3 Reasons Why Every Manufacturer You Contract Should Have GREENGUARD Certification

When you’re looking for new materials for a commercial restroom or locker room renovation, you want to be sure that you choose a manufacturer that provides the highest-quality products. In terms of sustainable and healthy materials, you can be sure that you’re receiving the safest products if they’re GREENGUARD certified.

To help you make the right choice for your new restroom or locker room materials, Scranton Products is here to break down the benefits of a GREENGUARD-certified product. Continue reading for three reasons why every manufacturer you contract should have GREENGUARD certification. Read more

It’s Made from What? Common Products You Didn’t Know Were Made from Recycled Material

Seeking companies that make the effort to produce products from recycled materials helps to support a production method that benefits the environment. When you choose recycled materials, you help to reduce the growing amount of waste created. When you’re finished with these products, they can be recycled again.

Choosing recycled products will help you feel good about your impact on the environment around you. So to increase your awareness of the recycled products available to you, read on to find a number of common products that you may not have known are made from recycled material.

Furniture

Furniture innovators have found that they can build chairs, sofas, and other pieces from recycled wood and other materials. While maintaining elegant and homey designs, recycled furniture materials such as timber, plastic, or steel minimally impact wood resources. Instead of cutting down more trees to produce these pieces, recycled wood helps to reduce the amount of effort needed to make furniture and preserves resources that benefit our environment. You can still find beautiful indoor and outdoor furniture when choosing recycled wood or other materials.

Paper Publications

Many paper publications, such as newspapers and magazines, make an effort to use recycled paper. Doing so helps to reduce the amount of reliability these corporations have on paper printing, which is a harmful process in regards to the environment around us.

While it’s great that many publications have made an effort to reuse paper materials, a lot of the responsibility to be environmentally friendly falls on the consumer to continue the recycling process and make sure that, after they read the publication, they recycle it. Without recycled paper, publications will have to resort to cutting down more trees to produce more paper.

Facility Materials

When renovating or remodeling your facility, selecting materials that are not only built from recycled products but are also recyclable themselves helps to close the recycling loop. For example, if you’re looking for restroom materials, you should ask about how the materials were produced and how you can dispose of them. For instance, are the bathroom partitions you’re selecting made from pre-consumer recycled content? Are the lockers for your locker room 100% recyclable to help reduce industrial waste?

Today, we see more and more products being produced using recycled materials and that are recyclable to help preserve environmental resources and reduce our level of waste. That’s why it’s important to take note of the products you buy and how environmentally friendly they actually are.

At Scranton Products, we’re proud to produce 100% recyclable facility products made from recycled materials. We do our part to provide you with a high-quality product but also to create an environmentally friendly product that helps the world around us.

You can find out where you can buy Scranton Product materials near you.

Is Your Public Restroom Federal Regulation Compliant?

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Are your bathrooms compliant with federal and state regulations? It’s a question that facilities across the nation have to ask, and the answer isn’t always so clear. For example, federal regulations require commercial buildings to provide restrooms for employees, while public restroom regulations are left up to the state and local municipalities.

In this post, we review some of the key aspects of restroom compliance policies so you can determine if your public bathroom is up to code.

Understanding Restroom Regulation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency responsible for regulating bathroom access for employees in the workplace. Their sanitation standards require that all commercial buildings provide adequate bathroom facilities for their employees in an effort to avoid any adverse health effects. The only exception is mobile worksites where transportation to bathrooms must be available.

Meanwhile, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies that bathrooms must be accessible to employees with disabilities. This means having a door that’s big enough for a wheelchair to fit through, among other amenities.

restroom cleaning checklist

How Many Toilets Should My Public Restroom Have?

According to OSHA, facilities with more than 15 employees must have gender-separated bathrooms. While this rule doesn’t speculate about gender-neutral bathrooms, you’ll need at least two separate facilities. Meanwhile, buildings with fewer than 15 employees require only one unisex bathroom (plus a sink and locking door).

How many employees do you have?

  • 16-35 employees = 2 toilets required
  • 36-55 employees = 3 toilets required
  • 56-80 employees = 4 toilets required
  • 81-110 employees = 5 toilets required
  • 111-150 employees = 6 toilets required
  • 151+ employees = 6 toilets plus 1 additional toilet for every 40 employees over 150

Also important to note is that while urinals are permitted in public restrooms, they don’t count toward the number of required toilets.

