One of the most highly visible and visited locations in any commercial building is the restroom, but until recently, commercial restroom design was an afterthought with functionality and cost driving design decisions. It’s not just aesthetics that win architects over. Rather, products that are innovative, sustainable, and affect the facility owner’s bottom line are all important factors in how a commercial restroom should be designed.
Tomorrow’s Innovations Available Today
Commercial restroom products are now beautifully designed for any application and are built to last. Flushometers, faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers are available in special finishes and custom etchings and can even be added to faucets to complete a designer’s vision.
Advances such as water-free and hybrid urinal technologies as well as touchless, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing faucets are the standards that architects and designers turn to when considering the necessary components for their restroom projects. One of these new leading faucet innovations is turbine energy harvesting, a technology that not only potentially extends total battery life up to 10 years, but produces flow rates ranging from 0.35 to 1.5 gallons per minute.
In recent years, restroom product manufacturers touted their Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs) as qualifications that separated themselves from their competitors. And, as restroom innovations keep evolving, EPDs and HPDs are now becoming a prerequisite for a product to merit consideration from architects.
Saving More than Water
With today’s innovations in water conservation, high-efficiency toilet systems with 1.1 gallons per flush save 31 percent more water than a 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilet. Water-free and hybrid urinals are now saving more water than ever before. Hybrid urinals use no water to flush and they also reduce maintenance and repair costs by eliminating bucket dumps, bottlebrush cleaning, and calcite formation.
However, it isn’t only water closets and urinals that have evolved. Automatic sensor faucets not only save water, but increase hygiene and create a dynamic restroom environment. Sensor faucets meet the demands of the commercial plumbing industry, providing water usage savings of up to 40 percent, in addition to amazing design elements.
Integrated sinks are now taking hand washing to a new level with faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and a sink basin all working together as one aesthetic, touch-free, and hygienic unit. Additionally, high-speed hand dryers not only eliminate the need for paper towels, but also reduce maintenance by saving up to 95 percent in operation costs.
So when planning the design of your next restroom, take a look around some of the plumbing industry’s recent innovations to combine the technology, sustainability, and beautiful design that will serve as the building blocks for the future of commercial plumbing fixtures.
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