When it comes to public washroom facilities, user safety, water and energy conservation and ease of maintenance are critical considerations for building management teams.
Dave Merriman, Commercial Specification Manager at Rada, guides us through some of the latest advancements in commercial washroom products and the benefits they can offer to new build and refurbishment projects.
As building management teams will be acutely aware, washrooms, changing rooms and showering facilities are not areas of buildings that you can simply ‘fit and forget’ – particularly as these areas are likely to see heavy use by members of the public.
They must be properly managed and maintained on an ongoing basis to ensure the day to day safety of users and prevent the outbreak of serious waterborne infections such as Legionella.
Given the broad nature of public sector buildings, from administrative offices to leisure centres, schools and care homes to name a few, the washroom requirements of each can vary considerably.
However, certain fundamentals apply throughout. The key is to begin by specifying the most effective products for their intended uses. Looking past the basics of complying with appropriate legislation and meeting the required budget, it’s important to take the time to consider the makeup and volume of users of these washroom stations.
Commercial shower valves, for example, may have to put up with some of the heaviest use of any washroom fixture. An estimated 15 hours per day is not unusual for a busy leisure centre, meaning they have to be correspondingly robust.
It’s not just regular use that ensures a need for robust solutions. Facilities open to the public for long hours can be a target for vandals. Destruction of property can be expensive, as can factoring in the repair and replacement of damaged items and the potential loss of revenue caused by closing facilities to allow for essential repairs. Products with special vandal resistant features are available, such as Rada’s VR shower head range, which is designed to be vandal resistant and can also be built within the property’s wall structure for extra security.
Those tasked with maintaining washrooms are likely to focus on the practicalities, such as easy access for servicing. Conversely, those responsible for maintaining multiple buildings and sites may be concerned with how much personnel time is spent walking around manually flushing these systems and updating records, and how much water and energy is wasted by products left running.
Using a digitally controlled valve, Rada Outlook offers precise control of 6 showers or taps in any configuration, automatic duty flush, supervised thermal disinfection and data download for L8 compliance. Using an Outlook system in this way can eliminate the need for manual flushing, allowing staff in buildings with multiple systems to focus their energies (and thus add value to the organisation) by undertaking other tasks. Multiple Outlook systems can be linked together and programmed via a Building Management System.
Rada can also offer a range of push button time flow taps and shower controls that are specifically designed for high usage environments and have been tested in controlled environments over 250,000 cycles to prove their durability. This popular range blends high performance and style, featuring an all-in-one cartridge for easy maintenance and adjustable flow rates, for maximum water and energy savings.
The Rada V12 shower valve also incorporates InsutechTM, asafe-to-touch technology, which ensures that the surface temperature on the hot side of the valve is kept at a safe level, eliminating the risk of accidental contact scalding – particularly important if facilities are likely to be used by young people and the vulnerable.
Whatever the sector or scale of your project, it pays to take on board free expert advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Here at Rada we have dedicated specification and after sales teams to ensure that your chosen solution works to the optimum benefit of your organisation, meaning we will be there long into the future should you require maintenance or spares.