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Monthly Archives: October 2021

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].

Spotlight on Hospitality: A look back at SurePods Projects from Coast to Coast

After a year spent at home, many are eager to get out and safely enjoy a long-awaited vacation. According to the latest research by Cars.com, 57% of Americans plan to take a trip this spring (up 32% from 2020) and 70% are opting to drive to their destinations. The data is unsurprising – in Oct. 2020, a survey conducted by Hilton revealed that 94% of Americans plan to travel once restrictions are lifted.

As one of the earliest adopters of modular prefab building solutions, the hospitality industry has played an important role in SurePods’ success. In fact, the first project to include SurePods’ modular bathroom pods is a hotel that opened 15 years ago.

We’re eager to support the brands and partners that have helped us become the company we are today. With that in mind, we’re taking a look back at some of the recent hospitality projects that feature SurePods bathroom pods. From the Pacific Northwest and sunny Southern California to the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, below are three stunning hotels with SurePods modular bathroom pods:

Los Angeles, California: Opened February 2017, the Wilshire Grand Intercontinental Hotel engaged SurePods to prefabricate 698-bathroom pods for the 73-story upscale hotel, which is recognized as the tallest building east of the Mississippi River.

Seattle, Washington: The Emerald City’s construction and real estate market has been hot for quite some time, as evidenced by dozens of cranes throughout downtown and impressive growth of tech companies headquartered on the West Coast. Seattle-based American Life, the developer of the 23-story Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square, enlisted SurePods to prefabricate 282 bathroom units to shorten its construction schedule amid a tight local skilled labor market.

Louisville, Kentucky: Designed by renowned architecture firm HKS, the Omni Louisville Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown and soars 30-stories tall. Opened May 2018, SurePods prefabricated 575 bathrooms for the vibrant downtown destination, which is considered the tallest hotel in Louisville.

If you’re a developer or hotelier looking to make up for lost time in 2020, let’s talk. Contact us at [email protected].

SurePods Close Up – Making the Most of Modular for Multifamily Projects

What do apartments, university dormitories and assisted living facilities have in common? In most instances, a high volume of repeatable units.

In a recent feature on the rise of modular construction, Building Design + Construction (BD+C) acknowledges that “for developers, the rising cost of traditional construction is intersecting with the shrinking cost of modular, making the latter more appealing than ever.”

This is especially true when it comes to bathroom units, which typically require the complex coordination of hiring and scheduling 8 – 12 construction trades ranging from plumbing, electrical, painting, tiling and drywall. As multi-unit housing developers look to innovative solutions to make up for lost time in 2020, modular methods continue to deliver.

Below are three ways SurePods prefabricated modular bathrooms can support developers and contractors looking to make the most of modular construction for multi-unit housing projects:

Accelerating Construction Timelines

“The basic concepts of modular design are not new,” continues BD+C, noting that prefabrication has “been hailed for decades as a solution to inefficiencies, drawn-out timelines and rising construction costs.” SurePods is known for accelerating construction schedules by 10% or more by eliminating bathroom punch lists, which often results in faster revenue generation for multifamily housing projects – prospective residents can sign leases and move in earlier.

Optimizing Material and Labor Resources

Thanks to the precision manufacturing afforded by a factory-controlled setting, material waste is largely eliminated. Bringing construction indoors to a climate-controlled setting also offers a more comfortable, safer work environment. SurePods’ multitude of automated systems contribute to the unmatched efficiency of the manufacturing process.

Eliminating the Bathroom Punch List

In most multi-unit projects, bathroom reworks account for about 60% of punch lists. Prefabricating bathroom pods offsite not only eliminates the coordination of multiple trades, but also eliminates the enormous risk of damaging previously completed work. This keeps quality high and projects moving.

If you’re a developer or contractor involved in multi-family construction and have a project that would make a great fit for pods, let’s talk. Contact us at [email protected].

Why Prefab Construction: Modular Solutions Meet the Need for Speed in Healthcare


While it goes without saying, the healthcare industry experienced previously unimaginable challenges and demands over the past year. As urgent shifts in priorities directly impacted construction methods, healthcare facilities turned to innovative solutions to meet needs and increase capacities. Building Design + Construction reports that “healthcare, in fact, was one of the few nonresidential building types that showed year-to-year increases in construction spending over the first 10 months of 2020,” according to Census Bureau estimates.

