Designing and fitting out changing and locker rooms is a specialised business, requiring knowledge and expertise across several disciplines for the whole to work out greater than the sum of the parts.
Partnering the process
When it’s time for a change and a refit, or starting from scratch, best to specify a supplier/installer that can co-ordinate the project for you, from design and layout to completed facility.
The supplier’s dedicated project manager, assigned to partner you through the process, is tuned to handle everything from quotes, drawings, materials, surfaces and décor to overseeing the install and aftercare.
Ask about the fitting team too – have they a long track record of doing the job. The best have been plying their trade for a generation so can often use their own skill and judgment to iron out any hiccups that may arise.
Built to last/fit to refresh
Leisure and fitness changing areas can come in for a bit of a battering because of heavy throughout. Locker carcases may well stand the test of time but doors and edgings can show their age and you should be looking to refurbish every five years or so.
Interior décor in the sector can date quite quickly and it’s critical that members feel they are using fresh, modern environments rather than stale ones.
Sturdily built lockers can be kept in place, while doors and panelling can be replaced with vogue patterns, designs and hardwearing materials, to keep costs down.
Changing room hygiene remains a key concern, especially in wet areas but sophisticated surfaces are heralding in new levels of clinical cleanliness to combat risk of cross-infection.
Doors and other seen wood components can be finished with two coats of high build clear lacquer formulated to include an agent, such as Medicote, designed to prevent bacteria surviving on its surface.
The agent also reduces risk of deterioration, discoloration and odours caused by micro-organisms. The result is a high-quality, durable finish with added level of protection.
Go with the flow
Architects and designers may leave changing room layouts to the supply specialists, whose experience with optimising alloted space will help deliver facilities that promote ease and comfort.
Good locker layout for example can aid traffic flow from entry to exit, while poor design can create havoc. When some hotel fitness changing rooms have to cater for memberships of several thousand, thought given to this element of provision is time well spent.
Lock and store
Trends are changing in hospitality. Locker management is shifting to digital solutions, in part to avoid key losses or inappropriate use. RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) systems use electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags (containing electronically-stored information) attached to objects automatically. Tags can be attached to cash, clothing and possessions.
Keypad methods rely on using a personal, usually four-digit, code to open the locker. Modern electronic locking allows site staff to control the secure time available to members and users before the door automatically opens.