Inclusive parks provide a play experience for children with and without disabilities. They remove barriers and provide a positive and engaging experience for all children. While much thought is given to the play equipment, a restroom is a must when creating an outdoor space.
Location Is Key Restrooms should be located within sight of playgrounds to provide convenient access to everyone. Many kids don’t want to stop playing, so they wait until the last minute to notify an adult they need to go, so quick access is important.
Restroom Design Considerations Single-occupant design is a key feature in inclusive parks. This is safer for families with children, as parents will be able to accompany other-gender children to wash up without fear. Beyond safety, this design helps people with disabilities who have other-gender caregivers.
Adult Changing Station Many people with disabilities cannot utilize a standard toilet, requiring the use of a changing table. The adult-size changing table can hold a person up to 400 pounds, which helps caretakers make the park experience easier and more convenient.
Eliminate Noisy Restrooms Kids with sensory issues have a difficult time with loud noises. Consider a lever flush instead of an automatic flushing toilet. Nothing is worse for kids than the random, loud flushing of a toilet when they aren’t expecting it. Controlling when the flush occurs and allowing the kids to leave the restroom first or cover their ears helps them with their fears.
Matching Architectural Theme Inclusive parks typically have a theme to them so allow the restroom to be part of the architectural look of the park. The exterior finish of the building is how the building will blend into the environment. Beyond the block construction, finishes such as lap siding, stucco, brick, or cultured stone can be added to enhance the aesthetic.
Sizing The Facility Determining how many restrooms are needed should be based on park attendance. Typically, half of the park attendees will be using the restroom while visiting the park. A single-occupant restroom with one toilet and a sink services 45 users per hour.
Components Matter Providing fresh air to restrooms is a better way to provide ventilation than mechanical fans. This can be done through stainless-steel woven vent screens or louvers at the gable ends of the buildings. Open vents also provide the ability to call out for help if needed while in the restroom.
Other items to consider:
• Door hardware that is anti-microbial helps kill germs on contact.
• A coat hook on the wall provides a clean place to hang a bag in lieu of placing anything on the restroom floor.
• Sinks with sensor faucets allows parents to help kids wash their hands instead of pushing the lever to keep the flow of water.
• Occupancy-activated LED light fixtures help reduce the waste of electricity while the restroom is not in use.
The national media has been full of discussion concerning individual rights using public restrooms. Some state legislatures have reacted making changes in accessibility including transgender persons. While the controversy continues between state and federal entities, design of public restrooms is unclear. The federal government is threatening to withhold funds to state entities that violate federal ADA accessibility regulations including access for transgender persons. The lack of clarity of the issue is affecting designs for new public restroom floor plans and for planned renovations to offer transgender signs to allow use in gender-specific restrooms. Many public agencies are holding back on renovations to meet the transgender unclear movement as they are not sure which laws to follow.
The problem arises when several states passed laws to define the conditions under which transgender individuals could use a men’s or women’s restrooms, opposite to their natural birth gender. The conflict between local agencies and the federal position on the matter remains in debate and unclear how and/or when to follow state or federal law. The transgender community claims they have the right to use whichever restroom facility is furnished while the non-transgender community disagrees. The problem is far from being resolved, but some public agencies are in advance of final decisions, moving to provide accommodations.
With the ongoing debate years away from becoming a defined law either state or federal, and with signage still undefined to meet codes, it remains a local decision only for public agencies to act or wait for clarity.
Those public agencies who wish to find some middle line of response to the issue have turned to replacement of signs for single-use restrooms that can be used by families or transgender. Changing the sign is low cost even though definition of the size and layout remains unclear. The cost of signage modifying traditional code-compliant signage is minimal compared to adding a transgender/family restroom in an existing separately sexed restroom building that does not contain an existing family restroom.
In airports, for example, “family restrooms” are now everywhere. These facilities are perfect for all who choose to seek privacy and accessibility including the transgender community. Yet this new concept of a building a separate individual room for family members or transgender individuals may be objected to by the transgender community as not allowing them to use a separately gender defined restroom and therefore an infringement on their rights.
Current Federal Position
Currently the feds are threatening to file legal action to remove funding from state and local agencies who violate the existing federal codes through enactment of local laws and codes in contrast. The issues seems to be whether the definition is one’s birth gender or their chosen gender through medical procedures.
Current Best Answer for New Restroom Design and Construction
Design a separate gender restroom and include a family/transgender single room accessible restroom in the same building as we find today at airports. If the law and regulations becomes defined in the future probably just a signage change will most likely meet the new regulations at minimal cost. The floor plan above shows this concept with separate gender restrooms and a family/transgender separate restroom for specific use.
Public Restroom Company is proud to be a part of Parks Build Community project at the 2015 National Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference. This year featured a revamp of the Joe Kneip Park for the city of North Las Vegas, to which Public Restroom Company donated the restroom building.
Public Restroom Company Receives 2015 Best of Minden Award
Minden Award Program Honors the Achievement
MINDEN June 4, 2015 — The Public Restroom Company has been selected for the 2015 Best of Minden Award in the Plate Work and Fabricated Structural Product Manufacturing category by the Minden Award Program. For more about PRC, visit us our About Us Page.
Each year, the Minden Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Minden area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Minden Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Minden Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Minden Award Program
The Minden Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Minden area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Minden Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
Public Restroom Company’s turnkey installation mitigates the nuisance of on-site construction and safeguards your new building from material theft and vandalism.
CONSTRUCTION & INSTALLATION
Since each building is constructed on an 8” thick mat engineered concrete slab, we can ship a completed 30-40 ton restroom nationwide. Once at the owner’s site our own experienced field staff installs the building turnkey. Sidewalks and site landscaping are completed by others.
OUR SKILLED TEAM
Public Restroom Company is the company of choice for clients nationwide due to our knowledgeable sales/design team, architects, engineers, and senior craftsmen. Let us do the work for you!
PRECISE QUALITY CONTROL
To manage quality control, all Public Restroom Company buildings are fully constructed in a dedicated manufacturing facility, loaded on to special air-ride trailers, delivered to your site, and crane installed by our skilled field technicians.