Offsite construction is a continually growing sector with manufacturing technologies such as PODs being used to help minimise the wastage inefficiencies and delays that are known to affect the more traditionally used methods of construction. It enables production to be undertaken at the same time as site preparation, therefore speeding up the construction process and reducing disruption.
The bathroom and kitchen PODs industry, which, like many others that fell in value and output during 2020 managed to bounce back in 2021 with around 11% value growth. Going forward this market continues to offer significant growth potential as an offsite building solution.
Abdul Tantouch, Head of Content at AMA Research, and Editor of the Kitchen & Bathroom Pods report surmises that: “It is now recognised that offsite building methods and the use of PODs is key to accelerating the development of new housing in the UK, specifically the construction of build-to-rent and build-to-sale apartments. Bathroom and kitchen PODs are also commonly used in student accommodation and in hotel projects. Factors that are driving POD market growth include the urgent need to increase affordable housing supply, the considerable shortage of skilled construction trades, a rise in UK POD manufacturing capacity and an increase in the number of practical POD solutions to suit many end-use sectors and price-points.”
As most student accommodation, hotels and high-rise apartments are built in urban areas where space is tight and access restricted, there is often very little room for storing building materials and for large numbers of workers onsite. The use of offsite building methods has been one of the main approaches to overcoming these barriers.
Looking into the market breakdown for this sector, residential new housing accounts for around 34% of the PODs market in 2021. Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has a further 32% share by volume. Other notable end-use applications include hotels and care homes.
The largest share at present within the bathroom & kitchen pods market is shower room pods, taking an astonishing 48% by volume of this market. This sub-sector is influenced by the contractors and developers increased and ongoing demand for wetroom solutions for the consumers end use application.
Suppliers for this sector have undergone a large amount of consolidation in recent years. As it stands now, the top 5 suppliers account for a combined value share of over 70%. Bathroom and kitchen PODs are largely supplied direct to the building contractor or housebuilder from the bathroom and kitchen POD manufacturer. For example, leading suppliers will often have their own fleet of vehicles for the transportation of PODs, so that they remain in control of the whole process.