2015 is almost over so it seems appropriate to look forward to what might be big news in the Commercial Washroom Sector in 2016?
Puff the Magic Dryer. The world’s first ‘hand dryer designed with Children in mind’ is being seen in more and more nurseries, preschools and primary schools. Recently listed in the YPO schools catalogue for 2016 I expect him to be in a few more by the end of the year. Having talked to the manufacturers Airdri recently, it seem that not only will Puff be flying into schools in the UK and abroad but due to his quietness and friendly features he is being trialled in some of the biggest hospitality groups in the UK. So you might just see him in a baby changing room in a pub, restaurant or fast food outlet near you soon!
Water harvesting. Yes this concept has been around for a while but with increased costs of water across the UK water harvesting is becoming a simple cost saving exercise – as much as 50% of a commercial property might be flushing perfectly good drinking water down the drain. With the basic set up cost starting at £2000 there will be plenty businesses that will see a return on their money pretty quickly – much quicker than solar panels as it rains at night too!
Inclusivity. ‘The Design of Buildings and their Approaches to Meet the Needs of Disabled People’ – Code of Practice was published in 2009. It recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes. But there are moves afoot that instead of being a recommendation, they should be compulsory for modern public new builds in order to not exclude anybody who may wish to use them. As improvements to technology and subsequent reductions in cost have at last started to kick in I think ‘changing places’ will become more common in public areas – particularly shopping and leisure centres as well as larger pub, hotel and restaurant chains who see the commercial opportunities targeting the ‘disability dollar’.
Toilets as a retail business. The model has been around in Europe for a few years and the first unit has opened up in Covent Garden (2theloo) but I suspect there will be at least 6 in London before the year is out. As shopping centres start to bear the brunt of local authority cutbacks there will be growth in a fully commercialised public access toilets across City Centres and tourist areas across the UK.
Can and battery free air fresheners. EU waste legislation is a bit sketchy here but the industry is poised for a massive shift from standard aerosol, battery operated type air fresheners to non aerosol and battery free alternatives. V-Solid from vectaire is the one to watch.
So there you have my 5 toilet predictions for 2016. If only I had the toilet equivalent of Marty McFly’s sporting almanac! Thanks for reading my blog please share it if you see fit and a like is always welcome. Warm washroom wishes for 2016, whatever your business.
This begs the question how did they clean toilets in the intervening 336 years? Lets not dwell on that, this post may be unpleasant enough.
It would be fair to say that there hasn’t really been much change to the ‘modern’ toilet brush and 99% of brushes sold still use the same design. However there is a big question that needs to be asked. How often do you clean or replace it (the toilet brush). Mainland Europe are leading the way in the commercial sector with washroom companies offering toilet brush replacement on a 12 weekly cycle. A waste I hear some of you shout? yes it possible is, but the cost to wash a sanitise a toilet brush head (both carbon and financial) is probably very similar to the cost to replace new. Replacement frequency like all things depend on use.. If your toilet brush looks like a hedgehog with alopecea, then I suggest you change it. Whether you clean it or replace it depends on you and what you to do. If you have a bespoke or fancy toilet brush holder finding a toilet brush to fit may be an issue and may not be cheap. And don’t forget to clean and sanitise the very holder you keep your toilet brush in.
A personal bug bear of mine is toilet brush holders on the floor of public toilets. A busy cleaner invariably (not all) mops around the holder so nit only do you have a dirty toilet brush but a dirty floor where it sits. Vendor (Netherlands
Vendor wall mounted toilet brush and holder
However the toilet brush is evolving and the new generation of brushes are more like cooking spatulas. Here is the Cool Blade which is you will agree very ‘cool’ as toilet brushes go!
UPDATE: (7/12/15) I have discovered that CoolBlade are crowdfunding to bring the unit to market. Details here. So far they have raised over £50,000!
Toilet brushes are not your usual topic of conversation but everyone has an opinion. They come in all shapes and sizes and prices vary from £1 in Tesco to £579 for a copper ‘Zodiac’ in Harrods. However the thing we all agree on is the annoyance when the person before you doesn’t bother to use it!
Many Public toilets change equipment. whether that is because the old style is obsolete or maybe a change in supplier means a change of equipment (not unusual). However it can look terrible with parts of rawplugs left in walls or worse holes in toilet cubicle partitions that allow folk to peek right through.
This was an issue for a client of ours last week. Having looked around we have come up with a simple answer to partially reline the toilet cubicles to hide the various holes left from previous systems. The colour will match their corporate colour scheme and by completing a ‘band’ around the cubicle including the door we will create a design feature which should blend in perfectly with the branding and the building. Simple and yet effective. You can source suitable materials from local sign companies who will make light boxes or external signage from thin lightweight material. It is also an amazing way to add a splash of colour to a drab or plain washroom facility.
I had a great meeting today with a local company – we are going to supply them logo and branded entrance matting for their clients and they are going to supply us with toilet doors. Standard washroom symbols are fairly small as you can see from the image below.
Our plan is to provide a complete toilet door with the image screen printed directly onto the door. Any door any size. Amazing. A great part of my job is finding little bits of innovation to make washrooms better and that includes finding them!