July 22, 2009 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, plumbing systems:
New plumbing products and technology installed routinely in restrooms today are designed in direct response to the changing expectations of building owners, managers and occupants.
One important expectation relates to hygiene. This design criteria has been around the longest and only becomes more important with time.
In short, most people would prefer not to touch handles or surfaces in restrooms, and sensor-operated devices allow this to happen. In buildings such as hospitals, airports and restaurants where the need for hygiene is heightened, touchless plumbing systems both provide peace of mind and reduce the risk of cross contamination.
Says a manufacturer of towel-dispensing systems, “Building engineers need to speak with occupants and learn about their expectations for restroom hygiene, even in public places like airports. These engineers are selecting the systems that more adequately meet the expectations of the building occupants.”
A newer but equally important expectation involves supporting an organization’s green efforts and directly affects maintenance and engineering departments. Many buildings and departments are striving for LEED certification and other self-imposed sustainability targets.
Most new restroom technologies advance this cause, as well. Direct benefits of these products include the controlled output of paper products, soaps and, most importantly, water. The Americans with Disability Act predates these green standards