The sole purpose of this toilet refurbishment in Kent was to modernise the design and reduce touch points in order to optimise hygiene levels. The client was a Kent-based Pharmaceutical company with nine washrooms throughout their extensive Dartford premises. Dated and showing signs of wear and tear, it was evident that each washroom did not reflect the company’s innovative business culture. Therefore, plans for an extensive toilet refurbishment were put into action towards the end of 2020.
Having previously had the pleasure of working with our team, as part of a small laboratory fit out, the stakeholders were keen to include us within their formal tender process. After presenting our plans and costs to the board, we were delighted to win the project.
The decision was wholly based on our attention to customer service, quality craftmanship, design and value.
There were nine toilet units at the pharmaceutical company that required renovation. In each area the decor was dated and showing signs of wear and tear.
Essentially, the brief was to:
- Modernise the washroom design
- Reduce touch points throughout
- Allow for social distancing in the lab change-over area
- Enhance hygiene properties using easy-to-clean surfaces
- Transform the two individual visitor toilets from single gender to unisex
- Maintain the male and female status of the remaining six washrooms
- Complete the toilet refurbishment in a Covid-safe manner
The old washrooms were dated and tired.
Our Phased Approach to The Nine-Unit Toilet Refurbishment Kent
This was a project that spanned multiple areas within the Kent Pharmaceutical building. Therefore, a phased approach was necessary, especially as the work was being undertaken at a time of high risk Covid-19 infection rates. Keeping the client’s staff and our own team safe was a major priority.
We divided the toilet refurbishment schedule into five zones throughout the building. Our intention was to complete each zone before the next phase began.
Our phased approach divided the toilet refurbishment into the following zones:
- The laboratory
- Laboratory change-over area
- The office
- The packing area
We Created a Contemporary Washroom Design
The Pharmaceutical toilet refurbishment required a modern style that focussed on optimising hygiene and reducing the environmental impact.
Following a thorough site survey, it was clear that each unit required a full strip out of the existing fixtures and fittings. This gave the JBH design team an opportunity to start over with a new vision. Due to the highbrow nature of the business, the design focussed on a sophisticated and professional finish. Muted tones and natural textures were instrumental in the chosen design scheme.
For consistency, we replicated our design scheme across each of the toilet refurbishments. The key design features included:
- Wood-effect grey toilet cubicles and vanity units
- Coordinated panelling to conceal the toilet cisterns
- Grey hygienic cladding on the walls replaced the tiles
- Soft-close wall-mounted toilets
- Sensor flush and tap systems
- Grey non-slip cap and cove vinyl flooring
- Large mirrors spanning the wall width
The result was a series of contemporary washrooms that accurately represent the pharmaceutical business culture.
We Reduced Touch Points
We live in a time when hygiene is of the utmost importance. Routine hand washing and social distancing have become a way of life. However, in a pharmaceutical setting, hygiene is absolutely critical at all times. Extra measures are placed upon hygiene to prevent sterile lab areas becoming contaminated.
Therefore, it is no surprise that reducing touch points was a essential factor for this toilet refurbishment in Kent.
Sensor-triggered fixtures were fundamental in reduced the number of touch points throughout the toilet refurbishment Kent. Where possible we used sensor taps, flushes and soap dispensers. We also implemented a range of Dyson hand dryers that are engineered for hygienic performance with HEPA filters.
We Improved Hygiene and Social Distancing in the Lab Change-over Area
The change-over room is where the lab technicians change and wash-up before entering the sterile lab. JBH was asked to design a vanity unit where the lab technicians could wash their hands at a dedicated sink. The intention was to limit the risk of cross contamination when using shared facilities. Furthermore, the sinks had to be positioned two metres apart to allow for social distancing between two people.
Our solution for limiting the shared facilities came in the form of the Dyson airblade wash + dry tap. Although more expensive than traditional sensor taps, the Dyson airblade wash+ dry presented a compact and efficient solution.
Remarkably, the Dyson airblade wash + dry tap boasts the following attributes:
- HEPA purifying water system
- 14 second dry time
- 76% less expensive to run than other hand dryers
- 5-year guarantee
We installed two Dyson airblade wash + dry taps as part of a vanity system. In accordance with the brief, the vanity units were positioned two metres apart to allow for social distancing.
We Enhanced Hygiene Properties Using Easy-to-Clean Surfaces
Traditional wall tiles and flooring can be challenging to keep clean. The small crevasses can become a breeding ground for bacteria. As a result, we tend to advise our clients to steer clear of tiles in a commercial toilet refurbishment.
A practical and stylish alternative is hygienic cladding. It offers a smooth and impermeable wall surface, which is easy to clean. Simply wipe the area with your preferred cleaning agent for optimum results. For this project we used a grey cladding, but there are many colours and patterns available.
The floor is another area prone to harbouring bacteria. In each of the toilet refurbishments we used a hardwearing non-slip vinyl. With a cap and cove floor system cleaning is effortless. The arched corners mean you can reach right into the edges without marking the skirtings or walls. In addition, we used wall mounted toilets to make mopping even easier.
Dust and grime can also build up on pipe surfaces. To prevent this happening, we fitted Pendock laminate face boxing, which provides a neat finish to unsightly pipes and can be wiped clean.
We Transformed Single Gender Visitor Washrooms to Unisex Toilets
We converted the male and female visitor toilets, located at the entrance, to gender neutral washrooms. While the single gender status was maintained throughout the remaining toilet refurbishments.
In total we fitted out:
- Three female washrooms with cubicle systems and vanity units
- Three male washrooms with urinals and screens, cubicle systems and vanity units
- Two gender neutral toilets for visitors
- One unisex disabled toilet with grip rails affixed to the walls
Completing the Toilet Refurbishment Kent in a Covid-Safe Manner
Even under normal circumstances working within a pharmaceutical environment requires optimal hygiene procedures, due the sterile nature of the work. But this was not a normal situation. Covid-19 was rife in Kent at the time of the project, and we were at the peak of the second national lockdown. For that reason, hygiene and social distancing measures had to be methodically orchestrated and enforced throughout the Kent toilet refurbishment.
It was imperative that our team did not mix with the pharmaceutical staff. So, we hired a welfare unit for the duration of the toilet refurbishment. Complete with canteen, electrics, sink, fridge and toilet, this provided a space for rest breaks away from the main site. It meant that our team had very minimal face-to-face contact with the pharmaceutical staff.
To prevent any unidentified spread of the virus, all of our staff underwent routine weekly Covid symptom-free tests. They wore masks both inside and outside of the building, as well as gloves to reduce touch points. We also performed temperature checks every day before stepping foot onsite. These safety measures were essential to the wellbeing of everyone onsite during a very troublesome time.
The Project was Completed on Time and to Budget
After a thorough handover process, we were delighted to deliver the toilet refurbishment project to the end client on time and on budget.
“I highly recommend JBH Refurbishments. JBH were contracted to design, supply, and refit four blocks of washroom facilities within our site.
All work was carried out in a timely and efficient manner, throughout the project JBH conducted themselves with a high level of professionalism whilst maintaining an approachable manner and open honest lines of communication.
Even when, at our request, the project deviated from the original plan, JBH did all they could to accommodate our revisions.
All work was completed to a very high standard and in full compliance of the site safety requirements.
We look forward to working with JHB Refurbishments for any future projects”