New locking technologies continue to find their way into mainstream applications that we encounter during our daily course of activities. One such application involves the use of shared restrooms typically found in college dorms, medical facilities, and schools. The fact is, shared restrooms are becoming increasingly popular in new construction as the cost of installing bathrooms can be steep. For plumbing alone, the national average cost for commercial construction ranges from $6 per square foot to more than $8 per square foot, depending on the building type and location and including materials and labor. What it doesn’t include is the cost of framing walls, drywall, fixtures, tiling and/or other finish work. Building one restroom for every two rooms rather than one-to-one, building owners can cut these costs in half and in a multi-story building, those savings can be significant.
However, there are a couple of challenges associated with this type of restroom setup that may give building managers pause. Ensuring the privacy and safety of those who enter the restroom is foremost among these challenges. This requires the person to make sure all entrances to the restroom are locked upon entering, which leads to the second challenge – ensuring all doors are unlocked when a person exits the restroom to provide free access for all connected rooms.
When a restroom door is locked from the inside, the natural assumption is that it is in use. If it remains locked for a lengthy period of time, an individual from one adjacent room must visit the other room to see if the restroom is in fact still occupied or whether the last user forgot to unlock one of the doors. This can be time-consuming and can also add another layer of privacy concerns, particularly in nursing home or medical facility applications. Worse yet, is if all doors are accidentally locked no one will be able to access the restroom until a key-holder arrives – a poor use of manpower and operating overhead.
To continue reading, click Locking Technology for the Bathroom.