Feature Article - September 2014
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Stronger, Faster, Cheaper

The Pros of Prefab Restroom Structures

By Chris Gelbach

Trending Features

Rachak is seeing more solar installations today, particularly on vault buildings. In situations where electricity would need to be run hundreds of feet, these can result in significant savings for use running LED lights and a fan system. "Whereas a little standalone solar system might be $2,500, you might spend $15,000 or more getting the electricity over there," he said.

According to Rachak, solar systems continue to get more efficient. "You're getting more watts per square foot so the panels are smaller, less expensive, they're putting out more power and the batteries are better." But the batteries do still come with maintenance considerations, requiring replacement every three to five years.

Unfortunately, according to Burger, solar panels bring vandalism concerns of their own, as people can steal or damage the panels. For this reason, they offer the best potential payback in sunnier climates and in more secure environments.

Manufacturers also are offering a growing variety of other options, including antimicrobial interior features, easy-clean floors with rounded corners, post-consumer recycled materials, electronic sink and flush valves, waterless urinals, no-touch plumbing fixtures and non-corrosive building materials designed for salt-air environments. The availability of these features varies by manufacturer.

What is consistent across the industry is that parks have the ability to do more using prefabricated restroom structures than ever before. They may not be the best fit for every park environment, but are notable for their sturdiness, flexibility and improving aesthetics. For these reasons, they're an increasingly attractive option that can provide relief not only to park patrons, but also to park managers looking for a quick-to-install and cost-effective solution.