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BUILDINGS,MAINTENANCE & REFURBISHMENT


Flushing away a design opport School to


likely to


bigger and the paper otow thememory is pretty


tt tymuch the same. This formulaic approach to facilities is due to various pieces of legislation declaring that provision of separate toilet and washing


facilities must be made for boys and girls over the age of eight. However, for anyone wishing to design toilet facilities for educational institutions, the rules and regulations can be a minefield of contradictory information, with several inconsistencies between different versions of gove Added to this is the more recent introduction of gender-neutral facilities, which are increasingly being seen in buildings for ol single cubicles are designed incorporating a toilet, sink basin, sanitary bin and floor to ceiling doors and walls. These cubicles can be used without exclusion due to the degree of privacy they are intended to offer and anecdotally typically see the girl’s toilets refurbished rather than the boys. Where these have been introduced into schools considered more child than adult, it remains a contentious issue. Research undertaken by the UK charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) has highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness, which is significant given they are located within a child’s primary learning environment.With concerns around issues like privacy, bullying and antisocial behaviour, it’s difficult to see how schools, and those who design them, can best balance what is increasingly becoming the norm by offering unisex toilets and allaying the concerns of parents and pupils alike.


der students. In this case, rnmental guidance.


One solution that has been acknowledged as credible is changing the way these facilities are thought about and creating a more desirable overall space, rather than creating a traditional communal bathroom block.Whilst there still needs to be privacy, the introduction of more windows using a range of different glazing styles to create a lighter space is far less severe that typical strip lighting. Lighter, brighter colours in the décor add to this feeling of openness in a gender-neutral bathroom environment, which is thought to be less intimidating for many pupils than walking into a girls’ or boys’ only room. Incorporating sound through sophisticated, hardwired sound systems into the environment is another sensory element that can soften the harshness, while refreshing, upgrading or replacing the extraction systems can help with the issue of smell.


School bathro materials withou approaching sch


The best toilets in the world will quickly deteriorate if not cleaned and maintained properly so of course, the materials used are key. However, whether ool bathroom design with a modular approach or more traditional design and build, there are now a vast array of bathroom-friendly


oms are purposeful and functional, b t a sliver ofMDF in sight.


ut that doesn’t mean they have to be boring, formulaic or poorly designed. Taking a fresh look at


design and the products available could open up a whole new approach to these facilities that helps, rather than hinders, a child’s focus in the school environment.


With over 20 years’ experience of transforming commercial space, Sigma provide a true end-to-end service; from fixtures and consolidation, to construction, projects andM&E.


www ww.sigmagrp.co.uk


toilets. Formany, flashbacks of a long rowof cubicles and green paper towels like sandpaper is to come tomind. Inmoremodern schools and educational establishments wels replaced bymodern hand-dryers or at least soft


rtunity to


ty ts, the cubiclesmay be fter, if still recycled, paper but


SPEND IT BETTER WITH SUPACORD


allowing education facilities to spend Supacord is much more cost-effectiv tufted carpet tiles or luxury vinyl tile When compared to contract-rated


money on what really matters.


Complement Supacord with Battleship/Hippo entrance carpet for the total education


n solution


ve, es,


d


www.heckmondwike-fb sales@heckmondwike-fb.co.uk


36 www.education-today.co.uk


| 01924 406161 b.co.uk


March 2020


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