Gender-Neutral Bathroom Design
Inclusive bathroom design is a new trend in public spaces, which creates all sorts of implications for both architects and contractors. In many cases, traditional bathroom design is being thrown out the window in exchange for meeting gender-neutral bathroom requirements, meaning these architects and builders (and others in the industry) are forced to get up to speed quickly.
To help you get a fast start designing gender-neutral restrooms, here’s a look at everything you need to know about inclusive bathroom design.
What Are Gender-Neutral Bathrooms?
Traditionally, public buildings have offered a men’s and women’s restroom. In the 21st century, as gender identity becomes a more prominent and talked about issue, owners and managers of public buildings are moving away from men’s and women’s bathrooms and swapping them out for gender-neutral bathroom design.
In short, gender-neutral bathrooms are simply restrooms that anyone is welcome to use, no matter their gender identification, and there are several different options for creating these gender-neutral spaces.
What Are the Benefits of Designing Gender-Neutral Restrooms?
One of the motivators behind gender-neutral restrooms is that they provide owners and managers or public buildings with a number of benefits, including:
- Enhanced privacy: In general, gender-neutral restrooms tend to give users a more private space. For example, some gender-neutral restrooms have no urinals, instead opting for individual and fully enclosed pods with toilets. This setup makes using the restroom a much more private experience for everyone.
- Accommodation of special needs: Individuals with special needs and families with children find the gender-neutral restroom style far more accommodating than traditional restrooms.
- Public safety/health: Restrooms have at times been a source of harassment for transsexual individuals. The proliferation of gender-neutral restrooms lowers the possibility of harassment.
- Efficiency: Multi-user, gender-neutral restrooms provide the most efficient use of space in public buildings.
- Short waits: Inclusive bathroom design often creates shorter wait times for everyone using the restroom.
What Are the Best Inclusive Bathroom Design Options?
There are two over-arching approaches that you can take toward designing gender-neutral restrooms:
- Single-user: Single-user restrooms feature a toilet and a sink, and the user locks the door so that they are the only person inside the restroom at any given time. Of course, having only one single-user restroom may lead to long wait times, and multiple single-user restrooms may use space inefficiently.
- Multi-user: Many public spaces are now incorporating multi-user, gender-neutral bathroom design. These multi-user restrooms often include a series of fully enclosed stalls with a common area and sinks.
Inclusive Bathroom Design: Easier Than You Think
Getting started with inclusive bathroom design doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few tips and considerations for designing gender-neutral restrooms:
- New construction: New construction naturally provides the greatest flexibility for meeting gender-neutral bathroom requirements. Remember that the multi-user approach uses space efficiently while creating an inclusive environment.
- Retrofitting: Retrofitting traditional bathrooms is more challenging — but not impossible. The process typically includes doing away with urinals, increasing privacy in stalls and replacing signage.
- Overcoming multi-user issues: One of the greatest challenges with the multi-user approach is finding and installing the proper partitions and stalls for maximum privacy. Find a provider of partitions and stalls that has experience meeting gender-neutral bathroom requirements.
Get Design Support From One Point Partitions
At One Point Partitions, we are the experts on bathroom stalls and partitions, including stalls and partitions for gender-neutral bathroom design. If you have questions or need expert guidance during the design and installation process, we’re always here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our inclusive bathroom design solutions.