Park Restroom Trends 2018
New floor plans reflecting code changes requiring baby stations, all gender single room designs, and lower energy use are creating the demand for pre-engineered restrooms for parks to reduce costs and meet codes..
Many park agencies have banked developer fees and other park related revenue they collect they are spending those funds building new parks. Federal funds issued for “shovel ready projects” are also being used in current development. Still other park projects are being constructed with corporate donations, lottery funds, special bond funds, or donor funds with emphasis on meeting increasing political demands for services.
Forgotten Costs of Park Maintenance
Public schools design and build life cycle long life structures and interior mechanical systems with similar tax dollars as park development dollars. Yet the emphasis on schools is to build in 50 year components, mechanical systems, floor systems, doors, and more as schools know the cost of downstream maintenance. Doors for example, which will open and close millions of time during their life, are specified stronger with better hardware to last the 50 years they are designed for. Yet, when we design and construct park restrooms the emphasis is usually not on life cycle high quality materials but only first cost which is the basis of the capital budget without consideration of the maintenance budget. The maintenance costs are either forgotten or down streamed to be handled later by others.
Prefabrication Versus Site Built
The current trend towards prefabricated park restrooms instead of site built construction now dominates park restroom construction. Municipal agencies have proof now that prefabricated facilities cost up to 30% less than site built and perform longer with less maintenance. Other advantages are no design cost and greatly reduced site disruption is advantageous. Built off site, trucked to the site, and then crane lifted onto a site building pad is the concept. The attached photo shows the system followed by prefabricated construction firms.
For more information, visit The Public Restroom Company.