08/11/17 3:30pm

If a year or so from now you find yourself holed up in acute or intensive care in the North Campus Tower of the Houston Methodist hospital in the Texas Medical Center and for some reason start to wonder how that bathroom behind you was constructed, have we got a video for you! (It’s posted above.) It’s a time-lapse showing how workers from interior finishes contractor Marek pieced together 207 prefabricated restroom pods in the McCorvey Sheet Metal Works warehouse at 4800 Fidelity St. (just southeast of the intersection of I-10 and the East Loop), then shrinkwrapped and transported them, 1 or 2 at a time, to 6551 Bertner St., where they were they were lifted and dollied into place and hooked up to the building’s plumbing.

How’s construction on the $700 million, 960,000-sq.-ft. 22-story north tower Med Center expansion going so far? Here are a couple of views from today — from construction cams trained on the project:


Warehouse Built
05/16/13 4:20pm

INSERTING BATHROOM B INTO HOUSE SLOT A A trio of Rice grads has come up with what seems to be a kind of golden mean between gentrification and decay, when it comes to restoring an old home that no longer works the way it should and yet still preserving the character of the neighborhood: Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming, and Peter Muessig are calling it InHouse OutHouse, reports OffCite, and it’s a prefabricated core consisting of a kitchen, bathroom, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems that’s then inserted — like a transplanted kidney, say — into a hole cut in the wall. The photo here shows just such an insertion of the team’s prototype — which they estimate cost almost $35,000 and took 220 hours to build — at the Bastrop Stuart House among the Project Row Houses in the Third Ward. [OffCite] Photo: Mary Beth Woiccak via OffCite

11/11/11 9:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANSWERS TO YOUR LINGERING QUESTIONS ABOUT PREFABRICATED BATHROOM PODS “. . . Offsite Solutions manufactured the Rice University bathroom pods in panel form, they were then shipped to the US where they were assembled & fitted-out by Kullman Buildings Corp. Bathroom pods were originally developed for boats, aeroplanes, trains & RV’s. Aside from these applications they are now widely used for military, hospital, university, care home, hotel and residential accommodation. They can be made in any size and with nearly any specification from small & basic to large and luxurious – the only real constraint being transport of the units from the factory to site. Bathroom pods are now used in most large construction projects in the UK & Europe where a large number of similar units are required (> 100). Quality can be closely monitored in the factory environment, the construction programme can be decreased, wastage is significantly reduced and less skilled labour is required on-site giving significant cost & time savings to the main contractor. Pods are of two types – FRP and Steel Framed, the former is preferred where a more robust finish is needed, the latter where a conventional (residential) finish is required. Offsite Solutions currently produce 5,000 units a year from their facilities in Somerset, England . . .” [Richard Tonkinson, commenting on Reducing Bathroom Waste: Rice’s Prefabricated Pods]

04/15/10 3:24pm

FACTORY-BUILT GREEN HOMES FOR HOUSTON A reader goes house shopping: “Do you have any ideas on green modular/prefabricated homes available to the Houston area? There are lots out there, but most of them are so far away that the delivery cost defeats the purpose of low-cost housing and reduced carbon footprint. That even includes the Clayton Homes’ i-House! . . . Something like Nationwide’s Osprey house (which isn’t available to Texas). Mass produced so they are cheap, but using green materials and finishes. . . . Seems like there are a lot of options out there, but mostly too far from Houston to be economically viable.” [Swamplot inbox] Photo of i-House: Life in the Country

07/28/08 2:46pm

Dorchester Model Prefabricated Composite Bathroom Pod by Off Site SolutionsWorkers at Rice University are lifting 178 7-foot-by-7-foot bathroom pods into place in the two new student residences now under construction on campus. The pods, which arrived with all fixtures already installed, are meant to be among the “green” features of the new Duncan and McMurtry College buildings, say the designers. Because construction takes place offsite, the pods are expected to eliminate construction waste — as well as traffic to and from the site by subcontractors.

The Rice pods were manufactured by Off Site Solutions in the United Kingdom and Kullman Buildings Corp. in New Jersey.

The pods’ outer shell is constructed of glass-reinforced plastic and connected to a steel frame. The interiors are all white with 9-foot ceilings, wall-hung plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and a smooth ceiling and wall finish. Installation requires being hoisted into place by a crane and just a handful of plumbing and electrical connections.

After the jump: an exciting bathroom-pod photo tour, including overhead views!