School Changing Room Refurbishment Project at Portsmouth Grammar School

Changing room refurbishment is a speciality of Lan Services. This year we refurbished a number of changing rooms in various environments including gyms, swimming pools and of course school changing rooms.

Schools often require any building works, including washroom refurbishment works to commence during the school holidays. As such during school holiday periods we can often become fully booked up to six months in advance.

One such project, was a complete school changing room refurbishment for Portsmouth Grammar School. Which included remodelling staff changing rooms and shower facilities and refurbishing the student washrooms, shower and changing area.

The school changing rooms are also open to the public during weekends and evenings. So during the design and specification stage we had to consider that the changing rooms would experience heavy and frequent use, and often unsupervised.

Toilet and Shower Cubicles

Because of the shower facilities we considered all of the rooms to be refurbished as wet areas. This meant we had to specify and install fixtures and fittings that would stand up to frequent contact with water.

For this reason all panelled fixtures for the school changing room refurbishment were specified in solid grade laminate material. The only cubicle panel material suitable for wet areas as it is completely impervious to water ingress. Solid grade laminate (SGL) material was therefore used for the toilet cubicles, shower cubicles and the vanity units and duct sets too.

Solid grade laminate unfortunately though is also the most expensive of all typical cubicle materials. Knowing the project needed to be completed to a set budget meant compromises had to be made elsewhere. Such as specifying the IPS duct sets within the toilet cubicles as half height. This had the added benefit of not blocking the windows within the toilet area. So natural light was maximised.

Stainless steel hardware was also used throughout, including the toilet cubicles. Stainless steel is much better than aluminium at resisting water damage and will maintain its appearance even when exposed to water and chemicals. It is also much more robust and provides an element of vandal resistance. Ideal for a school changing room which will experience frequent use.

Washroom Walls, Floors and Ceiling

All the walls including those in the changing rooms and showers, including disabled, staff and student rooms were cladded with Altro Whiterock. Prior to the school changing room refurbishment the walls were a simple white washed uneven block work surface. This made them difficult to clean and a breeding ground for germs.

Altro Whiterock is a easy clean, hygienic PVCu wall cladding system, installed to make cleaning and maintenance much easier. 

Polysafe vinyl flooring was laid throughout, with the standard polysafe vinyl being used in changing and washroom areas. Within the shower area, polysafe hydro vinyl floor was laid, because the floor is more likely to be wet a non-slip surface was required.

A new hard ceiling was also installed throughout. Set 500mm below the existing ceiling height. The void this created was utilised for recessed LED lighting and extraction ducting.

Recessed LED lights use less energy than traditional bulbs and last much longer, recessing them in the ceiling also provided a modern and stylish lighting solution with fixtures out of reach of hands. With the addition of PIR sensor control and timers the changing room lighting will also save the school money on its energy bills compared the lights they replaced. LED lights also use less energy and are safer in wet environments.

An extraction system was also installed in the new ceiling void. With fresh air intake and exhaust, fed by centrifugal fans also installed in the void. So fresh air is drawn from the outside and the stale air is blown outside.

School Changing Room Refurbishment

School changing room refurbishment work is often constrained by the budget, due to limited school finances. In these cases having the specialist knowledge of washroom refurbishment company such as Lan Services is invaluable.

Knowing where to make cost savings and where not to could mean the difference between ending up with a washroom that stands the test of time or not! For instance particularly in a wet area solid grade laminate is the only suitable panel choice. Many clients would without guidance opt for a lesser quality panel, simply because the headline cost is less and they wish to save money. However a HPL or MFC panel would require replacement in only a few short years, if it was constantly exposed to water.

The project was delivered on budget whilst also providing the school with some innovative features. Features which whilst not the cheapest option from an initial purchase and installation perspective, will provide ongoing cost savings to the school.

Installing non-concussive time flow taps with TMV3 valves and sensor flush urinals, whilst not the least expensive options will more than pay for themselves over the life of the washroom in water savings. Similarly the LED sensor controlled lighting will also return a measurable cost saving over a typical 10 year life span of a commercial washroom.