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Commercial Washroom Refurbishment

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COVID-19 created a dramatic and sudden shift in the way we work. One of the major areas impacted was commercial washrooms, making refurbishment necessary. Commercial washroom refurbishment will now become one of the most difficult, post COVID-19, design challenges.

The washroom has emerged as a very important space for all business owners who are anxious to put their organisation back to work with confidence and safety. If owners and facility managers get the commercial washroom refurbishment wrong, then distrust and doubt about returning to work or school will spread across the organisation.

COVID-19 has brought a much greater awareness of the relationship between our physical environment and our health, so businesses involved in the commercial washroom sector need to evaluate how their designs perform in the new post-COVID-19 environment.

Contactless Where Possible

Willis Systems expects demand for new contactless solutions integrated into commercial washrooms to grow, as people are very conscious of touching anything in case it is contaminated.

Commercial washroom designers and manufacturers will increase motion-activated and movement tracking technology to design and manufacture the cleanest and most germ-free commercial washrooms possible.

Changes in Washroom Cubicle and Urinal Design

Not all commercial bathrooms in the UK currently include lids on toilets. Each time someone flushes, a “toilet plume” of droplets is created, which coats the surrounding cubicle and the person standing within it.

Open-topped and bottomed cubicles increase this problem, as the “plume” can travel two metres in any direction, including up and over the cubicle and into the next.

Ways to improve the spread of germs in commercial washrooms include:

Adding lids to toilets.

Replacing existing facilities with full height WC cubicles.

Installing touchless flushing toilets.

Screening every urinal.

Using materials that repel dirt or allow for easier cleaning (including withstanding stronger cleaners).

Using motion sensor for toilet seat activation.

Deeper Trough Sinks

Troughs sinks with steeper-sloped basin walls are currently typical in surgical suites, where healthcare workers scrub up before an operation. They ensure water doesn’t splash back onto the user or collect in bacteria-attracting puddles on surrounding counters. This design may become more common in washrooms where these features limit exposure to harmful germs and viruses.

Features would include:

A deep trough allowing for adequate washing of hands and lower arms while reducing splash.

Internal slope and offset drain to prevent splashing.

Little, or no, counter space to discourage users from setting objects down, which can attract bacteria.

Touchless taps and dispensers.

Commercial Washroom Refurbishment Design Trends

Even before COVID-19, there was a change in public commercial washroom design with the introduction of gender- neutral washrooms which incorporated more privacy, cleanliness, and comfort.

Establishments not wanting customers to touch door handles may adopt S-shaped restrooms, without entrance doors, which instead use a winding shape to keep cubicles from view.

For high-traffic areas, the adoption of gender-free washrooms will help reduce waiting times in closely packed lines.

Studies show that Coronavirus can survive up to three days on hard, smooth surfaces, such as stainless steel. Naturally antimicrobial materials, like silver or copper, might make a comeback post-COVID-19, but a better option would be to use smooth, nonporous surfaces, which are touched minimally by design.

Good Washroom Manufactuer Characteristics

Characteristics you should be looking for when searching for a provider for your commercial washroom refurbishment:

Identify a supplier that can provide you with a range of options or offers bespoke design and build.

Do not limit your choice to a narrow range of material, size and colour choices just because it’s all one supplier offers.

Non-proprietary dispensers accept any qualified product, which can increase availability and reduce costs.

Do not choose sanitiser products that tie you up in long term contracts for a particular refill product.

Your supplier should have the manufacturing agility to respond to nearly any design requirement demanded by COVID-19 or any future virus.

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