Additional Bathroom Requirements

Other OSHA rules specify that every bathroom must have soap, running water, and a hand dryer or towels. Also, the bathroom compartments must have a door and partitions that provide adequate privacy.

How to Bring Your Public Restroom Up to Code

Older buildings might not meet the regulations set by OSHA, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be updated to become compliant with both OSHA and ADA regulations. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations that pertain to your specific building. This information is freely available online. However, a professional contractor should have no problem assessing your facility for compliance.

Once that’s done, you should be able to easily pinpoint what aspects of your facility need to be changed or modified to meet regulations. This could include installing additional toilets, installing sinks or toilet partitions, putting a lock on the door, or adding grab bars.

For more information about updating and renovating your commercial bathroom, download our free eBook The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels.This resource has tons of useful information to guide you through the renovation process.

The Key to Reducing Restroom Maintenance Costs in Stadiums

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Blueberry Bathroom Partitions

Operational costs can significantly impact the budget for any type of facility but especially for sports stadiums. Frequent heavy use by fans and visitors takes a particularly heavy toll on the restrooms.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for administrators to keep the cost of both short- and long-term maintenance low. In fact, reducing restroom maintenance costs is simple when planned properly.

Understanding the Trouble Areas

To learn how to reduce the costs of restroom maintenance, it might be best to first understand where most building officials are spending more on maintenance costs. Primarily this is in the repair and replacement of bathroom partitions. The partition, or stall, typically houses a toilet and features a locking door.

The majority of commercial bathrooms features partitions made from steel. This is due partly because steel is easy to manufacture and therefore provides a lower upfront cost to contractors and architects. However, steel needs proper routine maintenance to continue looking and functioning properly.

One major problem that steel has is rust. Rust occurs when metal is subject to oxygen and moisture. With excited sports fans spilling drinks and frantically washing their hands to get back to the big game, it’s not a question of if steel partitions will rust but when.

Another common problem with metal bathroom partitions is denting. The metal panels aren’t solid steel but instead thinner sheets attached to a frame. These thin sheets are easily damaged when treated carelessly. Their smooth surface also creates a perfect area for graffiti or scratching, which can be an eyesore to an otherwise stylish restroom.

To help administrators cut the costs of routine maintenance, they need to consider alternatives to the materials they’re using.

Lowering Maintenance Costs with HDPE

HDPE, or high-density polyethylene, is a type of plastic that can be manufactured into bathroom partitions. This material can also significantly reduce the cost of routine maintenance in stadium restrooms in several ways, the first being its resistance to rust.

It’s also resistant to dents and scratches. Plus designers can choose HDPE partitions in a variety of colors and designs to match the theme of any stadium. They can even be made to resemble the look of traditional steel without the negative drawbacks.

Not only is HDPE resistant to rust, dents, scratches, and corrosion, but it’s also easily washable. Cleaning staff can even use a power washer to clean HDPE partitions, helping to make cleaning the restrooms more efficient.

This is how stadiums with HDPE partitions can spend less on replacing or repairing their restroom partitions and less on cleaning the restrooms as well.

Want to know more about how HDPE bathroom partitions can help to reduce the cost of restroom maintenance in your stadium? Contact Scranton Products today or read our Ameritrade Stadium Case Study to see how this facility reduced their maintenance costs through HDPE bathroom partitions.

Want Your Building or Facility to Make a Good Impression? Focus on Your Restroom Design

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The restroom in your building can make or break someone’s opinion of the entire building. This room is a private area that people need to visit, so it’s important that it’s adequate and all of their needs are met there. They also want it to be a pleasant, convenient experience, which all comes from the design.

When a restroom is designed properly from the beginning, it’s likely that it will be functional for many years after. To make sure that the restroom in your building or facility is an attractive, enjoyable space for all who use it, consider some of the tips below.

Adhere to Requirements

There are many requirements that you’ll need to adhere to when laying out your restroom. The layout must meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which requires adequate space in the stalls and the walkways of the bathroom for those who are in wheelchairs.

It’s also important to consider the height of the sink, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers or hand dryers to make sure that someone in a wheelchair can reach them. It’s crucial that the restroom design adheres to the regulations set by the ADA to be accommodating to guests and to avoid legal and regulatory issues.

Your design must also adhere to OSHA’s sanitation standards. This act includes various rules and regulations that discuss water, toilets, housekeeping, and other related factors.

Choose Quality Materials

After function comes product durability and reliability. You’ll want your products to hold up over time so you can avoid replacement costs, so installing quality materials from the beginning will be beneficial. Solid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is made with a homogenous color throughout and resists dents, scratches, corrosion, graffiti, and mildew and will never rust.

