What are the differences between an on site built bathroom and a prefabricated bathroom?

Whether it is for a new construction or a refurbishment project, the details of the bathroom come quite early into mind. In the brainstorming, the question often arises: what to choose between a traditionally built bathroom requiering  all essential trades for the construction ( plumber, electrician, tiler, painter…) or a prefabricated industrialized bathroom built up in a factory?

What is the best choice? What are the differences? What is the fastest solution? Let’s talk about it today!

Stages of bathroom building

In each method, whether in the traditional or the prefabricated solution, there are several stages, even though they do not progress at the same place and the same time.

The first step: the design!

While the traditional solution studies the project, the specifications, the schedule and chooses its working  partners, the prefabricated solution studies the industrialized project, handles the various interfaces with the building thanks to digital integration in the project (BIM, more and more applied in the field of construction), and is already creating a mock up to validate each and every detail, interior finish with all the participants of the project.

The off site solution has already advanced in the project up to 25%, while the traditional construction is only by 5%

Second step: the launching of the construction site VS the industrialization of the bathroom pod!

For this second step, the traditional method prepares the ground and starts the structural work with possible weather hazards that can cause stoppages and delays. The bathroom is not yet in mind. 

For its part, for the industrialized method, the bathrooms are already being manufactured in the production plant, therefore off-site and this, in a controlled environment, without depending on weather conditions and where quality tests are carried out.

Third step: the inside work VS the delivery & installation of the prefabricated bathrooms!

It is now time for the traditional method to involve the different trades one after the other while possibly meeting the following constraints :

⦁ Difficult schedule management

⦁ Respecting necessary drying times

⦁ Multiplied number of contacts

⦁ Late request for modifications on finishes

⦁ Variable quality 

At the same time, the prefabricated bathrooms are delivered and installed on site. The integration is  either done by crane by level or by existing openings at the end of structural works.  Generally speaking, it takes one hour to unload a full truck with an average of ten bathroom pods.

⦁ At this stage, the iprefabricated solution has advanced in the project by 90%, and in the traditional way by 70%.

Fourth step: cleaning the site VS reception of the site with simplified snagging list.

After the intervention of each trade, it is now necessary to clean the site in the traditional method. There is indeed a lot of waste on site of all types, which has to be selected for recycling.

At the contrary, the industrialized method leaves very little waste on site,  therefore this is the end of the project. We can proceed with the period of  repairing of the snaggings.

⦁ The construction site is finished for the industrialized solution!

Fifth step: management of the snaggings for the traditional method

Last step for the traditional method! It is time to resolve the snaggings by each trade, which can lead to a delay in reception.

⦁ All over the project, there is 30% time saving by using prefabricated bathroom pods due to the following facts :

No labor management

Respect for environment (clean and dry site, low carbon impact)

Reproductable construction quality

Time to build a bathroom

No doubt, there are always more trades and workers on site for the traditinally built bathroom than for the prefabricated solution. Indeed, while there are at least 5 workers on site for the traditional solution, the industrial solution only has one: the work supervisor. 80% of the building of prefabricated bathrooms happens in the factory, including quality controls before delivery, so time saving has already been proven.

Also, for the industrialized method, there are only 2 hours on site per bathroom since there are no external elements that could disrupt or delay the site works.

At the same time, it takes at least 5 days on site per bathroom to build in traditional way, not to mention the vagaries of the site, the absence of workers and consequences on  other trades.

Some references & testimonials of time saving by choosing prefabricated bathrooms

Some references :

400 bathrooms delivered and installed in 3 months – Vincent Scotto Student Residence

200 bathrooms delivered and installed in 2 months – Student residence – 3IS cinema school in Trappes

416 bathrooms delivered and installed in 5 phases, total duration of 60 days, i.e. 7 bathrooms per day – Center Hospitalier Carcassonne

Clients underline:

“The time saving is incredible: around 50 to 70%”. Thierry Remond – company HORS-SITE

“Thanks to this industrialized system, it takes three and a half weeks to make a room compared to six weeks when building in traditiona wayl”. Deputy Managing Director – Bouygues Buildings Ile-de-France

“It usually takes ten years to deliver a hospital. We will have completed ours in less than seven years. » Bernard Nuytten, Director of the Carcassonne Hospital Center

For further information:

Why choose prefabricated bathrooms for your project?

How can I save time on my new  construction or refurbishment project?

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