Trickle-down effect: How design choices impact the needs of others
When it comes to commercial restrooms, AIA partner Zurn Industries reminds designers that keeping lean construction in mind will make all parties happy
As everyone knows, when you have a happy owner you have a happy project. But it’s also important to remember that there are a lot of people to keep happy in the design, engineering, construction, and use of a facility.
Decisions made during the architectural design process—especially for interior spaces like heavily trafficked commercial restrooms—can impact the expectations of those managing costs, ongoing maintenance, and the day-to-day construction of a project. Specified products can impact the needs of a specifying architect, engineer, and plumbing contractor, which affects cost management, quick lead times, ease of installation, adherence to schedule, ease-of-maintenance, savings on labor costs, and daily use.
From start to finish, making choices with lean construction in mind will positively impact others and the project. You can look for beautiful design, but make sure it delivers the functionality others need to cut costs and stay on schedule. Here’s how to do just that when it comes to commercial restrooms.
Work with a single-source manufacturer
Getting all your parts from one source will reduce installation time, increase effectiveness, and maintain reliability. The parts are engineered to work together, as opposed to forcing engineers and plumbing contractors to work with similar products that are mismatched. A single source means ease and peace of mind after installation, and single-source manufacturers and inclusive systems breed familiarity. Save time on the job site with stable and familiar parts and installation.
Stand the test of time
Though you may not need to know how to install a hand-washing system, keep in mind what people who will handle the installation want or need. A carrier that is variable by height and width can be installed practically out of the box, without needing to mount separate pieces. If there are any problems with post-installation measurements, the carrier can easily be adjusted to the space of the wall. That cuts time from the process.
In addition, the carrier supports the system’s weight, adding durability as well as flexibility. Using a behind-the-wall carrier system designed for a specific hand-washing basin gives the contractor an easy installation and cuts costs for the project, all while looking great.
Save the schedule
The architect is the keeper of the schedule: he or she both sets and follows it. Stick to it and you’ll be beating expectations for the building owner. Saving 15 minutes on every install—the benefit of sourcing a complete hand-washing system with all the components—can play a large role. If there are 160 carriers, that’s a full week of time saved. Your owner will be sure to notice.
For more on lean construction, visit zurn.com/innovation-efficiency/lean-construction.
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