Other common bathroom materials include plastic laminate, stainless steel, and baked enamel. However, with all of these materials,moisture or bacteria seeps through to the core of the partition or vanity and the material can begin to disintegrate and fall apart. You’ll need to repair or replace it, costing you even more money.

Choose a durable product that resists moisture and bacteria to prevent this from occurring.

Maintain Your Design

As you develop your design, you need to consider the maintenance that will be required to keep the design efficient.

For example, add touchless faucets and flush valves that are automatic, so the amount of water being used is restricted. It’s not possible for someone to leave the water running, which drastically reduces the amount of water being used.

In addition, automatic hand dryers eliminate the waste that’s created by paper towels. In addition, there won’t be paper towels strewn around the restroom that need to be cleaned up. These hand dryers can also reduce energy use because the time that a dryer operates is limited.

If you’re designing a restroom for your building or facility, keep these tips in mind in order to please everyone who uses it. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products HDPE plastic materials for your restroom.

The Long-Term Building Management Expense You Shouldn’t Be Paying

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When you’re running a facility, you understand how expensive building management can be and how quickly the costs can add up. Bathroom partitions, lockers and other products can need repair or replacements. Some of these costs are mandatory when you own a building and need to keep it in the best shape possible, but are you wasting money in areas that you shouldn’t be? As a business, it’s always a priority to cut costs when necessary and save wherever you can. Scranton Products can identify these areas and help you reduce your expenses.

New Paint

Metal lockers and bathroom partitions face a lot of wear and tear, constantly being opened and closed day after day. This kind of wear and tear can chip the paint making your facility look unkempt and old. In order to fix this, you’ll get the lockers and partitions repainted. Not only does this require a lot of time, it also requires a lot of paint. Purchasing paint can be costly especially based on how often you’re purchasing it to make your lockers and partitions look like new.

Repairs and Replacements

Wear and tear can be more damaging than just chipped pain – it can require repairs and entire parts may need to be replaced. Think of the locks or lockers on a door, the doors and handles on the door of a bathroom partition. These all must be working properly and if they’re not, it costs money to get them repaired or replaced.

Maintenance Workers

In addition to the paint, replacement pieces, and other products it takes to keep your lockers and partitions working correctly and looking great, you’ll need to rely on workers who can get the job done. You’ll need to pay painters to cover the chips and you’ll also need a handy person to install new pieces or repair damages products. There are also times when your facilities need to be cleaned. In schools and bathrooms, it’s not uncommon for lockers and bathroom partitions to get covered in graffiti, markers, stickers or other unwelcomed items. Depending on the material of your products, it could be nearly impossible to make sure the items are removed properly. Hiring a staff of professionals to get the job done is costly.

Scranton Products

The solution to this problem is to invest in quality product materials that do not need frequent maintenance. Scranton Products are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This material provides one of the longest life cycles in the industry and is made with one solid color throughout. This solid color ensures that there won’t be any paint chips so you won’t have to save on money and materials for paint. HDPE also allows graffiti to be cleaned off of it easier, eliminated the time and money you’ll spend on removing unwanted marks. It also holds up against dents and damages and has a resistance to impact that’s 59 times greater when compared to metal. Installing Scranton Products in your facility will reduce the extra building management expenses that you shouldn’t be paying. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.

5 Questions You Should Ask When Shopping for School Lockers

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When you’re shopping for school lockers for your facility, you want to be sure you’re choosing a durable material that can withstand the impact of students unloading their books, gym clothes, sports gear and other belongings. There are many different factors to consider when shopping for lockers for your school. Read on to find out the five questions you should be asking.

school locker room

1. How durable is the material?

School lockers face a lot of harsh wear and tear daily, so it’s important to choose lockers that are made of a durable material that can withstand this use.

The traditional option for hallway lockers is metal but they can come with a lot of drawbacks. They’re prone to dents with minimal impact which can compromise the aesthetics of the lockers and will end up costing a lot of money for repairs and replacement.

A impact test was conducted following ASTM standards that showed Duralife Lockers had 59 times greater resistance to impacts when compared to metal lockers.

2. How much maintenance do they require?

Constantly having to perform maintenance on your school lockers will become expensive in the long wrong. You want to be sure that the lockers you’re choosing are low maintenance to save you from this cost.

Traditional metal lockers have a lower initial cost than plastic lockers, making them an economical choice for schools. However, there are hidden costs such as additional expenses associated with cleaning, painting and the general maintenance of these lockers on an annual or semi-annual basis which may be overlooked.

By comparing the true cost of a traditional metal hallway locker to a Duralife HDPE locker over a 20 year period a study was done to take into account the initial cost, maintenance, dent and scratch repair, painting cost, graffiti removal and replacing damaged and corroded parts to create a cost of ownership model. Within 2 years, Duralife HDPE lockers are less expensive than metal. In 20 years, the accumulated savings are substantial.

3. How much noise do they produce?

 The noisy clanging that comes from shutting a metal locker can be distracting as it rings throughout the hallways, so look for an option where the sound is muffled.

Duralife Lockers are 3 times quieter than metal lockers and reduce noise in the hallway. This eliminates distractions from the hallways and leads to a better learning environment.  The difference between that is a metal locker noise would be equivalent to an alarm clock 2 feet away where the Duralife locker noise is considered similar to that created by a washing machine.

4. Are the lockers made of sustainable material?

Some major traditional metal locker brands do not meet the strictest standards for air quality and sustainability. These products are not Greenguard Certified. The Greenguard Certification Program gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits. This contributes to the creation of healthy interiors.

Duralife Lockers are Greenguard Gold Certified and meet the strict criteria for products intended for use in schools, as well as other environments where children spend a lot of time. With Duralife Lockers, you can be confident that the lockers are not having a negative effect on your school’s air quality.

5. Are the lockers visually appealing?

It’s also important that the lockers are aesthetically appealing in your facility. You want people to come into your school and see it as a respectable environment. DuraLife Lockers have appealing vents throughout and a clean-looking surface. There are also built in handles and combination locks that are recessed to improve student safety.

To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers for Schools.

Providing a Safer Gym Locker Against Bacteria

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New strains of MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria, are emerging nationwide, causing hundreds of thousands of infections annually according to federal data, reports and academic studies. Though cases once were confined to hospitals, they are now showing up regularly in schools and gym locker rooms. Read more

10 Things School Facility Managers Should Take Care of During Winter Break

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year during winter break. The students get a nice vacation from their studies during the holidays. As for the school facility manager, you get to play catch up, thanks to the empty halls and classrooms. Even though the students use this time to relax, sleep in, and get together with friends and family, you need to use this time wisely to make sure everything is in order for the remainder of the winter months.

Here’s 10 things school facility managers should take care of during winter break to make sure their school is in tip-top shape.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Heat is crucial during the frigid winter months, so you’ll need to perform a few audits to make sure everything iscare and maintenace functioning at its best. Look for any components that may need a replacement, so you can take care of it during the break. Any type of issue that can prevent your school from being heated may actually prolong winter break, so be sure to keep the system in great shape.

Winterize Your School to Retain Heat

While properly maintaining your HVAC system is a crucial step on the winter break checklist, you’ll also want to be sure you’re not wasting any heat. Find any weak areas that result in your school losing heat and energy. You’ll want to air seal these areas, so your school doesn’t suffer from drafty rooms or areas that can’t retain heat.

Inspect Your Pipes

Winter brings the cold, and if your school isn’t properly heated, this can cause more problems than just frigid temperatures. If your school suffers from the cold, or loses power, this can have a huge effect on your pipes. These pipes can freeze and burst, so you’ll want to be sure that not only are they in great shape, but they’re getting enough heat to remain at any optimal temperature.

Perform a Test of Your Generator

Due to the snow and ice buildup on tree branches, they can often buckle and break under the tremendous weight and the brisk temperatures, which can be troublesome if there are any nearby powerlines. If you lose power, which is a significant certainty during the winter, you’ll be relying on your backup generator to make sure your school remains at an acceptable temperature, so your pipes don’t freeze and any electronics don’t suffer.

Replace Faulty or Broken Components

On day one of winter break, you’ll want to perform an inspection of your school and its various fixtures and

The doors and fixed panels used in the Eclipse partition system provide both high design and privacy. Here we show how to ensure proper gapping and consistency on all panels and doors in order to achieve the desired sleek lines.

components. This can include lights, water fountains, electrical outlets, or even radiators. Check each of these components to make sure they’re working, or if they need to be replaced before the students and teachers come back to resume the school year.

Inspect the Roof

During the winter, the roof of your school takes quite a beating from the snow, rain, and ice, especially if your roof is flat and doesn’t have any slopes or angles that can help combat the elements. You can work to remove any of the snow and ice build-up with a shovel or rock salt, but you’ll also want to look for any issues or problems that could affect the integrity of your roof. Be sure your drain pipes are free of debris and caulk any noticeable cracks.

Clear the Snow & Ice

Depending on how hard the weather hits your area, this may be a continuous process during winter break. You’ll want to clear the parking lots and designate the snow piles to areas out of the way. Clear the walkways and paths to your school’s entrances, and salt the ground to help reduce any ice buildup.

Invest in New Floor Mats

The floors in your school can take quite a beating during the winter, with students tracking in clumps of snow and even rock salt from the walkways. You’ll want to get some heavy-duty floor mats for the entryways to help reduce the snowy debris from damaging your floors. For the best results, place heavy-duty floor mats outside the entrances to pick up most of the snow and salt, which will reduce the amount actually making it into the school.

Start a Germ & Bacteria Removal Plan

School absences and sickness are rampant during the winter, so one of the best ways to combat this is by focusing on areas with considerable germ and bacteria buildup. The most susceptible areas are the restrooms and the locker rooms. A thorough cleaning can do the trick; however, if there is mold within the components, like your partitions, you may need to find a suitable replacement. HDPE plastic partitions can drastically reduce sickness because they don’t absorb moisture and won’t sprout mold.

Get Your Painting Done

Due to the lack of students filling the hallways and classrooms, now’s the time to get some painting done. If there are components or features in your school that are starting to fade in color, or if they’re chipping, you can get the painting done without having to worry about the VOC emissions affecting student health. Be sure to do this early in the break, so the paint can be dry, ensuring your school is free of the paint smells by the time students and teachers return. You can even invest in HDPE lockers to help avoid any locker painting in the future.

Use your winter break wisely and get these crucial services completed, so you can avoid any major problems that occur throughout the winter.

Want some more tips and tricks on most effective facility maintenance methods? Download this free eBook, The Ultimate Guide for Facility Maintenance & Property Solutions, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

 

The Duralife 123 Challenge: Do Your School Lockers Pass the Test?

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School personnel including teachers, principals, facility managers, PTA members, and superintendants all around are taking the Duralife 123 Challenge to find out if their school lockers pass the test. Lockers line the hallways of schools and face harsh wear and tear every day as students unload their books and belongings, open and close them between every class, and even draw on them. Will your school lockers pass the test? Take the Duralife 123 Challenge to See for Yourself.

Impact

You may think that metal lockers are more durable than plastic lockers, just like some of the school personnel who took the Duralife 123 Challenge, but they quickly found out that High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Duralife Lockers are far superior.

The first test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is to use forceful impact against a metal locker, then again against an HDPE plastic locker.

After hitting both lockers with a hammer, the  school personnel found that the metal lockers  were easily dented with little force while HDPE plastic lockers could be hit as hard as possible and did not leave a mark.

Traditional metal lockers are usually made from 16 gauge steel which is less than 1/16 inch thick material. This thin material makes metal lockers prone to denting and other types of damage. But Duralife Lockers are made of 1/2 inch thick rigid HDPE plastic, which makes them 59 times greater in resistance to impact than metal lockers.

Graffiti

Graffiti is a big issue when it comes to school lockers. Students may write all over their lockers, leaving damage and making your school appear in a negative light. It’s important to avoid a locker material that makes it difficult to clean graffiti off, and it’s also costly to utilize various cleaning methods in an effort to do so. You may also have to end up replacing the lockers or repaint them which is very costly.

The second test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is graffiti.  School personnel wrote on a metal locker and a Duralife Locker with permanent markers, and then they attempted to clean the marker off. As they tried to wipe the marker off the metal lockers very little came off and the graffiti was still very visible, , But when they wiped the marker off the HDPE plastic lockers, there was no residue left with little effort.

Noise

One big issue with metal lockers is the noise they produce when students close them. Hearing this loud sound ring throughout the halls is enough to give anyone a headache, and it’s particularly distracting to the students in class when they hear various locker slams in the hallway.

The third and final test of the Duralife 123 Challenge is noise.  School personnel slammed a metal locker then slammed an HDPE plastic locker to see which one made more noise. Metal lockers made a loud sound, while HDPE plastic lockers made a more muffled, quieter sound.

So take the Duralife 123 Challenge today and find out if your school lockers pass the test. To learn more about Scranton Products’ DuraLife Lockers, click here to download our free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.

Sustainable Building Products