Three must-haves for commercial hand-washing stations
When AIA partner Zurn Industries asked architects to weigh in on trends in commercial restrooms, it found functionality to be as important as aesthetics
Designing commercial spaces means embracing form and functionality as much as overall appearance. An atrium’s bottleneck or a poor restroom experience can be just as influential as a stunning façade or a soaring entryway. Bathrooms are no exception.
Zurn interviewed more than 150 architects, designers, and consumers to better understand their needs and wants for commercial restroom design, focusing on a sometimes overlooked area, the hand-washing station. What design elements are most important? What are the perceptions of personal space within the area of hand-washing in a commercial restroom? Ultimately, how can the design and the function improve the experience?
Here are three common trends to consider in the design of your next hand-washing area to make it stand out in terms of design, performance, and ability to stand up to the rigors of everyday use.
Flexibility and efficiency
Sleek, modern, and clean designs are popular for lavatories. A solid-surface, integrated hand-washing system, in which the lavatory, faucet, and soap dispenser match, can provide an efficient, complete, contemporary solution without compromising design.
A sink with a sleek, minimalist drain design provides the function to evacuate water without impeding on the artistic design.
And coordination need not be boring: Although they may be offered as complete systems, choices in faucets, basin designs, colors, and surface materials provide visual flexibility but can be combined in the efficiency of a complete system. Look for basins with clean, smooth lines and individual spaces that make your commercial restroom stand out.
Minimalist, high-performing drains
Lavatory basins and sensor-operated faucets often get much of the attention, leaving other functional areas of the hand-washing basin like the drain overlooked.
A sink with a sleek, minimalist drain design provides the function to evacuate water without impeding on the artistic design—giving users a clean basin free from standing water. When paired with a modern faucet, it delivers the high style that you expect with the optimal experience that users appreciate.
The last thing you want to hear from the plumbing engineer—or worse yet, a building owner—is that your design was not built to last. Many commercial restrooms can face costly maintenance and repairs due to high use and vandalism.
Sometimes, the most important part of the design is what can’t be seen. Integrated hand-washing systems that are durable, with rigorous stability, can reduce the cost of replacements, maintenance, and downtime for the building owner. Some hand-washing systems feature components that are engineered to work together for higher performance and ease of installation. For example, in some solid-surface systems, a behind-the-wall carrier matches seamlessly with the basin to maximize functionality and withstand misuse and abuse. Look for a carrier and basin system that is capable of supporting 250 pounds for a secure installation that stands the test of time.
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