should be close to the weight of a site-constructed
bathroom. With steel-framed pods there are eight
point loads to take the weight of the pod and
account for in the structural loadings.
• The floor slab should be flat and level to +/-
10mm tolerance for accurate installation.
• The base frame for the pod with lifting lugs
should also act as a lifting frame with welds that
have been certified by a structural engineer for
the required loads.
• Ensure the perimeter base frame is correctly
sized to have the structural rigidity to transport
and lift the pod and to minimise any flexing of
the floor or floor damage could result.
• Manufacture of lifting frames should be projectspecific
and certified for that type of pod. Each
frame and pod type should be tested for safe
and level lifting. A method statement and test
certificates should provided to the contractor in
accordance with CDM regulations. The use of
BUILDING PRODUCTS | NOVEMBER
generic frames which may be non-compliant is
What should you consider in the design of
• To optimise efficiency, specifiers should
rationalise the number of design types in size
and shape, and variations, such as left and
right-hand versions, as far as possible.
• Natural materials such as marble and granite
do not transport well and these finishes are not
uniform so the typical high tolerances that a pod
manufacturer will work to may not be possible
How will the bathroom pod be constructed
to ensure longevity?
• Steel-framed pods should have a double skin
with timber and plasterboard in cementitious
board construction to Lifetime Homes
standards. This will facilitate tile replacement.
• The entire walls and floor to the wet area
should be fully tanked – not just half of the
shower wall. All exposed external plasterboard
edge joints should also be tanked.
• GRP pods should have robust wall detailing
with encapsulated honeycomb polypropylene.
Be aware that cheaper alternatives such as
cardboard can be susceptible to delamination.
<<< Continued from page
Case study – Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf’s new private rental
apartment scheme in Wood Wharf is using
high specification bathroom pods for its
iconic 35-storey tower and adjacent sixstorey
Offsite Solutions was awarded the £4.5m
contract to supply 443 pods for 327 private
rental apartments – a combination of wet
rooms and bathrooms.
This is the first application of Offsite
Solutions’ new steel/concrete pods, which
provide fully waterproofed luxury wet rooms
and bathrooms. The pod design features
cold rolled steel-framed walls with a cast
concrete base which removes the need for
visible shower trays to create a ‘clean and
The pods arrive on site fully fitted,
complete with underfloor heating, stoneeffect
porcelain tiling, bespoke cabinets with
heated steam-free mirrored doors, handmade
composite stone basins, LED lighting, all
sanitary ware, ceiling and wall-mounted rain
shower heads, and a surface-heated wall to
remove the need for heated towel rails.
Leighton Aurelius, project manager at
Canary Wharf Contractors, said: “Bathroom
pods give us the benefit of better quality
control and ease of installation. Our
requirement was for high specification
bathrooms. We have been impressed with
Offsite Solutions’ factory, design team,
logistics and pre-delivery testing. It is great to
have the pods manufactured in the UK and
the project is going very well.”
To attend a CPD seminar to find out more
about factory-built bathrooms, visit www.
• A panelised system should be used to create
vertical walls and 90° corners. This avoids
tapered walls for improved aesthetics and to
allow easier integration and the use of standard
door sets without further work on site.
What factory testing is carried out?
• Stringent air and water tests should be carried
out on every pod at pre-calibrated static
testing stations in the factory. We recommend
every 5th pod undergoes a comprehensive
functionality test. All outlets (taps, shower and
toilet) should have water passed through.
• The completed electrical installation should
undergo a full function and resistance test carried
out by independent NICEIC-approved electricians.
• Test certificates should be provided for both
electrics and plumbing. We recommend this is
added to your specification.
A pod can be