What Is Sustainable Design in Architecture?

,

Sustainable design, also known as sustainable architecture or ecological design, is a school of thought that focuses on creating buildings that feature social and ecological sustainability. The main goal of this design philosophy is to promote the health of the building’s occupants as well as reduce the building’s negative effects on the environment.

By minimizing waste, limiting the consumption of non-renewable resources, and using environmentally friendly materials, building designers can create greener, more energy-efficient facilities.

Understanding Sustainable Architecture

One of the key principles behind sustainable architecture is optimizing the potential of the site. For example, if the facility is located in a windy area, windmills could be constructed to help generate power. This example would also help with another principle: minimizing the consumption of non-renewable energy.

A third goal of the design practice is to enhance indoor environmental quality. This could include using materials that have a low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions rating. This also includes using environmentally friendly products in other areas of the design process.

All of these principles are designed to inform every stage of the facility’s life cycle, from planning to operation, to limit the negative impact it has on the surrounding environment.

Is Sustainable Design Cost-Effective?

Every building designer or architect knows that staying within budget is a primary concern during the construction stage. So it’s no surprise to learn that many worry if trying to design an eco-friendly building will exhaust the budget. The simple answer is no. In fact, there’s evidence that sustainable buildings actually provide many financial rewards to the owners and operators.

For starters, annual operating costs are typically lower in sustainable buildings because of the principle of energy efficiency during the design process. This means that electricity, water, and even maintenance expenses are considered and optimized.

Additionally, these reduced long-term costs don’t necessarily mean higher initial costs. When planned strategically with the right materials, the initial costs of a sustainable design can mirror or beat the costs of a traditional building. Although, some sustainable features may have a higher initial cost, these additions typically pay for themselves quickly through lower maintenance and operational costs.

Aside from monetary benefits, green building design can also benefit building owners and occupants in other ways. For one, occupants of eco-friendly buildings typically experience better overall health, which often translates to better attendance and less absenteeism due to illness. Building owners can benefit from longer building life spans and increased support from the local community.

Using Sustainable Materials

Using sustainable materials is a great way to reduce your building’s carbon footprint. Materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) can be used for a variety of applications throughout the facility. HDPE, for example, can be used for bathroom partitions, vanities, and lockers. It’s 100% recyclable, is naturally resistant to bacteria and rust, and produces no VOC emissions.

Using HDPE products can also help your facility to earn points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This rating system helps to evaluate the environmental performance of a building.

How to Choose Commercial Bathroom Partitions for Virtually Any Facility

, , , , ,

As a professional contractor or building administrator, you’re faced with a number of important decisions. When it comes to sourcing materials for bathrooms, you want to be sure the that materials you choose are durable, require little routine maintenance, and fit within your budget, which can be easier said than done.

So in this post, we’ll teach you how to choose commercial bathroom partitions for just about any facility, from schools to stadiums to office buildings and more.

bathroom materials

 

Selecting Cost-Efficient Materials

One of the most important factors when choosing bathroom partitions is cost. There are many different materials available, with varying initial and long-term costs to consider. The five materials we’ll look at are enamel painted steel over paper, phenolic core, stainless steel, reinforced composite, and high-density polyethylene.

Baked Enamel Painted Steel Over a Paper Honeycomb Core

The most inexpensive of these is definitely baked enamel painted steel over a paper honeycomb core. This type of partition is frequently found in schools and office buildings because of its low initial cost. However, the life expectancy of enamel painted steel is extremely low given its propensity to rust when exposed to moisture.

Solid Phenolic (Black Core)

Solid phenolic core, sometimes referred to as black core because of its color, features a resin-impregnated kraft paper core. This material is very dense and composed of many compressed layers, similar to how fiberglass is created. However, this material is easily damaged by scratches.

Stainless Steel

Many designers for high-end establishments and sports clubs favor stainless steel because of its clean and modern look. However, stainless still is also prone to rust and high costs, both initially and in terms of routine maintenance. Stainless steel partitions are also known to show smudges and fingerprints easily, making them harder to keep looking clean.

[READ MORE: Commercial Bathroom Trends]

Solid Color Reinforced Composite (SCRC)

You’ll commonly spot SCRC in high-traffic areas such as sporting arenas, schools, and train stations. This material is durable like black core partitions. The two biggest downsides to SCRC are the high cost, as it’s much more expensive than solid plastic or stainless steel, and its limited color options.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is a type of solid plastic that’s perfect for use as commercial bathroom partitions. About 1 inch thick and solid color throughout, HDPE is highly resistant to graffiti, scratches, mold, mildew, and even bacteria. Given that this material is environmentally friendly and doesn’t negatively impact the indoor air quality, it’s a favorite for schools, medical facilities, and restaurants. It also requires little long-term maintenance.

Installation Types for Your Commercial Bathroom Partitions

Depending on the design of your commercial bathroom, there are four different methods for installing your bathroom partitions. The fastest and most economical option is to have the partitions floor mounted and overhead braced. This type of installation process works well with either wood or concrete floors and works by mounting the pilasters to the floor and the panels to the wall. An anti-grip aluminum headrail is positioned along the top of the partitions to offer additional support and stability.

