School Washroom Design
As a head teacher, business manager, or head of an educational trust, you understand the importance of ensuring that school washrooms are safe, clean, and functional for students, teachers, and staff.
Apart from aesthetic appearance, one of the main reasons for redesigning your school washroom is to improve hygiene and reduce the risk of illness. Poorly maintained washrooms can harbour bacteria and germs that can spread infection, leading to absenteeism and ultimately impacting a child’s school work. In addition, broken components in a poorly maintained washroom can create jagged, sharp edges that can rip clothes or cause physical injury. By redesigning the washrooms and installing new fixtures, surfaces, and finishes, schools can create a cleaner and safer environment for everyone.
At Gravitas Build, we understand that refurbishing washrooms in a school can be a complex project that requires careful planning and coordination; we talk about one of our projects here. We work closely with our clients to ensure that all aspects of the project are carefully considered and addressed. This includes communication with key stakeholders such as the head teacher, heads of years, and the school business manager to ensure that the project aligns with the school’s goals and needs. We also establish clear communication channels to keep everyone informed and to address any issues that may arise. By working closely with our clients and keeping them informed at every project stage, we can help ensure that the refurbishment is a success.
School Washroom Design Guide:
- Asbestos checks: It is essential to check for asbestos in the areas where the work will be conducted. Asbestos is a hazardous material that can cause serious health problems if inhaled. Asbestos checks should be completed by a licenced professional who will provide a full report regarding the type, amount and whereabouts of any asbestos.
- Budget: It is crucial to set a budget for the refurbishment and ensure that the work stays within this budget. You develop a plan that meets your needs and goals, applying cost engineering where things are getting a little expensive. We can help you with this.
- Timeline: You should consider the timing of the refurbishment and how it may impact the school’s operations. We can work with you to schedule the work around important events such as exams to minimize disruptions.
- Health and safety: Refurbishing washrooms can generate dust and debris, and it’s essential to have proper controls in place to protect the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff, as well as our workforce. We will implement a Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan to ensure strict health and safety policies are in place, along with risk assessments and method statements for every work task to ensure safety.
- Sustainability: Schools can consider incorporating sustainable features into the refurbishment, such as low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and energy-efficient lighting.
Various finishes are available when designing a school washroom refurbishment; walls and floors have been highlighted in this article as areas that probably get the most wear and tear.
Wall coverings – Hygiene Panels
To the eye, hygiene cladding looks like plastic sheeting, but it’s designed specifically for use in high-traffic areas that require hygienic, easy-to-clean surfaces. It’s particularly suitable for use in schools, hospitals, kitchens, and sports centres. In contrast to traditional wall coverings like tiles, hygiene cladding is resistant to damage, which helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and water penetration.
Hygiene panels are commonly used in school washrooms design providing floor to ceiling protection on the walls and around window reveals to create a smooth, seamless surface that is easy to clean and maintain. The panels are typically made of moisture-resistant materials such as PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or HPL (High-Pressure Laminate). They are designed to resist the growth of mould, bacteria, and other harmful microbes.
School Toilet Design – Cubicles – IPS Panels
Often referred to as IPS panels, IPS is an acronym for “Integrated Plumbing Systems”, a system designed to produce an aesthetic look by hiding all first fix plumbing components behind a panelled wall, basically, a false wall. However, the panels used in the system are often used to construct school toilet cubicles in washrooms because they are durable, moisture-resistant, and easy to clean. IPS panels come in many different finishes, including simple one-colour systems (with various colours to choose from) or even patterned where required. The design of the school washroom can be tailor-made according to the age of the children that are to use it.
IPS Panel Construction and where to use them.
Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC), High-Pressure Laminate (HPL), and Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) are all types of engineered wood products used in the construction of toilet cubicles and other types of modular furniture.
MFC is made by attaching a layer of melamine resin-impregnated paper to both sides of a chipboard or particleboard core. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and requires minimal maintenance. MFC is resistant to moisture, stains, and scratches, making it a popular choice in light to moderate-use washrooms, smaller offices or restaurant toilets.
HPL is made by layering sheets of paper or fabric impregnated with resin under high heat and pressure. It is known for its durability, resistance to stains, and ability to withstand high levels of wear and tear. HPL is popular in schools and other applications where a long-lasting, attractive surface is preferable. However, it is generally more expensive than MFC due to the more specialized manufacturing equipment and processes required.
SGL is similar to HPL but manufactured using a denser, more homogenous core material and a higher-pressure pressing process. As a result, SGL is even more durable and resistant to wear and tear than HPL. It is known for its exceptional durability and resistance to moisture, stains, and scratches, making it a popular choice for heavy-duty applications such as schools, public transit systems and hospitals. However, it is generally more expensive than MFC and HPL and may require more specialized equipment and manufacturing processes.
In general, MFC is a good choice for applications where cost is a primary concern, while HPL and SGL are better suited for high-end and heavy-duty applications, respectively. All three materials are durable and resistant to moisture and stains, but SGL is the most resistant to wear and tear and perfect for creating school toilets.
Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for school washrooms, changing rooms and toilets due to its durability and ease of maintenance. This type of flooring is resistant to scuffing, staining, and scratching and has a slip-resistant surface for added safety. It is also water-resistant, making it suitable for wet or damp environments. One of the benefits of vinyl flooring is that the joints can be heat welded together, which creates a strong and seamless connection between individual panels. This results in a floor that is less likely to come apart or develop gaps over time. In addition, heat welding helps to prevent the accumulation of dirt and bacteria in the seams, making it a good choice for hygienic environments.
Regarding finishes, vinyl flooring is available in various colours and patterns to suit multiple decor styles.
In conclusion, school washroom design incorporates many elements that must work together. Building regulations also play a considerable part and must be considered as part of the design process. Refurbishing both a school toilet and school washrooms involves a substantial investment that will improve hygiene, accessibility, and sustainability. By working with an experienced contractor, you can be sure that all work is completed to the highest standards.
Contact us today if you’re ready to transform your school’s washrooms into a safer, cleaner, and more convenient space! Our team of experienced professionals will work with you to develop a plan that meets your needs, budget, and timeline. Let us help you create a washroom that meets the needs of your school and sets a high standard for hygiene and accessibility. Call us today to arrange a site visit.
If you would like to find out more about Gravitas Build’s services, have a question or would like us to visit you to discuss your project requirements, please contact us here. We will be pleased to help.
Call us on 0121 403 3693 for more information.
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