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Facilitator February/March 2014 : Page 71

Repairs and Maintenance Minimizing Waste with Modern Updates By Keith Vanderbilt Royal A F LUSH Today’s modern restroom is not only good for your customers; it’s also good for your business W hether you operate a restaurant, supermarket, hotel, airport or any other facility that services the public, your restrooms are very important in retaining your customer base. Today’s customer is more aware of cleanliness, hygiene and the use of environmentally friendly products. Customers who walk into a bathroom that has overflowing trash barrels often wonder what the kitchen looks like. A big percentage of restrooms still use manual toi-lets, urinals, faucets and soap dispensers, which are increasingly being viewed as non-sanitary. The truly updated and modern restroom of today is more sanitary, sustainable and cost effective. Today’s restrooms reduce surfaces that require touching to cut down on the spread of bacteria and germs. They are also more environmentally friendly by reducing water flow and eliminating paper. Over the last 20 years, we have comto understand that the world’s resources are truly finite. The last few decades have provided signifi-cant breakthroughs in technology that allows restrooms to be more green and more sustainable. One of the best ways to begin updating your restroom with im-proved products is to talk with a national distributor of restroom equipment. They can advise you of the best products that will meet your needs and will be able to inform you of some of the latest break-throughs in technology. They typically represent a wide range of man-ufacturers in each category of restroom equipment and will be able to deliver the right product to meet most every situation. Typically, The Official Magazine of the Restaurant Facility Management Association February/March 2014 71

A Royal FLUSH

Keith Vanderbilt


Whether you operate a restaurant, supermarket, hotel, airport or any other facility that services the public, your restrooms are very important in retaining your customer base.

Today’s customer is more aware of cleanliness, hygiene and the use of environmentally friendly products. Customers who walk into a bathroom that has overflowing trash barrels often wonder what the kitchen looks like. A big percentage of restrooms still use manual toilets, urinals, faucets and soap dispensers, which are increasingly being viewed as non-sanitary.

The truly updated and modern restroom of today is more sanitary, sustainable and cost effective. Today’s restrooms reduce surfaces that require touching to cut down on the spread of bacteria and germs. They are also more environmentally friendly by reducing water flow and eliminating paper.

Over the last 20 years, we have comto understand that the world’s resources are truly finite. The last few decades have provided significant breakthroughs in technology that allows restrooms to be more green and more sustainable.

One of the best ways to begin updating your restroom with improved products is to talk with a national distributor of restroom equipment. They can advise you of the best products that will meet your needs and will be able to inform you of some of the latest breakthroughs in technology. They typically represent a wide range of manufacturers in each category of restroom equipment and will be able to deliver the right product to meet most every situation. Typically, national distributors receive the best pricing from the manufacturers due to their volume.

Business Benefits

Let’s look at the major categories in the restroom—partitions, hand drying, toilets, urinals, sinks and lighting—and how modern design can benefit your business:

Partitions

Partitions come in many different styles, materials and colors. There are a few different options depending on your budget and your ultimate goals. Standard styles, such as floor-mounted and overhead braced, are most common. Ultimate-privacy stalls, which are virtually seamless, do not allow any sightlines into the compartment.

Materials and colors are typically the areas that most facility managers decide on. There are many colors, but the five most popular materials are powder-coat steel, plastic laminate, stainless steel, solid phenolic and solid plastic (high-density polyethylene).

Powder-coat steel is a great choice if you are on a tight budget. Plastic laminate is a good choice if you are on a budget and want many color choices to choose from. Stainless steel is extremely long lasting and durable and provides a very clean, smart look when accompanied by stainless accessories. They are virtually indestructible and retain their gleaming look indefinitely. They are also highly vandal resistant as most damage can be buffed out. Stainless is not cheap but may be worth the cost due to its longevity. On the other hand, powder coat steel, plastic laminate and stainless steel can all be recycled at the end of their lifecycle. Powder-coat steel and stainless steel can be manufactured with 21 percent and 54 percent post-consumer materials.

