The choice of toilet partition is crucial to the overall design of the toilet. Apart from being the most salient feature of the washroom, it also is usually the least durable. This means that the design and material you choose for your toilet partition will affect how often you have to perform routine maintenance. And, it will also dictate the expected time when you have to replace them. This is a big deal especially since strict laws have been put in place to ensure the compliance of establishments in this regard.
Architects, designers and engineers are normally faced with the important task of choosing the best suited toilet partitions that they will install in the building. This process can usually be summed up into answering two questions. First, what will the toilet partition be made of or what material is used. And second, the spatial design of the toilet partition itself. This involves how thick the walls are, how tall it is and others.
There are two institutions that regulate the standards with regards to toilet partitions. Its aim is to ensure that the toilet partition follows the general building code. This means that it poses no risk as a fire hazard and the construction of the toilet partition follows the standards that are set as well. These two institutions are the National Fire Protection Association of NFPA and the International Code Council or ICC. It is up to government jurisdictions if they are to adopt these laws. However, if your country, or state has not yet mandated it, it might still be best to try to adhere to them as early as possible. Having to remodel all your toilet partitions in your washrooms after these laws are enforced could mean unnecessary expenses. Furthermore, these guidelines and standards are meant to better the service provided by your building or establishment. It will be for the best interest of your customers, and ultimately your business, if you at least consider these guidelines. You might also want to check the policies put in place by the building manager if you are renting, instead of owning the building.
To start off, you can brush up your toilet partition codes by reading these literature: the International Building Code, International Fire Code, NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 1 fire codes. An important point to note is that both the NFPA and ICC model codes define the toilet partitions as an interior finish. However, some states have recently changed their adaptation of these codes and instead defined that the toilet partitions are set apart from the interior finish of the washroom. Prudence in following these laws are crucial and it might be worth noting that adherence to these specifics may actually save your more time and money in the future.
Interior designers, architects and engineers must insist on the quality of the toilet partitions before they are installed. The product has to undergo proper testing as mandated by the law concerning materials used for building fixtures. Given that there is a variety of material that may be involved in the construction of toilet partitions, these specifics may differ depending on the exact toilet partition that you intend to install.
There are a few tests that you may want to know about. First, testing the materials themselves if they are suitable for use in the premises you are intending to install the toilet partitions in. You want to also ensure that the toilet partition passes the standard room-corner test. This test will determine if the high-pressure laminate used on the toilet partition passes the standard.
Choosing the correct toilet partition starts with properly understanding the building where the toilet partition will be installed. With this information, you can establish a baseline. Particularly, you want to consider the traffic within these restrooms. This will give you an idea on the requirements with regards to durability and functionality.
The first type of building we will consider are the so-called prestige buildings. These are buildings that do not expect much traffic but require utmost sophistication. For instance, major universities or corporate headquarters are considered to be Class A that merit the title of prestige building. Because of the nature of these buildings, the high quality of the material and its architectural design is prioritized over the durability of the toilet partitions. This gives the designer the most leeway in terms of creativity thus resulting in grandiose washrooms. It is very easy however to go over the top with these designs even to the detriment of functionality.
The second type of building we will look at are the standard type buildings. These are the more common design requests that contractors will have to deal with. These involve spaces such as commercial offices, healthcare facilities and hospitals, and some restaurants. The key difference between the standard building type and the prestige building type is the risk of having the toilet partition vandalized. This usually due to the increased traffic compared to Class A offices. Clients of these installations will have specific price points and will want to get the best that they can have with it. Depending on the risk of vandalism, you have to pick a toilet partition design that will make it possible to clean it.
Finally, the last building type that we will discuss is the heavy traffic building type. These involve schools in both elementary and high school, recreational facilities like parks and gyms, and fast food restaurants. These restrooms are notorious for vandalism and thus your choice of toilet partition should have this in consideration. Thus, the main focus for your toilet partition choice should be on durability and maintainability. It also helps if the toilet partition is able to withstand blows that it may be subjected to when the toilet partition is misused.
There are other building types that will warrant other considerations. For instance, public pools have requirements unique to that type of environment.