Project | FFT Building Surveying Case Study L&Q Bathroom Pods

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Bathroom Pods at King George’s Hospital

FFT was appointed by London & Quadrant Housing Trust to design and install bathroom pod facilities for 187 staff bedrooms at King George’s Hospital in East London. Our role initially involved carrying out a feasibility study to determine the most efficient and cost effective solution, followed by full management of the project from pre-contract phase to installation.

The Client

Long term FFT client London & Quadrant (L&Q) is one of the UK’s largest registered charitable housing associations and developers, housing around 250,000 people in more than 105,000 homes across London, the South East, East Anglia and parts of the North West of England.

Services Provided

  • Building Surveying
  • Contract Administration
  • Principal Designer
  • Design & Architecture

The Project

We were initially appointed to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain the most efficient and cost effective solution to add ensuite bathroom facilities to 187 staff bedrooms within an East London hospital.

Following on from this, the client, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, asked us to expand our role to see the project through, from pre-contract phase to construction and full installation, covering everything from overseeing mechanical and electrical works to health and safety compliance.

Our Role

As Contract Administrator, our role was to monitor the project in its entirety, from start to finish. This involved managing the appointed contractor, ensuring their standards of professionalism and quality were aligned with the client’s expectations. We also liaised regularly with the client to keep them informed as to the progress of the works, carried out out regular site inspections to stay on top of developments and any snagging that needed attention, and kept close rein on costs management.

During the pre-construction phase, our CAD team produced general arrangement (GA) drawings in relation to the design and layout of the bathroom pods. In order to produce these contract drawings and show the proposed layouts for the pods, our team carried out an onsite measured survey to accurately record the various elevations of the building and rooms.

Finally, as Principal Designer, we were appointed to oversee all aspects of health and safety, monitoring the works throughout to ensure risks were minimised.

The Challenges

It was vital to ensure the measured survey was 100% accurate due to the spatial limitations of the rooms. Our aim was to ensure the pods would provide the necessary services, whilst optimising the space available. Because the pods were pre- fabricated, and not all of the rooms were identical in size, there was even more onus on ensuring precision accuracy in terms of measurements.

We also had to ensure that the pods would be flexible enough in terms of being able to connect the necessary mechanical and electrical services, which all had to be added to each individual room due to existing services being limited.

Access to conduct the measured surveys also proved a tricky task. With so many rooms to survey, arranging individual appointments was challenging, especially when the need for re-bookings arose on several occasions due to a lack of response and missed appointments on the part of the room occupants.

Finally, as the accommodation was fully occupied, we had to find a way to keep disruption to a minimum during the works.

The Outcome

To ensure the accuracy of the measured surveys, we allowed ample time to cover the various elevations of the rooms and overall building in detail.

By taking time to source a suitable bathroom pod manufacturer, we were able to ensure we had the flexibility to order a range of different sized pods to suit the varying dimensions of each room, whilst guaranteeing the best quality and value for money for the client.

To overcome the challenge of ensuring the pods had the flexibility to connect to the necessary services, we engaged a specialist mechanical and electrical consultant to produce a design and specification for the installation of hot, cold and waste water services and electrical connections to each room.

Regarding access to the rooms to undertake the measured surveys, effective communication between our CAD team, the client and the occupants of the rooms, and a good degree of flexibility and persistence, all paid off and we were finally able to secure all the necessary appointments.

Added Value

Having identified a potential storage issue for the ordered pods with limited space available on the site of the hospital, we negotiated an offsite storage solution. This had a double advantage, overcoming the issue of storage and providing added flexibility whilst attempting to secure access to each room for the pod installations.

The offsite storage was not included within the original scope of works, but we were able to negotiate the cost sufficiently to include it in the unit price of the pods.

The project has been successful in that it has created a more functional and convenient living space for medical staff living on the site of the hospital thanks to the addition of ensuite facilities.