Color-through phenolic is made with the surface color throughout the material. This product is particularly desirable in areas where vandalism is an issue. Phenolic is a high-durability and low-maintenance product that costs roughly the same as stainless steel. It is made with approximately 67 percent rapidly renewable materials.

Solid plastic HDPE partitions are virtually impenetrable by water, odor, mildew, soap and most commercial cleaning agents. They are low maintenance and can have a textured finish that hides many of the effects of vandalism. In terms of sustainability, this material is not only post-consumer friendly; it is also very post-industrial friendly. The material is 100 percent recyclable and, depending on the manufacturer, can contain between 25 percent and 100 percent post-consumer content.

One of the newer products to come onto the marketplace is a lightweight solid plastic partition called Resistall. While limited in color range, it is durable, highly sustainable and modestly priced in the range of powder coat steel and plastic laminate.

Many of these materials contribute points to LEED certification. Because products and materials vary from one manufacturer to another, guidance from a professional, national distributor can guide you to the perfect match of materials and manufacturer.

Hand Drying

The most traditional method of hand drying is with paper towels. While paper towels can be made from renewable or recycled materials and can be recycled after use, they are still the least cost effective and the the highest energy consumption choice to dry hands.

Today, there are many manufacturers and models of high-speed hand dryers. A standard hand dryer, which dries hands in 30 seconds or more, uses about 55 percent less energy than recycled paper towels. However, a high-speed hand dryer, which dries hands in 10 to 15 seconds, uses approximately 85 percent less energy than recycled paper towels. In addition to improving energy efficiency, high-speed hand dryers are significantly less expensive than paper towels. On average, it costs 2 cents per hand dry with paper towels, whereas a high-speed hand dryer costs 1/10th of a cent. In most cases, the return on investment is four to six months.

In addition to being more expensive, paper towels also require significant maintenance in terms of emptying waste baskets and unclogging toilets. While most high-speed hand dryers will improve energy efficiency and reduce costs; a select few are also Green Spec Listed, is an unbiased list of the most environmentally friendly products published by the editors of Environmental Building News. For example, one new high-speed hand dryer not only dries hands, but also sanitizes them. It uses patented cold plasma technology to ionize air both on and around hands to kill germs, bacteria and viruses.

When combined with automatic flush valves, faucets and soap dispensers, hand dryers are an extremely important new step in improving the overall sanitization within your restrooms. The best way to find the right dryer for your specific needs is to turn to a professional, national restroom equipment distributor for the most up-to-date information.

toilets, urinals and sinks

The first consideration is whether you are looking for wall- or floormounted units. Beyond that, there are many design features that suit your personal tastes or on ADA compliance.

This category can also reduce operating costs, contribute to improved sanitization and improve sustainability through touchless technology and reduced water consumption. Automatic flush valves and faucets can reduce the spread of bacteria and germs by eliminating the need for manual operation, which also can lead to an increase in clogged toilets and potential water overflows. A great way to save water in the restroom is to reduce the gallons per flush in the toilets and urinals. There are also waterless urinals, which operate via gravity to eliminate the urine and use a line of fluids to help eliminate odors.

Lighting

Replacing traditional incandescent and halogen lighting is a great way to improve energy efficiency, and reduce operating and maintenance costs. A 2013 article in Facilitator (Feb/March conference issue) detailed the cost savings of a Darden project that replaced traditional lighting with LED lighting in 477 restaurants. Darden’s annual savings exceeded $2 million per year on energy costs alone. So, be sure to review this article for more detail in how to cut energy costs with your lighting.

first impressions

Have you ever walked into a dirty or outdated restroom in a restaurant and wondered what the kitchen looks like? Many customers probably have, too. It may be time to contact your national distributor of restroom equipment to help improve your restrooms and reduce costs.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigitalpublishing.com/article/A+Royal+FLUSH/1627730/195367/article.html.

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