Creating A Clear Distinction Between Leisure And School Washroom Refurbishment
With washroom refurbishment, it isn’t a case of one-size fits all - environments require individual specification according to usage. At Interfix, we provide bespoke solutions for a range of sanitary-based installations. A good example of the way our expert teams are able to tailor projects to suit design-specific demand, is the work we’ve carried out on two very different facilities.
At Aspire Leisure Centre in Stanmore, Middlesex, we created washrooms for its reopening as the first facility of its kind in Europe to cater for disabled and non-disabled people. As you can imagine, this involved specifying and installing a number of specialist details for one of the centre’s most important assets - the washrooms.
Firstly, in conjunction with the leisure centre, it was imperative we selected materials and fittings of durable and easy-to-clean quality. This was essential to upholding strict public health and safety standards, as well as being cost-effective. In areas of heavy footfall, sanitaryware must retain its long-term look and functionality despite the incumbent rigours. If not, it could lead to financially-challenged local authorities stumping-up more cash for repairs sooner, rather than later.
Quite understandably, the washroom refurbishment at Aspire involved adhering to very strict disability guidelines. This was key to the entire project and pertinent to our installation of accessible toilets, showers and LED lighting. Another consideration is non-slip flooring, which is most essential to swimming pool areas.
Disability issues aside, a leisure centre washroom really has to shine; its colour coordination and layout needs to inspire a sense of cleanliness and comfort within the user. We are talking about a non-commercial enterprise, after all. If customers aren’t satisfied, there’s little chance they’ll return or encourage new members to sign-up, which brings us back to local authorities – it’s in their monetary interest that a public-owned asset succeeds.
Different factors are at play when it comes to washroom refurbishment of non-commercial sectors such as schools. An increase in bullying has led to a rethink in the design of toilet areas, particularly in secondary schools where instances of antisocial behaviour are most prevalent. With our experience in providing washroom solutions for education establishments across the country, Interfix has become the go-to creators for clean, safe and smart toilet areas for students.
As with every project we’re involved with, the user’s health and safety is of paramount importance. Therefore, the installation of corian washtroughs deep enough to deter sink-to-floor leakage is sometimes required. These are available in stainless steel to deter vandals and help achieve the overall aim of encouraging a welcoming, less-intimidating environment.
Solid-grade laminate toilet cubicles with floor-to-ceiling doors have also been specified in certain schools to improve privacy, as well as sensor equipment to encourage hand-washing and toilet flushing among students. In primary and nursery establishments, the use of brighter colours and patterns is a common factor in introducing a more positive washroom climate.
With school washroom design, it’s about striking a balance between privacy and openness. Bullying has been found to flourish in darker, more enclosed areas. It’s inspired a recent innovation, which has seen the introduction of windows in school corridors to enable staff to monitor washroom activity and report instances of vandalism and bullying.
To some, the precise design specifications required for different washroom facilities might come as a surprise. But as is the case with every successful project, whatever it entails, the devil is most definitely in the detail.