FOCUS WASHROOMS should ask themselves is: how do we measure up? Compare washrooms with best practice benchmarks, focusing on the five areas where most issues arise: cleanliness, hygiene, eff iciency, sustainability and satisfaction. Start by collecting and analysing data on current washroom standards. This will provide the information enabling a comparison to be made between your washroom and industry benchmark standards, and highlight areas of improvement. Tools that can assist with the process include devices such as door counters to measure traff ic, producing information that can maximise the eff ectiveness of your cleaning rotas. ‘Happy or not’ terminals and employee surveys are good ways to gather data on user satisfaction and suggestions for improvement. Find ways of engaging with washroom users by, for example, installing a whiteboard for messages or a sign with the FM’s contact details. This will not only help highlight problems and gather ideas, it will help people to feel valued. Suzanne Halley is FM segment marketing manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional, UK & Ireland. SOMETHING IN THE AIR Dave Carson of P-Wave explains how products that tackle bad smells can also reduce the need for maintenance. Even when washrooms are equipped to the highest specification and cleaned regularly, one problem may be left unresolved – an unpleasant odour that can put people off using the facilities, or give the impression they aren’t as clean as they should be. This is particularly true of men’s washrooms. A bad smell can also discourage people from hanging around long enough to wash their hands properly. One solution is to use air fresheners with strong, pleasant fragrances that mask bad 40 MARCH 2017 odours eff ectively. Users feel welcomed by the scent rather than repelled by an unpleasant stench. A prime cause of bad smells is urine, from bacteria in drains or splashback on the floor. It’s not enough to drop a scented blue block into urinals and hope for the best. By including the right enzymes in products, odour-controlling ‘good’ bacteria can eliminate malodorous ‘bad’ bacteria which feeds on urine. This removes the smell at source and is far more eff ective and environmentally friendly than urinal blocks or harsh chemicals. SCREENING FOR PROBLEMS It’s also important to reduce splashback so that urine doesn’t end up on the floor. With the best new urinal and trough screens, 95 per cent of splashback can be stopped. Innovative protrusions catch everything that heads their way, including bits of tissue, chewing gum or any other debris that might otherwise block pipes. This has the added benefit of reducing the need for maintenance, and avoiding the cost and hassle of clearing blocked drains. Screens are available that provide a one-stop solution, combining enzymes with protrusions and pleasant, long-lasting aromas. They can last up to a month and include a clock system to signal when they need replacing. Such screens can be 100 per cent recyclable and low in toxins, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS Andy Burton, marketing manager at Thomas Dudley, looks at innovations in sanitaryware which save water and promote good hygiene Water savings and improved hygiene are not only desirable goals for the facilities manager, they are key targets for technological innovation. In terms of toilet design, for example, sanitaryware manufacturers are continually developing WC pan designs that can operate with lower volumes. Cisterns and cistern components are also subject to new developments for more eff icient use of water. One recent development is the use of delay-fill inlet valves. Previously, float valves began refilling a cistern while it was still flushing. Use of a valve with delay-fill options mean that water is only allowed to refill the cistern once flushing has finished. The trend towards ‘touch-free’ washrooms off ers clear hygiene benefits. Infrared WC sensors are now commonplace in high-traff ic applications such as motorway services. The latest generation of products can interact with users, with LED displays indicating when full or reduced flushes have been delivered and when the cistern is refilling. Electronic taps and soap dispensers also encourage water saving and improved cleanliness. Taps can be configured to deliver one litre of water or less per use, and cannot be left running. With the electronic function, no touching is required, reducing bacteria and the risk of crosscontamination.
Facilities Management Journal March 2017
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