If your bathroom has a low ceiling, you can choose to have them floor mounted only. This method requires at least 2 inches of concrete flooring in order for the pilasters to be mounted firmly. The panels are then mounted to the wall. The top of the partitions will be flush.

For a modern and unique look, or if the floors of your bathroom aren’t adequate for mounting, ceiling-hung partitions are a great option. You’ll need steel ceiling supports to withstand the weight and installation process. The pilasters are mounted to these supports, and the panels are mounted to the walls. One benefit of this installation method is that it makes the floor of the bathroom easy to clean.

[READ MORE: 9 Things to Consider Before Designing Your Commercial Bathroom]

The final installation method is floor-to-ceiling. In this scenario, pilasters are mounted to both the floor and the ceiling for maximum strength. It’s suggested that the facility have concrete floors and steel ceiling supports.

Choose a Color That Compliments

The last step in choosing commercial bathroom partitions is selecting the color. Materials like HDPE come in a wide variety of colors and textures so you have plenty of options to choose from. You can either go with a shade that matches the interior of the bathroom or pick a different color that compliments the theme. Either way, you’re sure to be left with one terrific-looking bathroom.

Want more information about building a cost-effective bathroom? Download our eBook The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels. This FREE resource is full of useful information that will teach you pro tips for choosing materials, how advances in materials are leading to more fluid designs, and which must-have amenities your commercial bathroom needs.

How to Fully Embrace LEED Standards in Your Building Concepts and Designs

, ,

When designing and building a new facility or upgrading one, taking advantage of new concepts and designs will lead to more comfort for your patrons and a facility that doesn’t negatively impact the world around you.

Certain products and materials that you use to build your facility can have a significantly negative or a significantly positive impact on the world you live in, and you want to be sure that you know which way your building concepts and designs will lead. However, you can be certain of this when you get LEED certification for your facility, and we’re here to show you how.

What Is LEED Certification?

LEED certification for your facility’s restroom or locker room ensures that the products and building concepts you choose live up to beneficial environmental standards. For example, LEED certification makes note of using sustainable building materials that reduce waste because they’re created with recycled materials and can be recycled as well. LEED certification also promotes water efficiency, good air quality, construction approaches, and sites that are sustainable and don’t negatively impact the ecosystem.

Why Do I Need LEED Certification for My Buildings?

When you embrace the requirements of LEED certification, you work to promote a more environmentally friendly facility. Each step you take toward a more sustainable facility, the more points you’ll receive towards LEED certification. And if you receive said certification, your facility will be recognized as clean, environmentally friendly, and sanitary.

Certification from LEED is globally viewed as the premier mark of achievement for a sustainable building, which goes a long way for your business with customers.

How Can Scranton Products Help My LEED Score?

Many times green opportunities can be missed when designing your facility. A majority of the facility managers working to create an environmentally friendly building only focus on reducing the amount of water, energy, or heat produced by the facility.

While this is a deserving focus, spending all of your efforts on those elements makes it easier to miss out on some green opportunities that you’ll need to increase your LEED score so it can be considered certifiable.

Scranton Products can help your facility or business become LEED certified by working with you to incorporate environmentally friendly materials into your restrooms or locker rooms. Whether it’s new lockers, bathroom partitions, or sink vanities, our HDPE plastic materials tend to fly under the radar as a green opportunity but support a healthier environment and help to reduce the total amount of industrial waste.

HDPE materials from Scranton Products are made from post-consumer recycled content and are 100% recyclable on their own. By using these materials in your building concepts and designs, you’ll be that much closer to receiving LEED certification and being recognized by a leading environmental company as having a green building.

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


Sustainable Building Products


The Importance of Sustainability in Restroom Partitions

, ,

Sustainability is a factor that all facility managers strive for, especially in todays’ top leading industries. The need for using sustainable products or executing green practices is important towards building a better future, and it can start with your facility! Utilizing sustainable building materials can be very beneficial towards your facility, especially when it comes to the restroom. There are a few types of materials you can use in your facility’s restroom, but when it’s time to decide, you’ll want to find reliable and sustainable materials for the job.

Making sustainability a priority for your bathroom is crucial, so here’s a list for the importance of sustainability in restroom partitions.

Choosing Materials That Will Last You

One of the most sustainable aspects of choosing the right toilet partition materials is finding one that can outlast the standard types and materials. Most toilet partitions are subject to wear and damage over time; however, some endure these deteriorations much too early.

By choosing a sustainable material, you’ll be selecting partitions that are designed to last and withstand the elements. The goal is to not only put off a replacement but also rely on a material that doesn’t require significant maintenance over the years. When you have a durable material for your toilet partitions, they won’t incur any damage that most standard materials are susceptible.

Finding Post-Consumer Materials That Can Be Recycled

Everyone is familiar with the importance of recycling, but have you ever utilized building materials that have been through the process of recycling. A lot of plastics, like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), are recycled and then redistributed, whether they’re the same product or formed into something new. By using recycled building materials, you’re helping reduce waste while relying on a material that can not only last you, but when it’s time for a replacement, the material can be recycled once again.

