Construction Safety Week 2021: Four Ways SurePods De-Risk Jobsites


Here at SurePods, we celebrated Construction Safety Week! During the first week of May, contractors and building industry professionals work together to share resources and highlight the importance of promoting a culture of safety in construction.

As modular and prefab construction continues to gain momentum as a mainstream building method, SurePods’ commitment to de-risking jobsites remains a top priority. Safety Week 2021 focuses on construction safety from a holistic perspective, so we’re taking a look at the advantages offsite prefabrication offers and how SurePods is uniquely positioned to provide safer working conditions:

Well-lit, climate-controlled work environment

All prefabrication takes place in a climate-controlled, sheltered setting free of dangerous rain-slick floors or the merciless overhead sun. Temperatures remain consistent, supporting an ideal climate for doing one’s best work. With the absence of harsh weather conditions, the factory setting offers a more comfortable and predictable work environment.

Operations take place at ground-level

Most modular building takes place at ground-level, which largely eliminates the likelihood of injury caused by overhead debris. According to OSHA’s “Construction Focus Four” training, each hour pulled off-site and done in the factory at ground-level virtually eliminates fatalities from falls and from getting caught between hazards. With 39.2% of construction deaths related to falls and 5.1% of construction fatalities related to crushing, the single-level, pre-fab factory floor is indeed a safer place to build.

Assistance with automation

Like other modular facilities, SurePods’ multitude of automated systems contribute to the unmatched efficiency of the manufacturing process. They also promote worker wellbeing. Tasks that would otherwise require heavy lifting are simplified and made safer with automation. For example, handling gypsum in the field typically requires two people. In plants like SurePods, manufacturers add vacuum lifters that require only one person to operate.

Efficient operations and spacious settings

By reducing the number of floors where construction employees work inside (compared to outside on a vertical construction site), coordinators and managers have improved visibility of employees’ movements and can be quicker to respond to a potential hazard. Modular methods also require fewer hands-on-deck than a traditional jobsite; fewer employees mean there’s less chance of an incident.

Not only do factory-based modular methods stand to protect employees from substantial injuries compared to traditional construction sites, but the de-risked option can also lessen insurance costs for general contracting firms. Want to learn more about the added value of a de-risked jobsite during Construction Safety Week? Get in touch at [email protected].

Sustainability: SurePods’ Silent “S” – Earth Day 2021

Now more than ever, it’s important for manufacturers to support the building industry’s collective goal of using resources more efficiently and reducing material waste. While SurePods is known for its four S’s of prefab – simplicity, safety, speed and superior quality – one equally important benefit is our “silent S,” sustainability. SurePods bathroom pods help save approximately three cubic yards of waste on projects and can result in approximately $500 a month in electricity savings.

But that’s just the start. In honor of Earth Day, we’re highlighting three ways SurePods modular prefab bathroom pods can help reduce a project’s carbon footprint:

Building with recycled materials and reducing material waste: Modular bathroom pod components are largely comprised of steel and wall board – two building materials that can be produced using recycled content. SurePods relies on 100% recycled steel and 97% recycled wall board to manufacture custom bathroom pods. Thanks to precision manufacturing afforded by a factory-controlled setting, correct amounts of material are ordered and unnecessary material waste is largely eliminated. In the instance a project does yield excess material scraps, SurePods is able to repurpose it in other in-house projects.

Using durable, high-quality materials to conserve resources over the long term: In addition to reducing material waste during initial construction, high-quality prefabricated modular bathrooms help building owners conserve resources over the long-term; especially when it comes time to renovate and refresh high-use facilities. SurePods manufactures its bathroom pods using durable materials like a fully waterproof and crack-proof ceiling and USG Fiberock Aqua-Tough interior panels. Such materials provide a solid foundation for future bathroom upgrades and eliminate the need for drywall replacement. Consider the number of bathrooms in multifamily apartments, hospitals and hotel rooms, and how often they are used. By eliminating the need for unnecessary renovations in the short and long term, building materials and resources can be easily conserved.

Leaning on precision manufacturing to improve air quality and energy efficiency: One surprising green building benefit of modular prefabricated bathrooms is its role in improving air quality by reducing the potential for harmful molds. Factory-controlled environments allow for more accurate construction techniques. The Modular Building Institute explains that modular construction can improve indoor air quality because, “the modular structure is substantially completed in a factory-controlled setting using dry materials, [so] the potential for high levels of moisture being trapped in the new construction is eliminated.”

Electrical, plumbing, finishes and everything in between is constructed to exact project specifications offsite. This means that modular bathroom pods built in a factory can have tighter joints and air filtration, which, in application, allows for better wall insulation and optimized energy efficiency. Pods are also purposefully designed with energy-savings in mind. Energy efficient LEDs, low-energy consumption occupancy sensors and water-conserving fixtures, such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, are just a few examples of design features that help conserve resources and energy.

If you think your project could benefit from the green building benefits SurePods offers, let’s talk. To get started, contact us at [email protected].

Construction Market Update: West Coast Developers See Value of Modular Building Methods

In a recently published article chronicling “How L.A. built homeless housing in just 4 weeks,” Fast Company gives credit where credit is due – noting that “modular construction is becoming a popular way to quickly build affordable and supportive housing.”

Despite the challenges of building new construction in a dense urban environment like Los Angeles, the article notes that “the process of constructing the housing units was fast, with the steel modules craned into place in just four weeks.”

Further supporting the case for adoption of modular building methods in California, an opinion column published by The Orange County Register, “Modular housing could be an answer to the housing crisis,” echoes a similar sentiment. The author explains how “modular construction offers a potential solution to one of the most vexing aspects of California’s housing crisis — the extremely high costs of building apartments meant to house low- and moderate-income families.”

Interestingly, despite public statements in support of modular, Bisnow notes that “modular construction is used in only about 5% of commercial and residential development projects in the United States,” in a feature titled, “Developers Still Reluctant To Go Whole-Hog With Modular Construction.”

While areas like the West Coast are benefitting from modular building techniques, what’s holding developers back as a whole? According to The Dodge Data & Analytics Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 report, “the top obstacle in the U.S. for the adoption of modular construction is that company owners aren’t interested in the technique — possibly the old stigma rearing its head.”

“There’s still somewhat of a stigma to it. People hear modular or off-site construction and they instantly think ‘mobile home,’ which is kind of funny, considering that we use modular construction to build very high-end luxury townhomes,” Resolute Capital Partners Managing Director Candace Powell said.

While modular and prefab building methods continue to gain momentum as an efficient, practical and cost-effective solution to challenges associated with affordable housing on the West Coast, the benefits of the building technique span much further. SurePods has been operating in the high-end and luxury development space for over a decade, with several completed hospitality, healthcare and residential projects across North America.

Check out our portfolio of stunning multifamily residential and hospitality projects and get in touch if you think modular bathroom pods sound like a match for your next project. We have a checklist of technical issues we review with the project team based on our extensive experience to make projects seamless. Contact us at [email protected].