Modular construction

In the pursuit of the perfect bathroom

September 16, 2019

Blog

Modular construction allows building elements to be designed perfectly. Traditionally, the design of bathrooms built on-site is limited by space, time and budget. Fira Modules 2.0 was designed in a consortium together with designers and user representatives.

The main theme of the design work was the idea of a world-class bathroom module that will have concrete everyday value for the designer, builder and end user. The consortium was formed by Skanska, Varte, Kojamo, Sato, VAV, Ramboll, Sweco, Kanttia2, Pinto Design, and Aalto University.

Helping designers

Antti Alvoittu is the director of housing design at Ramboll. Antti is personally interested in modular design and has 20 years of experience in housing design, which led him to joining the consortium. “I have also worked with bathroom elements for twenty years,” says Antti.

“Prefabricated elements improve the quality of construction, as they are manufactured in consistent conditions. They make design work more effective, especially when the element design has been invested in. Modules 2.0 is a new type of product in the industry, a bathroom module that has been thought through down to the last detail. This is the first time the market has seen something like this,” says Antti.

“This is the first time the market has seen something like this”

A cooperative consortium of experts is a breath of fresh air in the construction industry. Open and joint development produces better results than small circles.

In the future, Antti is hoping to participate in more design projects where modular construction will be increasingly utilised. “Although modular construction does make the work of designers easier, I am confident that conventional building methods will be needed alongside modular construction in the future.”

Modular construction makes user-orientated solutions and life cycle thinking easier

Matti-Pekka Koistinen is a development manager for property development at Kojamo plc. Kojamo participated in the consortium because modular construction is one of their strategic targets. Modular construction has benefits for the production side of things, improving the end result for both users and investors.

Matti-Pekka says that the greatest benefit the consortium offered was getting to see the product development process up close. Cooperative development was in part similar to Big Room planning, where experts develop a unit together.

In particular, Matti-Pekka contributed his perspectives on the durability of properties over their life cycle, as well as ownership, to the joint development of the bathroom model. “I liked seeing how user-orientated the product development was. For example, the distribution of heat in the bathroom was examined in detail, so that the bathroom functions would be as comfortable as possible for the user.”

The unit was examined in detail by experts, including architects and HPAC and MEP designers, among others, to reach solutions that were technically possible and correct. “Detailed product designs reduce the need for tweaking at the worksite,” says Matti-Pekka.

Bathroom modules consist of standard pieces. This makes them flexible to manufacture and avoids tying production to the features and solutions of any one project.


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