What is a bathroom pod?

DEFINITION

The term “Bathroom Pod” is used to define a factory made, turn-key bathroom unit, fully fitted and plumbed, delivered to the construction site almost ready to use, the only task to be performed on site being connecting the pods to the main installation shafts.

 

According to the definition of the term “Prefabrication”, the Bathroom Pods belong into the category of prefabricated products. The term evokes an imagination of certain typified and pre-established designs with no flexibility, as it was usual practice in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

However, the bathroom pods are usually tailor-made to the client’s/ architect’s design and specifications. That design freedom distinguishes them from what had been known as the “prefabricated units”. The manufacturing of Bathroom Pods could be considered as a higher qualitative stage of prefabrication.

The production of Bathroom Pods is especially inspired by the way the production is organised in the automobile industry. This results in higher predictability in terms of time and cost.

* In other countries, the Bathroom Pods are also called Sanitary cell, Fertigbad, Modulbad, Modulebagno, Cellule Prefabbricate, Prefabricerade badrum, Baderomsmodul or Salles de Bains Modulaire.

SHORT HISTORY

Architect and inventor Richard Buckminister Fuller as one of the pioneers of the prefabricated construction received a patent for his light-weight prefabricated bathroom in 1940. This could be considered as the beginning of the history of Bathroom Pods.

The first real instance of Bathroom Pods have been used in the Athletes Village Accommodation in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

No significant or well known development has happened until the year 1995, when the Intercontinental Hotels Group decided to apply the modular concept in their Holiday Inn Express brand to be extended to Europe.

Nowadays the use of Bathroom pods is considered to be standard practice in many of the European countries. Modular bathroom units are heavily produced in France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, as well as in Sweden, Poland, Spain, Austria, Norway, Belgium, Finland and others.

Off-site bathroom manufacturers are already present or emerging throughout the Middle East, Asia, Australia and both Americas.

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