The Envoplan guide to school washroom refurbishment
When it comes to school budget allocation, school washrooms are often low priority. School washroom refurbishments generally take place when absolutely necessary, and yet these spaces can have a profound effect on student concentration, morale and wellbeing.
School toilets can be hot spots for bullying and other antisocial behaviour. A considered approach is to to space out the number of toilets blocks and improve accessibility for students and teachers, whilst maintaining privacy.
Acoustics play a part in improved privacy. This can be achieved through ventilation fan systems, floor to ceiling cubicle design and thoughtfully installed hand dryer machines.
So we are on a mission to improve the toilet experience in schools throughout the UK. After all, your washrooms are still part of your learning environment…
Cubicles and general décor
The cubicle design in your school washrooms needs to offer the users adequate privacy. Panels need to be manufactured from a durable, hygienic material that can easily be wiped clean and disinfected regularly. HPL (High pressure laminate), CDF (compact density fibreboard) or SGL (solid grade laminate), are all excellent options for school washrooms.
Flooring in your school toilet areas needs to be a non-slip, hygienic flooring. Vinyl or ceramic tiled flooring is easy to maintain, and will stand up well to high levels of traffic.
Lighting in your school toilets is one of the most important aspects to consider. Use a clean, bright light, as close to daylight as possible. LED panels will give you the most energy efficient lighting. Where possible, use automated lighting to ultimately reduce excess consumption of energy. Where you may have windows to allow in some daylight, it is important to ensure that toilet cubicles and urinals are not visible from outside.
By choosing good quality ironmongery in your school washrooms, you can ensure that your space will be less subject to vandalism, and will also last longer. Sensor taps are great for water conservation as they tend to be designed with a low flow rate, and deliver a consistent temperature, eliminating the risk of scalds. Many schools are now harnessing sensor equipped products, reducing touch-points and the spread of infection.
Lack of supplies in school toilets is one of the top complaints from students of all ages.
Liquid soap, paper towels, toilet paper and air fresheners all need to be regularly topped up to ensure that your school’s toilets are kept up to standard.
Regular waste removal will also help to keep your school washroom a more pleasant environment.
Away from the teachers’ eye, some school toilets are prime destinations for bullying, vandalism and graffiti.
Many schools are opting for open plan washroom areas in corridors. These spaces utilise full-height cubicle doors, giving privacy to the users, whilst giving supervisors full view of the immediate area.
Giving your students say in the design of the space will also help to give them ownership of the space. Ask your students to research the best washroom refurbishment options, and let them help with choosing the colours and finishes.
Maintenance and management
The ongoing upkeep of your toilet block is very important. Schedule regular checks, and ensure that staff visit the washroom areas regularly.
Asking staff to use the student toilets will help you to find out what they are really like! If the toilets aren’t good enough for staff to use, then how can you rightly expect students to enjoy using them?
Change is possible!
Take a look at a couple of school washroom refurbishment projects that we have recently completed for our clients: