The Secret to Commercial Bathrooms with A High End Touch (Hint: It’s One of the Most Common Materials on the Planet)

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Facility managers of commercial bathrooms constantly face a serious dilemma: getting their bathrooms to look good. While it may seem inconceivable for a commercial bathroom to have high-end appeal, the secret to accomplishing this feat lies in one of the most common materials on the planet.

Scranton Products bridges the gap between a high-end commercial bathroom and a functional, dependable one thanks to the help of HDPE plastic material[TB1] . While plastic may seem like an odd choice for an upscale commercial bathroom, the material provides dependability and a pleasing aesthetic. Learn more about how HDPE plastic does this. Read more

Why the Architecture 2030 Challenge Matters for Both New and Old Construction

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Architecture 2030 aims to transform the built environment from being the major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a solution to the climate crisis. Understanding this organization’s goals and why they’re important can help you make informed decisions when it comes to construction. Learn more about the Architecture 2030 Challenge below.

What is Architecture 2030?

Architecture 2030 aims to reduce global fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions by changing the planning, design, and construction of cities, communities, infrastructure, and buildings. They also pursue the regional development of a built environment that can manage the impacts of climate change, preserve natural resources, and access low-cost renewable energy resources. This organization’s efforts began more than a decade ago, and today, they’re being recognized for implementing key strategies that contribute to the global sustainability movement.

What’s the Solution?

According to architecture2030.com, an area equal to 3.5 times the entire built environment of the US will be redesigned, reshaped, and rebuilt globally over the next 20 years. Traditional methods of construction are powered by electricity produced by burning fossil fuels, thus damaging the planet’s climate. Using energy-efficient design strategies and power from renewable resources during building design and construction can be a solution to the climate change crisis. Throughout the design process, strategies must utilize low-cost or no-cost sustainable and passive design. These methods can include reducing the energy the building requires by planning its orientation and incorporating daylighting and a passive heating and cooling strategy. This can provide fossil-fuel–free energy from on-site renewables or from accessing renewable energy produced off-site.

What Can You Do to Help?

Learning more about adopting the Architecture 2030 challenge can significantly help in achieving a solution to the climate change crisis. Those who work in the building sector have the power to make these changes that can have a significant impact in the global sustainability movement. One resource that will help the building sector understand the principles and actions to create low-carbon and adaptable built environments worldwide is the 2030 Palette. This is a guide to low carbon resilient design from the regional level down to individual building elements. The free online tool is a powerful catalyst for implementing the 2030 Challenge. An architect looking to improve low carbon design skills would benefit from the AIA+2030 Professional Development Series. A property owner, planner, local government policy maker, developer, or community stakeholder looking to meet the 2030 Challenge for Planning in your area, check out the 2030 Districts program. Scranton Produces uses sustainable materials for your restrooms, lockers, and other applications to allow you to support a healthier environment. Click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.

 

Noise Can Negatively Affect Learning

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How to Improve Your School’s Learning Environment

Noise is defined as “a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.”According to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, students had more difficulty learning to read when subjected to continuous noise, such as airplanes taking off, compared to students learning at quieter schools. These findings, as well as similar findings from other studies, support the claim that noise can significantly affect a student’s ability to learn.

However, noise doesn’t necessarily have to come from a busy airport or highway. Noise from the cafeteria, gymnasium, or hallways can negatively affect the learning environment of any classroom nearby.

In this post, we take a closer look at what you can do to reduce noise and improve the learning environment within your school.

How to Reduce Noise Inside the Classroom

Repair/Maintain Ducts, Fans, and the HVAC System

A properly functioning HVAC system should produce only a slight whooshing sound. Meanwhile, ducts and fans should be virtually silent. If any of these are making loud or distracting noises, it could be a sign that they need repairs.

Stay up-to-date on building maintenance to keep systems working effectively and sound levels at a minimum.

Dampen Noise from Chairs and Desks

Depending on the kind of furniture in your classroom, chairs and desks sliding across the floor can create a considerable amount of unwanted noise. To help reduce the noise from these objects, dampeners can be placed on the feet where the chair or desk meets the floor.

An old solution was to cut a small slit into a tennis ball and then fit the leg inside to create a type of shoe. Today, much more effective and stylish solutions are available.

Install Drapes Over Windows

Thick windows do an exceptional job of blocking out unwanted noise, but adding thick drapes can add an extra level of sound protection. Of course, you may not want to cover up windows during the daytime if they offer the primary source of light. Instead you can invest in soundproof windows, plant shrubbery outside the windows, or install lighting fixtures to provide enough light so you can close the drapes.

Use Plastic Lockers in Hallways

Metal lockers can cause a considerable amount of unwanted noise, which can distract the students in any classroom that might be nearby. Plastic lockers provide a perfect alternative to metal lockers, producing a fraction of the noise. Plastic lockers made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are also much easier to maintain thanks to their natural resistance to rust, dents, and graffiti.

locker replacement checklist

Soundproof Walls, Floors, and the Ceiling

It’s widely known that sound waves easily bound off hard, flat surfaces. Meanwhile, soft surfaces absorb sound. So if you’re looking to limit the amount of noise in your classroom, you might consider using soft carpeting rather than tiles or hardwood flooring. You can also install sound-absorbing panels on the walls. Finally, ensure than any gaps between the ceiling panels are sealed.

Although the only quiet classroom may be the one without students, it’s possible to keep noise levels low so you can build a better learning environment for your students. Follow these tips to help reduce the negative effects of noise.

What You Need to Know About the Greenguard Gold Certification Program

Making sure that you create a healthy environment for children and students is one of the most important responsibilities of a school’s facility manager. One way that you can ensure the safety of the students in your school is using materials that are Greenguard Gold certified.

But what exactly is the Greenguard Gold Certification Program and how can you make sure that your school lives up to the program’s standards?

To ensure that your students have a healthy learning environment, we’re here to help you learn what you need to know about the Greenguard Gold Certification Program. Continue reading to learn more.

What is the Greenguard Gold Certification Program?

This program ensures that manufacturers create products with low levels of chemical emissions to help ensure natural and healthy air quality. The Greenguard Gold Certification Program consists of the strictest air quality criteria to ensure that children in schools or daycares are being educated in a safe environment. The program is based on a product’s ability to address the following four criteria:

1. Body Burden Correction Factor: It’s proven that children inhale and exhale faster than adults do. Based on this, harmful emissions can affect a child faster than an adult. The Body Burden Correction Factor is used in Greenguard certification to make sure that indoor air quality has lower allowable emissions criteria.

2. Chronic Reference Exposure Levels: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are harmful to many individuals, especially younger children. To receive Greenguard Gold certification, manufacturers must show a dramatic decrease in VOC emissions to be sure that the air quality around a school is safe.

3. Limits on Phthalates: Phthalates are high-production volume chemicals that can have harmful effects on humans and children. The Environmental Protection Agency has accumulated test results that show exposure to phthalates through inhalation can result in reproductive and developmental disorders, asthma, and other allergies.

It’s imperative that schools stay free of these phthalates, and the Greenguard Gold Certification Program enforces strict limits on the emissions of total phthalates with a given product.

4. Emission Controls for Educational and Healthcare Environments

This standard of the Greenguard Gold Certification Program defines the low-emitting materials that are safe to use in places where children spend large amounts of time. Healthcare and educational environments need to include materials that are sensitive to the harm that dangerous emissions could create in these environments.

If you’re remodeling your school, it’s important to make sure that you use materials that satisfy the Greenguard Gold Certification Program.

Scranton Products uses HDPE plastic materials for locker and bathroom partition construction, which hold to the Greenguard Gold Certification Program.

To learn more about HDPE lockers and their benefits, click here to download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Lockers. This eBook will explain why HDPE materials are superior to others and all they have to offer your facility.

Why Design Matters in Your Facility Restrooms (Even When You Aren’t a Designer)

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You’re probably thinking that a restroom doesn’t need to be the most lavish part of your new facility. However, bathroom décor makes a difference in several different ways, and you don’t even have to be a designer to see how.

Facility restroom design incorporates a plan for the layout of your vanities, partitions, and other aspects of a bathroom, but design also requires material selection. And while some materials may look pleasing to the eyes of an interior designer, the design may have underlying costs that you should avoid. Read on to learn why your facility restroom design matters, even if you aren’t a designer. Read more

The Latest in Extreme Privacy: Check Out the Aria Partitions™

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Privacy is one of the most important factors to consider when designing or remodeling the bathroom in your commercial facility. Occupants come in and out of the bathroom throughout the day, making it one of the more visited areas in your entire facility. However, a lack of privacy can damper the experience and make occupants feel exposed and uncomfortable. The key is improving the privacy, so occupants can relax and not stress out when it’s time to use the restroom.

When it’s time to add an extra layer of privacy and comfort to your restrooms, consider Aria Partitions™.

Why Aria Partitions™ Are the Right Move

Aria Partitions, MahoganyAria Partitions™ can add a lot of benefits to your bathroom. These enclosed stalls deliver the latest in extreme privacy because they take away the sightlines that are commonplace with most commercial restrooms and partitions. These partitions go from floor to ceiling, eliminating the chance for your feet to be seen or from you being watched from overhead. The partitions also offer a clasp door, which allows the partitions to be shut completely without any gap between the door and frame that may make you visible or vulnerable. Occupants can freely go to the bathroom without being seen or spotted.

The Problems with Most Partitions

While most partitions do an okay job at concealing the occupant inside, there are a few factors that can compromise the privacy that can leave the occupant feeling uncomfortable. Stalls typically have exposed bottoms, giving other people a clear view of the partition occupant’s feet. They also have exposed ceilings, which isn’t always a problem unless a particularly tall individual uses the next partition over, which can make for awkward glances. Lastly, the door to the stall usually leaves some unwanted space that can make the occupant visible, which can be uncomfortable when the bathroom is at full capacity.

Moving Forward with Aria Partitions™

White Aria Partitions in School Restroom

One top of delivering top-tier privacy for occupants, there are other major benefits of choosing Aria Partitions™. These partitions are customizable and can fit any structure or décor. Aria Partitions™ are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is a solid plastic that is not only durable, but also sustainable since it’s made from recycled materials. This plastic is impact- and dent-resistant, as well as non-absorbent to the humidity and moisture in the bathroom. Along with its durability, it is built to last and is actually warranted for 25 years. Lastly, these partitions are low on maintenance cost and man hours, meaning that they essentially pay themselves off due to the lack of maintenance required over the years.

When it’s time to boost the privacy in your commercial facility’s restrooms and improve the comfort and security for your occupants, Aria Partitions™ are certainly a step in the right direction. Want to learn more details about these partitions? Download the Aria Partitions™ product kit today to get a sense of what these partitions can add to your facility’s restrooms.

Plastic vs. Stainless Steel Bathroom Partitions: See the Difference Before You Choose

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When building a commercial or public bathroom, the partition material is usually one of the most overlooked elements. At first glance, its only purpose is for privacy, so the only thing you need to consider when making your choice is visual appeal, which is why most people opt for stainless steel bathroom partitions. However, is this really the best choice for your bathroom partition material?

Scranton Products wants you to make the best choice for your new bathroom partitions, so we’re here to compare plastic HDPE bathroom partitions against stainless steel so you can see the difference before your choose. Read more

Preventing Mold and Mildew in Humid Weather

Humidity can cause a number of problems as well as serious health concerns. For building and facility managers, humidity also brings about the threat of mold or mildew.

To keep the indoor air quality of your facility high and to prevent potentially dangerous conditions for personnel and visitors, it’s important to take the proper precautions to prevent mold and mildew in humid weather.

To limit the instance of mold or mildew in your facility, follow these helpful tips.

How Does Humidity Cause Mold and Mildew?

Water is a vital ingredient for mold or mildew to grow. A high relative humidity indicates a high level of moisture in the air. That’s why on hot, humid days the air feels thick or heavy.

When warm, humid air comes in contact with a surface that’s cooler than the surrounding air, condensation can occur. When moisture accumulates on porous surfaces, it can cause mold to form.

That’s why keeping the relative humidity inside your building low is important for preventing mold and mildew.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew from Forming

Keep Air Cool

Keeping the air inside your building cool is a great way to reduce airborne water vapor. It also makes the building more comfortable for you, your staff, and your visitors. The most common way to fill your building with fresh, cool air is by using an HVAC system or an air conditioning unit.

Increase Airflow

Another benefit of an HVAC system or air conditioner is that, in addition to providing cool air, it helps increase airflow. However, you can also increase the flow of air inside your building by using fans and keeping internal doors open. While this helps to keep fresh air coming into the building and prevents a room from filling with air that’s gone stale, it also makes it more difficult for moisture to accumulate and cause mold or mildew.

Use a Dehumidifier

If you frequently experience a humidity problem in only one area of your building, then it might be more cost-effective to install a dehumidifier in that area than to adjust the entire HVAC system or install multiple fans.

A dehumidifier is a powerful tool that allows you to easily regulate the relative humidity in a room. However, keep in mind that the larger the room, the more air that will need to be processed by the system.

Heat the Floor

While adding heat might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually an effective way to prevent condensation from forming on the floors or walls in below-ground areas or close to the foundation where temperatures are usually much cooler than the outside air.

As you read above, warmer air that comes in contact with cooler surfaces can result in condensation which can lead to mold.

Remove Porous Materials

One of the easiest ways to prevent mold and mildew in humid weather is to remove porous materials. While this might not be practical to execute for your entire building, it may be useful to think about targeting areas that are likely to be exposed to water vapor. One area you might want to target could be by the exterior doorways where humid outside air can enter the building.

Another area that should be free of porous materials is the restroom. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a mold- and mildew-resistant material that’s perfect for bathroom partitions and vanities. It can also be used for lockers in lockers rooms, especially if your traditional lockers are growing mold.

To learn more about HDPE solutions and how they can help to prevent mold and mildew in your facility, contact us at Scranton Products today.

How One High School Won an Excellence in Construction Award with HDPE Lockers

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An Excellence in Construction Award can go a long way for a high school. It shows that you truly care about the quality of your high school and want to provide your students with the best materials for the most comfortable learning experience possible.

Ocean City High School in Ocean City, NJ, earned an Excellence in Construction Award for a unique reason that should be noted by facility managers and supervisors in high schools across the country. The school’s HDPE plastic lockers were a driving force that led to the award.

Continue reading to learn more about the impact that HDPE plastic lockers can have on issues that high schools encounter.

High-Cost Maintenance

For Ocean City High School, investing in lockers that would reduce the need for and cost of future maintenance was of the utmost importance. One of the major issues they were encountering was corrosion, seeing that the high school is just a few miles from the shore. In the past, the high moisture and salt content in the air was entering the building and causing rust and corrosion on their metal lockers.

Vandalism

Graffiti removal also was an issue at Ocean City High School. In the past, removing graffiti was a time-consuming and costly task that sometimes resulted in the need for all new locker parts. Scratches and dents were another issue that decreased the visual appeal of the school’s interior.

Combined, these three issues were negatively affecting Ocean City High School, and the school needed a solution when shopping for and installing new lockers.

Solution in HDPE Plastic Duralife Lockers

To combat the issues that Ocean City High School was experiencing with their metal lockers, they decided to take advantage of the more durable choice of HDPE plastic from Scranton Products.

During the seven years that the HDPE plastic lockers have been installed, there have been significant improvements. Ocean City High School hasn’t experienced any locker break-ins, no required maintenance because of broken parts, and no noticeable signs of scratching.

Thanks to the HDPE plastic material and easy-apply associated cleaner, graffiti removal has been significantly easier, saving time and money because there’s no need to repaint lockers.

All in all, the switch from metal lockers to HDPE plastic lockers has benefitted Ocean City High School in numerous ways, including recognition as a high school that strives for excellence in construction.

The Excellence in Construction Award can go a long for a high school that wants to create an aesthetically pleasing architectural design that will hold up and look great over time without the need for maintenance. Ocean City High School was able to do just that thanks to the implementation of HDPE plastic Duralife lockers from Scranton Products.

Reducing Our Environmental Impact

The impact of waste on our natural environment is nothing less than staggering. Harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses are being released from rubbish in our landfill sites, while habitat destruction and global warming are a direct result of deforestation and overuse of our energy supply due to the manufacturing of raw materials.

Most of the materials disposed of in a garbage bin can last in the environment for hundreds to thousands of years creating toxins and pollutants that are harmful to our environment, animals and ultimately, ourselves.

The connection between protecting our environment and safeguarding human health has been at the forefront for some time now. In recent years, research and legislation have been identifying and working to regulate environmental toxins to reduce or eliminate harmful human exposures.

Americans have taken notice and are doing their part by hauling more than 82 million tons of trash to recycling centers each year. However, it doesn’t stop there. According to a recent survey, nearly 83 percent of Americans say they feel better when buying products made from recycled plastics or other recycled materials. This contribution helps to reduce pollution caused by waste, reduces the need for raw materials and aids in the preservation of both rainforests and natural resources.

In order to address this worldwide issue, some manufacturers are practicing sustainable manufacturing, creating products through processes that conserve energy and natural resources while minimizing negative environmental impacts.

Supporting a Healthier Environment

At Scranton Products’ we are committed to reducing environmental impact and supporting a healthier environment. That’s why all of our products are made from recycled materials and are themselves 100% recyclable. Constructed from premium, American-made HDPE plastic, our products are designed to meet LEED requirements and are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which means they meet the strict certification requirements for use in schools and healthcare facilities.

If you are interested in quality building products that support a healthier environment, please visit our website and learn more about our sustainable brands and our corporate commitment to the environment.