UniLodge Southbank Student Accommodation, Brisbane

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UniLodge at Southbank is a $110 million student accommodation development located on Brisbane’s Vulture Street, set to house 632 students when it opens in the 2017 academic year.

Project Completion Date: February 2018 Total Bathroom Pods: 632

The principal contractor, ADCO Constructions (ADCO), has worked closely alongside Interpod to deliver 632-purpose built Student Accommodation bathroom pods across the 15-story, 2 tower development project for UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd.

Education is Brisbane’s biggest industry, with 75,000 international students creating more than 20,000 jobs in the city and injecting $3.77 billion into the local community. The increasing number of local and international tertiary education students in Brisbane created a need for quality student lodgings in the area; placing demand on the campus facilities of Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland and Griffith University to act in response.

Throughout their extensive student accommodation construction experience, ADCO have incorporated many innovations in design and build methodologies including several prefabricated systems to maximise onsite productivity and enhance delivery timeframes. ADCO’s projects have utilised the innovation of modular bathroom pods, alongside prefabricated façade and service systems.

How were challenges were addressed:

One of the challenges of bathroom construction within the student accommodation sector is the small size of the bathrooms coupled with trade coordination.

“With a two square metre bathroom it’s difficult to have four to five trades working in there. Tilers, plasterers, plumbers, electricians and mechanical guys in a tight, small space,” stated Nick Grbavac, the Design Manager at Adco Constructions.

The restriction of having so many trades trying to work in a space of just 2sqm can lead to costly time delays. Multiple trades and contractors working in the same space can cause a ripple effect of scheduling issues. Compounding this was a busy city site environment and a short programme timeline causing significant risk of environmental disruption and an impact on the overall efficiency of the project.

Smooth sailing from the outset – here’s why:

Interpod was engaged in the planning phase of this project to ensure that the full benefits of prefabricated modular construction could be achieved. By ensuring that the bathroom designs were standardised, ADCO and Interpod could ensure that all 632 bathrooms were manufactured cost-efficiently and to the exact specification, with the added assurance of quality only achievable in a factory environment. The low defect rate, the assured quality control and early procurement made Interpod modular bathrooms the ideal solution for the tight time frames. The site’s environmental challenges were met with the reduced disruption and boosted efficiency, as the bathrooms were delivered complete to the site and installed as needed.

The result of choosing offsite modular construction for the bathroom component of the project has meant no hold up in construction times, reduced environmental disruption and a defect-free bathroom construction process. “It was a fine balance on that job [Vulture Street]. It was a very tough project to work on collectively, with all trades and all sub-contractors, but a good solution was achieved in the end,” said Adco Design Manager, Nick Grbavac. “Interpod were easy to work with, procurement was streamlined, [and the partnership] suited our construction programme.”

The use of Interpod’s modular bathrooms was an important contributor to the timely completion of this large-scale project.

Copyright Interpod 2018

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