Restroom Design Can Reduce Maintenance Costs
To reduce operating and maintenance costs, managers can incorporate some simple, often overlooked design features.
Installing wall-mounted toilets and urinals reduces cleaning costs by making it easier to mop and scrub floors.
Installing suspended ceiling tiles in multi-floor facilities where restrooms are stacked allows easy access to piping and other system components. Should leaks occur, damaged ceiling tiles are easy to replace.
Multiple floor drains with adequately sloped floors make cleaning floors easier.
Paying attention to custodial closets can boost worker productivity. Cleaning is one of the major long-term expenses for restrooms, so managers must be sure plumbing systems are set up to support a custodial closet in or close to restrooms. Each custodial closet must have a floor-mounted mop sink and a separate floor drain to contain spills and make cleaning easier.
One of the most common complaints maintenance technicians have concerning restroom fixtures is a lack of isolation valves. Too often, they have to shut down an entire restroom to replace one plumbing component. Designs should call for each individual fixture to be installed with its own isolation valve so workers can isolate and work on one fixture without having to close down the entire restroom.
Finally, automatic lighting controls offer an opportunity to reduce energy use. A typical restroom lighting system uses about 2 watts per square foot, 24 hours a day. Even in restrooms with manual controls, visitors seldom use the controls.
Automatic controls only allow the lights to operate when the space is occupied. To prevent accidentally turning off the lights while the restroom is occupied, technicians can wire one fixture to remain on permanently. This type of restroom lighting-system configuration can reduce lighting energy use by up to 90 percent.