Reducing Harmful Emissions in Your Restroom

Another major benefit to utilizing a sustainable material like HDPE plastic is that this material doesn’t require any painting. If graffiti somehow shows up, your first instinct is to get a paint match to cover over the drawing; however, with HDPE, you can simply wipe away the marker or spray paint. Since HDPE is non-absorbent, you don’t have to buy additional paint and perform any touch-ups. Due to the lack of repainting, you won’t be exposing your restroom, or its occupants, to the harmful VOC (volatile organic compounds) that are present in most paints.

The Benefits of Using Sustainable Building Materials

There are plenty of benefits to going green and sustainable. There are many environmental benefits, such as not using up any valuable resources. By using sustainable materials, you’re doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of having reliable materials that are durable, low maintenance, recyclable, and great for the environment.

Want to learn more about utilizing sustainable building products to take your facility in a greener direction? Check out this free eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Not All Bathroom Partitions Are Created Equally: The Differences Between Phenolic Core and Plastic (HDPE) Core Partition Materials

, , ,

All bathroom partition materials are the same, right? It’s just a door and a privacy separator between stalls, so why should you even bother looking into partition materials?

These misguided ideologies about bathroom partitions make for poorly constructed commercial bathrooms and public gyms that are susceptible to many types of damage. In fact, the materials for your bathroom partitions do matter, and Scranton Products is here to show you why.

Two common materials for bathroom partitions are phenolic core and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic core. While they may perform the same function, these materials are very different in their durability and longevity.

Let’s compare the two materials so you can see the differences between phenolic core and HDPE so you can make the right choice for your bathroom. Read more

A Business Owner’s Primer on Commercial Restroom Renovations

, , ,

Renovations to your commercial restroom can be time consuming and stressful, and they can require a lot of planning to make sure that your new project is perfect. One of the last things that business owners want to find out after completing a commercial restroom renovation is that the materials selected won’t hold up over time and will require maintenance, thorough cleaning, and even additional renovations.

Whether your bathroom renovations require new stall partitions, vanities, or shower stalls, don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong products that won’t satisfy your needs. No matter what kind of renovations you’re make, read on for Scranton Products’ primer on commercial restroom renovations to learn how you can avoid some costly mistakes. Read more

How to Build an Eco-Friendly Building

, ,

As industrialization continues to expand, increasing pressure is placed on businesses to reduce their carbon footprints and become more environmentally conscious. This responsibility has given rise to the eco-friendly building, a design strategy that promotes recycling and sustainability in an attempt to leave a positive impact on the surrounding environment.

Wondering how to build an eco-friendly building and the benefits of eco-friendly building? Check out these five methods that many companies are already using.

Use Wind Power to Make Your Building Eco-Friendly

The great thing about wind is that it costs nothing to manufacture, is abundant, and can provide a renewable energy source for green-focused buildings. By catching the wind’s power, windmills can convert that power into usable energy that can provide your building with electricity. Windmills also help businesses to reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

Turn to Solar Energy

If wind power isn’t a practical option for your building, there’s another renewable energy source that’s been powering the world’s greenest machines for millions of years: the sun.

Similar to how windmills are used to convert wind power into electricity, solar panels allow engineers to convert solar energy from the sun into electrical energy that can be used to power anything from lights to small electronics and even entire buildings.

What’s even better is that a building’s most underused area, the roof, is also the ideal spot to install solar panels. However, if the roof of your building doesn’t get enough sunlight during the day, solar panels can be installed elsewhere and then have the electricity sent to your building.

Recycle Rain Water

Some innovative architects have been able to use rainwater to reduce a building’s need to rely on city water. Collection reservoirs placed on the roof can channel water through filtration systems to help cool the building or to use it to flush the toilets. This same water would otherwise likely pool on the roof or around the building, only to be evaporated by the sun.

By recycling the water in this way, the building can use the rainwater instead of it potentially going to waste.

Turn a Portion of Your Building Green

Dedicating space in your building to promote plant life is a terrific way to build an eco-friendly building. This can be as simple as installing a rooftop garden or as drastic and eye catching as a green wall.

By making your building more hospitable for plants, you’ll help to increase the production of oxygen in the area and also keeping your building cooler, in the case of rooftop vegetation, than a concrete rooftop.

Use Recycled and Sustainable Materials

One of the easiest ways to build an eco-friendly building is to use recycled and sustainable materials during the construction stage. By using recycled concrete, steel, and other materials, your future building is helping to reduce the amount of waste and pollution normally created during the manufacturing stage of these products. You’ll also be reducing the use of non-renewable resources.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE), for example, is one popular material made from recycled materials and is itself recyclable. HDPE is also easy to clean, helping to reduce the need for harmful cleaning products or excessive water. Since the material is colored throughout, no painting or repainting is necessary, helping to improve indoor air quality.

Use one or all of these tactics when building your eco-friendly building.

To learn more about HDPE materials and how to use them within your building, contact us at Scranton Products.

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.

The Key to Reducing Restroom Maintenance Costs in Stadiums

, , ,

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.