Anil Madan, Non-Residential Marketing Manager, Ideal Standard
Commercial washroom design is often a tricky balance due to the many factors you need to weigh up with what the end-users will ultimately need the most. There are, however, some key themes which you should always pay close attention to when specifying for any washroom project.
One of the biggest considerations in all commercial washrooms today is sustainability, especially as utility bills continue to rise and the focus on water conservation grows. Thankfully, water saving features can be quickly and easily incorporated across any washroom regardless of the setting.
There are plenty of options to choose from when your client is looking to save water. Whether it’s low-flow taps, dual flush toilets or modern changing room showers, the market is seeing a wave of sustainable innovation.
Products like Intellimix for example – Ideal Standard’s hygienic smart tap – can significantly reduce the use of water with every wash. By dispensing a pre-programmed amount of water and soap with every use, it’s possible for this touchless tap to save up to 85% on water and 80% on soap compared to traditional fittings.
Of course, touchless taps in general are a great sustainability choice for a variety of washrooms, especially when they’re in a public building, hotel, or office space, and are usually fitted with pre-programmed flow timers that offer reduced water usage.
WCs have also seen water saving technology advance within them over the last decade. By opting for dual flush toilets, especially those with smaller volume cisterns, commercial properties can save huge amounts of water, particularly in high traffic environments. Older commercial toilets are likely to up to 6 litres of water per flush, compared to some new dual flush toilets which use 4/2.6 litres with each use, while still achieving the desired end-result.
Urinals, meanwhile, can account for 20% of office water use with flushing continuing even when buildings are closed to the public or after office hours. Time control technologies within more advanced products allow for programable flushing routines, which restrict when the urinals flush and can greatly reduce the amount of water used throughout the year. Waterless urinals are also a great choice for those who want to boost sustainability.
Aesthetics and durability
Although sustainability is one of the most important factors to consider, ensuring your customers have a washroom that looks great is still a large part of creating an attractive office, hotel or restaurant. Opting for pieces that work in harmony with the wider design scheme will result in a more uniform space and a better experience for every visitor.
Ideal Standard’s Sphero range of urinals has been created with a unique circular design that enhances any space. At the same time, the products are available in waterless versions, and have innovative water-saving technology built-in.
For designers, the goal should be to create a relaxed space which guarantees personal privacy. This may call for a more diverse colour palette, a creative layout with more stalls, and potentially even the incorporation of music and fragrance.
Specifying solutions that are reliable and durable is key to end-user satisfaction, regardless of the environment. By taking advantage of the expansive creative palette which comes from our Atelier Collections, supported by the hidden brilliance of behind the wall technology like ProSys®, designers can build unforgettable washrooms which continue to perform.
Cleanliness is another key theme at the forefront of people’s minds. Having a hygienic washroom is a must and it needs to be a central pillar for any project. As people return to the office, options such as touchless taps and hands-free flush plates give users peace of mind about cleanliness with as little direct contact as possible. Easily maintainable soap dispensers and hand-dryers which are designed with hygiene in mind, are also more sought after than ever by commercial customers.
You should also look for products which lessen the pressure on cleaning teams. Washbasins, showerheads and WCs which have smooth lines and curves should be your first port of call, as they won’t have many nooks or crannies which are difficult to clean or easy to miss by staff.
Opting for toilets with rimless pans also results in a more easily cleanable washroom without hard-to-reach areas. At Ideal Standard, many of our toilets feature our unique Aquablade Technology – Working at low-flush volumes, AquaBlade’s smooth, gently curved surface with no overhanging rim means it cleans 100% of the bowl, every time.
Clearly, there is a lot to consider when designing a washroom with the need to strike the right balance between sustainability, hygiene and functionality. Looking forward, sustainability will only continue to grow in priority for washroom owners, as they look to reduce bills without making sacrifices on cleanliness or aesthetics.
For more information about Ideal Standard’s portfolio of commercial washroom products visit here.