Schiavello transitioned to TRUECORE steel to build the framing for their bathroom pods, allowing them to achieve cost and time efficiencies in deliveries to specialist student accommodation developer, Urbanest.

Schiavello’s leadership in prefabrication and modular building, which is exemplified by their innovative bathroom pods, addresses the growing demand for offsite construction. 

Key goals for the Urbanest student accommodation project at 599-605 Swanson Street, Carlton, VIC, included reducing labour time and cost as well as increasing accuracy and efficiency in the delivery of bathroom pods. Steel fabrication for the project was executed by Schiavello Manufacturing – Modular & PreFab Building Division.

According to Damien Crough, technical leader – advanced building manufacturing at Schiavello, they were able to achieve multiple benefits from transitioning to TRUECORE steel for the bathroom pod frames, including speed, accuracy, simplicity and cost savings.

Speed: By moving from welded square hollow section frames to framing made from TRUECORE steel, Schiavello has been able to deliver the framing for these pods in just 60 minutes. Additionally, with more supports to work with, the fitout is faster too, enabling them to deliver a completed, fitted-out bathroom in a mere 13 hours.

Accuracy: TRUECORE steel framing eliminates the need to hold components in position for welding, allowing them to quote tolerances down to 1mm thanks to the precision with which the frames can be fabricated.

Simplicity: With TRUECORE steel framing, Schiavello has taken welding out of the construction process, in favour of simple screws in pre-punched locations.

Cost: Increasing speed and accuracy in the delivery of their bathroom pods has enabled Schiavello to offer a superior product at a lower price with quicker turnaround. Based on their initial delivery to Urbanest’s construction company, ICON Co on this build, Schiavello is already bidding on four more projects for the same company, involving another 2,000 bathrooms.

“In Melbourne, we’re looking at some 10,000 new student rooms being built in the next four years and there’s a massive need for high quality, cost- and labour-efficient offsite construction methods to deliver them,” Crough said.

“Our bathroom pods are trucked to the location, craned onto site, wheeled into position and dropped onto the concrete. It’s highly efficient. And with a 13-hour turnaround on each pod, highly cost-effective,” he added.