Tiling Alternative Made For Modular

18th March, 2021

Modular housing specialist ModPods International has used Fibo's waterproof wall panel system as an alternative to tiles in its pioneering factory-built home for Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust.

Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) is the housebuilding arm of Birmingham City Council and had identified a small area of disused land on Heaton Street in Hockley, that was ideal for development. ModPods International was approached to develop a solution that would best utilise the space. A 'Type E' ModPod was selected from the range of six standard designs and tailored to the exact requirements outlined by BMHT.

As part of the design of the bathroom and kitchen areas, ModPods International selected Fibo's waterproof wall panel system as an alternative to ceramic tiles. It was chosen for the simplicity and speed of the install as the large format panels can be fixed directly to the wall structure, creating a waterproof and resilient surface. This process is up to five times faster than tiling and eliminates the cost associated with securing the highly in-demand skills of a professional tiler. A further factor was the need for a robust system that would remove the possibility of damage during the transport and placement of the modules on-site. Traditional tiled walls can crack as a result of the pods being moved and therefore, may require time-consuming remedial work once they are in place.

Andy Cornaby, Managing Director at ModPods International explained: "We needed a product that was not only attractive but also practical. The Fibo system fitted well with the design that we were developing for BMHT and was well suited to the volumetric modular manufacturing process. It was straightforward to incorporate the system into the production process as the panels are simple and quick to install and we were confident that there would be no post-delivery issues, which was a possibility with traditional ceramic tiles."

The two-storey, two-bedroom pod exceeds the four person living space requirements set out in the nationally described space standard (NDSS). The pod features built-in storage areas, a fully-fitted kitchen and bathroom and was delivered in one complete unit. On the day of installation, with the foundation blocks and landscaping already prepared, the ground floor pod was delivered to site and lowered into place at 12:30pm quickly followed by the first-floor pod at 1:30pm. The property was ready for occupation by the new tenants on the same day.

"This approach both saved us time during the manufacturing process and prevented time being lost on post-delivery work required to fix any issues in those areas," says Andy. "We estimate that in total we can save about 2.5 hours per pod and when scaled up, this has the potential to save us thousands of pounds per year in improved productivity."

Scott Beattie, Managing Director at Fibo said: "This project truly demonstrates the benefits that the versatility and simplicity of our system provides. It is an ideal fit with the principles of modular construction and finding the simplest and most accurate way of producing high quality but affordable housing."

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