The recent pandemic has made everyone more aware of how quickly and easily dangerous germs spread. Wiping down, disinfecting, and not touching surfaces is of the highest priority and likely will remain so. Health experts also warn of the dangers of highly touchable surfaces and have renewed concerns about public restrooms’ safety.
What does this mean for the future design of public buildings and spaces? Public expectation is that facilities move to implement more low-or-no-touch fixtures and technologies to avoid disease spread.
Changing Demands in Bathroom Design
In the past, commercial bathrooms have often been approached from a largely utilitarian perspective. As we move back to work and into public spaces, reducing current and future risk will become the highest priority. With this increased emphasis on health and wellbeing, facility managers are faced with the daunting task of making the facility safe through short and long-term changes to their design. Some of the easiest of these changes include changing countertop materials to more easily cleaned surfaces such as quartz and other solid surfaces and implementing hands-free operations.
Prioritizing Touch-free Solutions
Of course, complete redesigns are not in every budget. It is, however, possible to decrease risks and increase customer confidence by outfitting commercial restrooms with sensible touch-free solutions.
The American Restroom Association recommends solutions such as:
- Motion sensor faucets
- Motion sensor soap dispensers
- Motion sensor hand dryers or paper towel dispensers
- Motion sensor toilets for hands-free flushing
- Hand sanitizing stations
These technologies are becoming standard and can be easily retrofitted into the current space.
Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
The ARA additionally recommends a program of frequent disinfection and cleaning in combination with ongoing monitoring and documentation. The use of UV light as a component of public area disinfection is a promising area of study.
About Sierra Group
Sierra Group is a service-focused company specializing in Commercial Construction, Electronic Security, and Facility Services. Our highly skilled field technicians offer a wide range of services and are ready to help with projects of all scopes, or with our ongoing preventative maintenance programs.
When failure is not an option, the most demanding organizations trust Sierra Group to get the job done right.
David Garrison | division manager – facility services | Sierra Group
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