We recently asked interior designer Stina Funch about her experience working with Oldcastle SurePods modular bathrooms. Funch, creative director for Atwater Inc. Studio in Los Angeles, was part of the project team for the new 228-room Nashville Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites now under construction in the city’s downtown.
SurePods: As an interior designer, what are the advantages of working with pre-fab modular bathrooms?
Funch: There are many advantages for interior designers when working with pre-fab modular bathrooms. Consistency being one of the most important factors and very important to me as a designer.
We were very excited to visit the factory and review the work in progress when the project commenced. The craftsmanship we saw was excellent and consistent throughout all the pods. The pods all have electrical and plumbing installations done, so once they arrive on the job site they require no extra work other than to hook them up.
Consider the pods your model room. Once you have a perfect sample, this is what you will get throughout. Much less headache than with conventional site work and installations.
SurePods: Are there any disadvantages or limitations you encounter working with pre-fab modular bathrooms?
Funch: We honestly did not encounter any limitations with the pre-fab bathrooms – much contrary to what we expected. The only limitation we encountered really, is the different bathroom sizes. The lesser the amount of different sizes, the better. In our case, a handful of ADA bathrooms had to be done on site due to the size constraints. It is critical that owners allow for ample time, and go through proper model units before the entire process is set in motion.
SurePods: What specific tools or services does Oldcastle SurePods offer that simplify your work?
Funch: I would not say they simplify our work as interior designers, but they complement our design. When we design and issue renderings, we expect them to look almost identical to the work we are proposing. Oldcastle produces what we design and draw, and the collaboration is key with the fabrication of the pods.
SurePods: What advice would you offer other interior designers about working with pre-fab modular bathrooms?
Funch: Embrace it. The process is great and once you get going and see your work on the assembly line, it’s a really great feeling. My initial reaction to the client when we discussed the pre-fab pods was hesitation. For example, how would the tiles hold up in transit, since the pods would be transported from Florida to Nashville. My team and I were pleasantly surprised and are very excited to see the pods in place for the opening of the hotel.
SurePods: What other projects, if any, have you worked with SurePods on, and what tangible benefits did you achieve from using the bathrooms on that project?
Funch: This is our first project with SurePods, but will not be our last. We have a new development in Northern California that will benefit from the pods’ process and the time reduction that shortens the initial construction schedule. Everyone knows time is money, and allowing an owner to open his or her project three-plus months ahead of schedule is hugely beneficial.
SurePods: What do you believe is the most important thing to highlight for those who are considering building with SurePods?
Funch: The quality of the craftsmanship and the (schedule) benefit for ownership and construction team. ..well worth it if three-plus months are shaved off the construction schedule during an installation. To us quality is key and we would never substitute quality or good design. The collaboration and design of the prefab bathrooms still allow for excellent quality and efficiency. Your pods don’t have to be cookie cutter but can be designed as boutique, unique bathrooms, even for a large hotel like the Nashville Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites.