There’s no getting away from the fact that washrooms are primarily utilitarian spaces, designed with functionality and hygiene in mind.
When it comes to facility design, the specification of washrooms has historically been a bit of an afterthought, especially in non-commercial settings such as healthcare. It’s not unusual to find a design-led washroom in a hotel, for example, but it’s not something we would expect to see in a hospital – at least not until now.
But the popularity of very sleek, European style washrooms in the commercial sector is seeing demand for a similar aesthetic beginning to spill over into the public sector.
Within healthcare, there are some practical drivers for this demand as well. The increased privacy offered by full height washroom partitions is desirable in terms of infection control, and also feeds into a growing requirement for gender neutral or unisex washroom facilities designed to cater for a wider cross-section of society.
So why choose full-height washroom partitions?
Sleek & modern
Undoubtedly, one of the key attractions of a full-height washroom partition is aesthetic. Extending from a whisper above the floor to almost ceiling height, with matching doors, panels and pilasters, the overall look is one of sleek uniformity that instantly creates a luxurious look and feel. Additional features such as self-closing doors, invisible supports and interlocking door/fascia panels further enhance the seamless appearance, creating an immediate visual impression of a space that is well-maintained and hygienic.
Seamless design for better hygiene
Of course, hygiene and infection control is much more than just visual – but many of the features that make these partition systems look so streamlined also serve to make them much easier to keep clean. Whether manufactured from powder-coated, stainless steel or large-scale phenolic sheets, the effect is to create a large expanse of surface with minimal joints, that’s supremely easy to disinfect.
Improved infection control
Full-height washroom partitions are designed to eliminate sightlines while remaining fire regulation compliant – this means significantly reduced space at floor and ceiling level, as well as eliminating gaps when doors are open or closed. As a result, these partitions are a highly effective barrier against airborne pathogens and can help reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).
Ultimately, these partitions also afford total privacy and dignity for the user. So much about the experience of receiving hospital treatment can feel invasive and undignified, so for patients, the benefit of having a stylish washroom that affords some additional privacy cannot be underestimated. For visitors and staff, high-spec washrooms send a clear message that their comfort is being considered and prioritized, and are a valuable way to improve overall perceptions of any hospital or care home.
At Belroc we offer a full consultancy, supply and installation service offering support to project managers/planners, architects and designers from the initial design phase right through to completion, with two decades of experience specific to healthcare interiors.
Strong relationships with leading suppliers such as Bobrick, Hadrian, Bradley and American Specialties Inc. mean our clients have access to the most cutting-edge products within this evolving specialty, and we’re happy to offer advice on the best fit in terms of performance, aesthetic and budget.
To discuss washroom specifications for your next project or to find out more about the emerging trend for European-style partitions, contact Owen Lawrenson – email@example.com.