With the iconic London Eye as your neighbour, any new building would need to meet stringent design standards. Even a public loo. That was the challenge facing public convenience operator Healthmatic.
Its response was a striking, environmentally aware design by architects Mark Power Associates1.
The outer walls primarily are tinted glass which provides shelter from wind and rain but enables some natural lighting inside. More natural light floods in from a glass panel within the roof.
The amount of natural light falling inside the building presented a challenge in terms of the specification for the cubicle walls, ceilings and doors. Made from oak veneered MDF, the requirement for a clear finish to enhance the veneer with UV filters and eco credentials resulted in Earthborn being the natural choice.
Roger Berry, Managing Director of Healthmatic, said: “We wanted a high performance, exterior wood finish. We also wanted one with impeccable environmental credentials because the design needed to be as sustainable as possible. Earthborn Wood Stain met all our criteria.”
Earthborn Wood Stain is water based and breathable, yet totally water repellent. It gives a flexible finish that resists flaking and blistering and does not yellow with time.
Unlike other water based varnishes, Earthborn Wood Stain does not contain any oils or acrylics. That means it is totally free of VOCs and other harmful emissions, making it safer and more pleasant to use as well as better for the environment.
The cubicles supplier was Cubicles and Doors Combined Ltd. Its General Manager John Beaumont said: “Earthborn Wood Stain was specified by Healthmatic. We had not used it before and it is thicker than our standard lacquers so we called on Earthborn’s Technical Sales Adviser for support.
“We needed different size spray tips than those used for our standard lacquer, more like the ones you would use for paint.
“The job called for 12 doors and 140 panels to clad the walls and ceilings of each cubicle. The doors and panels were made from quarter cut oak veneer on moisture resistant MDF. As soon as the veneer was applied we covered the edges with a PVC strip then applied the stain.
“Four coats were applied in all, two base coats having a 50 per cent water dilution. The spray was applied to panels in a vertical position. Drying time between coats was three hours and each panel was sanded between coats with an orbital sander.
“We are very pleased with the result and would definitely use Earthborn Wood Stain again.”
Healthmatic has called the facility the Jubiloo to commemorate its opening just before the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Its six Union Jack wearing assistants deliver a premium service for12 hours a day, cleaning the loos after each user. A 24 hour unit provides facilities over night.