the modular construction industry is going strong in the new year. In January, we outlined a few predictions discussing how modular methods could help building pros mitigate safety risks on the jobsite and accelerate construction timelines. From supporting green building initiatives to creating safer working conditions, below are a few highlights that showcase how the modular prefab method is making a positive impact and helping several industries find success in 2021:

Energy-efficient Starbucks built in just six days

A first-of-its-kind for the coffee retail giant, Starbucks will open a sustainably constructed drive-thru store in Canada using an energy-efficient modular system with near-zero construction waste, according to a recent press release. Assembled and built in less than a week’s time, the store is specifically designed to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling compared to standard construction builds.

According to Construction Dive, other restaurant brands have embraced modular building as a way to cut costs, shave construction time and lower their carbon footprints. Late last year, Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant built with a modular construction process in just 12 weeks, compared to the typical 23-week average for “scrape and rebuild” projects.

Modular bathrooms to become a mainstay in Season’s Retirement Homes In just a few months, 147 SurePods bathrooms will be heading to St. Catharine’s Seasons Retirement Community, a new assisted living facility opening in Ontario, Canada. To ensure the bathroom pods were perfectly designed for St. Catharine’s residents, the materials and fixtures were carefully selected by the Season’s Retirement Homes design team.

In the development of future retirement communities, Season’s Retirement Homes will enlist SurePods to deliver beautifully designed bathroom pods for seamless “plug-and-play” installs. The code-compliant pods offer the added value of cost certainty and de-risking jobsites, in addition to offering quality, consistent bathroom facilities to residents across Season’s Retirement Homes’ entire portfolio.

Take a video tour of the Season’s Retirement Pod:

National news segment explores “How Modular Construction is Shaking Up the Industry”

Informally referred to as the “CNBC for millennials,” post-cable TV network Cheddar breaks down the modular construction process for its viewers and explores how modular building methods offer solutions to address several factors the construction industry currently faces.

Ayall Schanzer, Chief Strategy Officer, iBUILT, points out the economic advantages that modular construction presents, including helping offset rising materials costs and addressing the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage. He also discusses how modular building methods are helping the construction industry overcome several new challenges presented in 2021, noting that “off-site manufacturing provides an alternative and eliminates a lot of the risk and a lot of the costs associated with traditional onsite construction.”

At the end of the segment, the news anchor calls modular building “almost like [it’s] the trifecta,” with respect to its ability “lower construction and operating costs in addition to [speeding up] construction in the process.”

Ready to take advantage of the modular benefits for your next project? Let’s talk. Our prefabricated bathrooms can shave 2-4 months off construction timelines. If SurePods’ modular bathroom pods sound like a match for your next project, let’s talk. We have a checklist of technical issues we review with the project team based on our extensive experience to make projects seamless. To get started, contact us at [email protected].

SurePods Close-Up: Bringing simplicity to the design and construction process

Building design professionals are all too familiar with the complications associated with having multiple points of contact during the construction process. And when it comes to bathroom design and construction, these complications can seem exaggerated. Electrical, plumbing and finishing work – ranging from drywall to painting – can require up to 10 construction trades working in an area of about 50 to 100 square feet. Scheduling, miscommunication and onsite reworks can inevitably lead to construction delays, which can adversely affect a building’s target opening date and revenue generation.

To support project architects’ design goals and reduce unnecessary headaches during the bathroom construction process, SurePods prefabricated units provide simplicity from start to finish – check out four ways below:

Single point of procurement: From pre-construction to project completion, design teams work with a single point of contact to concept and create modular bathroom pods. By engaging SurePods early in the design process, project architects are able to communicate design goals without the added confusion that comes from working with multiple contacts. This also makes it easier to stay on track when it comes budgets and target opening dates, as the factory-controlled setting allows for more accurate construction techniques.

Ease of design collaboration: SurePods utilizes Revit, a modelling software for designers, engineers and architects, for building information modeling (BIM). By creating a 3D image of modular bathroom pods during the pre-con phase, all parties involved are able to to visualize the design and make necessary adjustments prior to production. Not only does this help with the design decision-making process, but it also ensures that all building and design professionals are working from the same point of reference.

“SurePods uses the same Revit for BIM electronic data we use, so sharing the designs back and forth is simple and easy,” said Greg Mueller, CEO and principal, Tucker Sadler Architects. “They also generate a complete package for permitting, which speeds up our drawing time.”

Simply put, since modular bathrooms are pre-designed and agreed upon, they are a known solution. There’s no need to change an order or dip into an owner’s contingency fund.

Simplicity on the factory floor: By utilizing Revit in collaboration with project architects, SurePods’ 3D bathroom models translate directly into machine code. Then, production robots can manufacture bathroom pods with laser precision – literally. With automated computer numerical control (CNC) machines, SurePods can essentially “hit print” and produce several bathroom pods per day to exact project specifications.

Plug-and-play installation: Once the pods are manufactured, they are wrapped in waterproof and weatherproof packaging and delivered to the jobsite. Since bathroom pods are forged by machines for dimensional accuracy and produced with high quality materials, they arrive at the jobsite in excellent condition, ready for installation. SurePods can install and deliver up to 30 units per day with a plug-and-play process similar to interlocking Legos, minimizing installation time and essentially eliminating bathroom punch lists. By coordinating a just-in-time delivery approach, projects can continue to run smoothly without unexpected delays hindering the construction process.

If you think your project is a match for SurePods, let’s talk. We have a checklist of technical issues we review with the project team based on our extensive experience. To get started, contact us at

New SurePods West Facility Opens

As North America’s largest manufacturer of prefabricated bathroom pods, it’s been exciting to witness the industry as it experiences dynamic growth. According to a recent Valuates Reports, “the global Prefabricated Bathroom Pods market is valued at USD 1.41 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 2.95 billion by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.53% between 2021 and 2027.” To meet the rising demand for modular bathrooms on both sides of the country, we’re thrilled to announce we’re taking our nearly 20 years of knowledge and expertise to the West Coast as we open the door to our new production facility.

Centrally located in Phoenix, Arizona, the new SurePods West facility will bring to market an additional 1,500 to 2,000 pods annually, with plans to increase capacity as acceptance grows. Not only will this allow us to scale to meet demand as the skilled labor shortage and volatile market conditions drive adoption of modular methods, but it will also make it easier to service and ship our bathroom pods to developers and builders across the Western United States.

“With demand for alternative construction methods rising, we’re excited to scale our production and make prefab bathroom solutions more available to those on the West Coast,” explains Matt Gaskin, Assistant General Manager, SurePods West. “Whether customers are facing high-cost labor markets, complex jobsite challenges or market disruptions, we can help them simplify what is typically one of the most complex components of any large-scale development project.”

To learn more about our brand new operation, check out the full release here. If you have a large-scale construction project in the West Coast that could benefit from our schedule-accelerating bathroom pods, get in touch at: [email protected]. We’d love to show you our facility and discuss how we can meet your needs.

Did you miss our previous article…