How many times can you recall having been to a restaurant that served fantastic food, offered superb customer service in a fabulous setting, only to be disappointed by their rest rooms?
The same analogy can be applied to school washroom facilities. Schools are under constant pressure to attract new students and retain existing ones. The washrooms are often an ‘afterthought’, with refurbishments of this kind simply overlooked and not prioritised. This disregard needs to be ‘flushed away’ once and for all. Head teachers must consider inspiring and durable designs to emulate the culture of the school and the youthful energy that the students bring, thus impressing both students and parents alike.
Above all, and most importantly, washrooms and toilets must be a safe and hygienic space consideringCOVID-19 and the impact it has had on communities.
Having planted that seed of thought, here are a few key points to consider when modernising the washroom space in today’s world:
With the average school energy bill in the UK amounting to an incredulous £31k, it is prudent to create energy efficient washrooms and toilets enabling controlled volume of water usage, soap and sanitiser dispensers, and lighting control via installed sensors.
*Source –Education Business, 2020*
Deployment of automation within hardware products in washroom spaces are proven to actively reduce touch points, helping surfaces remain free from exposure to a plethora of pathogens, which could lead to a spread of infections.
Hard-wearing and robust sanitary ware offers an easy to clean and maintain solution. It also withstands misuse or damage that could affect the integrity of the products.
Safety Students need to feel secure in their education environment, and this too includes the washroom and toilet areas.
Since the global pandemic forced businesses, schools and communities into a full Lockdown, the WHO (World Health Organisation) had to swiftly provide governments with guidelines on how to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus within spaces. Invariably, this was the key focus for schools throughout the closure and across the summer holidays. Social distancing signage, hand sanitizers, face masks became the ‘new normal’. But how has this impacted on the wellbeing of students?
You may have heard “It’s too early to tell.” We cannot yield that data at present. However, what we can do is create a welcoming and open space with the students’ wellbeing at the centre of the design.Consider a space which feels more open and connected without compromising privacy. This will help eradicate any potential bullying, historically a pervasive activity in these closed off areas, instead promoting wellbeing.
Another consideration where you have students of a similar age group, is an ‘all-inclusive approach’, designingunisex washrooms, ensuring all students have a sense of belonging and safety.
Psychology of colour
Consider the effects of various colours and hues when designing your washrooms and toilets. Science shows that more vibrant use of colour is more effective for improving attention and creativity in younger age group. Conversely, older students experience calmness with softer hues, essential for improving focus.Students visit the washroom several times each day. It should be treated as another break out space where they can feel inspired, collect their thoughts, and even experience their own ‘Eureka’ moment!
At Envoplan, we have it covered. From concept to creation on any budget. We would love to help!Contact us on +44 (0) 20 8997 9656 or [email protected]
Check out our case study at Giggleswick school here and discover how we delivered a turnkey solution for a complete refurbishment including washrooms and toilets