To address the urgent need for flexible space and increase capacity for isolation rooms now and in the future, healthcare leaders and facility managers are increasingly turning to modular building methods for quick, efficient and effective solutions. Prefab manufacturers are rising to the moment and pushing the boundaries of what’s doable, from design and production to delivery and installation. For example, SurePods and its prefab partners DPR Construction and Digital Building Components are able to erect an entire semi-permanent hospital wing in just four weeks.

Thanks to state-of-the-art equipment and a factory-controlled environment, rapidly deployable modular solutions are also well-suited to meet healthcare facilities’ long-term needs. Modular building methods not only provide more control over costs, quality and construction schedules, but also reduce labor and disturbances on existing hospital campuses. Project demand shows healthcare facilities are taking note of these advantages. Case in point, prior to 2020, SurePods had already completed more than 2,000 hospital bathrooms for six different hospitals. By April 2020, more than 1,600 additional hospital bathroom pods were in some stage of production or pre-con for nine new hospitals across the United States. In fact, several healthcare networks have further simplified their construction processes by standardizing SurePods’ patient bathroom designs systemwide.

The healthcare industry’s swift adoption of modular building methods continues to push the boundaries of prefab construction. If SurePods’ modular bathroom pods or rapid deployment solutions sound like a match for your healthcare project, let’s talk. Contact us at [email protected].

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…

Women in Construction Week

Happy Women’s History Month and Women in Construction Week from SurePods! During the week of March 7, 2021, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) celebrates the increasingly important role women play in the construction industry and focuses on highlighting opportunities for Women in Construction (WIC) in local communities.

As the modular construction industry continues to thrive, SurePods honors and recognizes the important role women play in our company’s success. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 10.3% of America’s construction workers are women, we proudly employ more than triple the industry average – approximately 32% of the SurePods team are women.

With safe working conditions and ample opportunities growth, find out why SurePods is uniquely positioned to offer women rewarding career paths in the prefab manufacturing industry:

Safer, improved working conditions

Most modular building takes place at ground-level, which largely eliminates the likelihood of injury caused by overhead debris. Those who enjoy working with their hands appreciate the stability of the factory floor, and anyone with a fear of heights is freed from worry that comes with working several stories above ground.

Empowering and efficient operations

With the absence of rain, sun and other harsh weather conditions, the factory setting offers a more comfortable and predictable work environment. Bringing construction indoors to a climate-controlled setting also presents more opportunity gain experience working with cutting-edge equipment. Like other modular facilities, SurePods’ multitude of automated systems contribute to the unmatched efficiency of the manufacturing process. Tasks that literally require heavy lifting are simplified 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.

Rewarding career paths

With safer and better working conditions, employees are empowered to put their best foot forward and find satisfaction in purpose-driven work. Hospitals with modular components that improve accessibility help those of all ages and ability levels receive the best care possible; prefabricated student housing provides more affordable, sustainable living environments for the next generation. Regardless of the application, the opportunities for rewarding career paths in continue to grow as the construction industry evolves.

Follow SurePods on LinkedIn for the latest job openings and network with Women in Construction in your local community by visiting www.nawic.org.

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 surepods.com/contact.

Green Sustainability Series, Part 3 – How Prefab Supports Green Building Goals, Post-Construction

As the third and final installment of our “Green Sustainability Series,” we’ll take a closer look at how SurePods’ prefabricated building method supports building owners’ long-term sustainability goals after construction has commenced:

Building with high quality materials means less to renovate later: 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 that is 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 how many bathrooms multifamily apartments, hospital and hotel rooms have, and how often they are used. By eliminating the need for unnecessary renovations in the short term and long term, building materials and resources can be easily conserved.

Improved air quality and greater energy efficiency: One surprising green building benefit of modular prefabricated bathrooms is their role in improving air quality by reducing the potential for harmful molds. 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.” What’s more, modular bathroom pods can also help contribute to a more airtight, energy efficient building. Green building programs like Energy Star, National Green Building Standard and LEED have airtightness requirements between individual units and a building’s exterior. Modular prefabrication affords more accurate construction, tighter joints and better air filtration, which allows for better wall insulation and an increase in energy efficiency.

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 surepods.com/contact.