Modular Changing Places, Sydney

The Stellar® range of Modular Changing Places, Sydney are built with the utmost consideration for those who use them. These facilities adhere to international standards and are built to help local councils provide amenities for people of all abilities.

Each modular building is designed with access and mobility top of mind. As a prequalified supplier our facilities are built in accordance with regulatory specifications and requirements, to ensure compliance and an optimal user experience.

We take care of the Changing Places certification process, from the initial design phase through to the final inspection. Our team are experienced in the design, fabrication and installation of Modular Changing Place facilities making the process easier for you.

Each Stellar® building has been thoughtfully designed utilising CPTED principles, resulting in reduced opportunities for criminal activity.

Stellar® Changing Places facilities are prefabricated in our factory, ensuring the environment, schedule and quality are all controlled. This process ensures minimal interruptions to public spaces during installation.

This example of our Modular Changing Places facility was equipped with a change table, hoist, privacy screen, large hand-washing basin, a shower and handrails. Plus an extra wide automatic door to suit access for all terrain/beach wheelchairs, accessible with an MLAK key.

At ASCO, we pride ourselves on delivering sustainable, welcoming and safe public use buildings and facilities. We believe our dedication shows through our finished product. Please, get in touch to discuss your next project.

Our own less than ideal experiences have inspired us to focus on form and function when working with architects and communities to create Public Toilet Design for Melbourne.

Welcoming. Safe. And Sustainable.
While these words are not usually associated with the toilet at ASCO we very proudly associate those words with everything we do.

Our trademarked Stellar® urban restroom design is a specialty at ASCO. For over 10 years our team of experts have taken every opportunity to develop sustainable, welcoming and safe amenities buildings.

We have taken enormous pride in our part in the revolution in urban equipment design and installation. Gone are the days of urban equipment being an after thought. We recognise and celebrate the importance of public spaces being attractive, accessible and welcoming to all.

Our bespoke buildings empower communities to feel confident and safe when using public facilities; while designing for a comfortable user experience, benefits the facilities managers with easier cleaning processes and less maintenance.

Contact us here to discuss your toilet design needs. Well look forward to speaking with you.

Stellar® urban Brisbane restroom design is a specialty at ASCO. For over 10 years our team of experts have taken every opportunity to develop sustainable, welcoming and safe amenities buildings.

Brisbane Restrooms

Our passion for quality design and function shines through in our urban restroom design package, the Stellar® Range.

Each restroom is designed and manufactured in house, allowing us to maintain complete control over every aspect of the process right through to installation onsite.

With a focus on form, function and practicality, we carefully select materials to maximise vandal resistance and provide superior hygiene.

Our bespoke buildings empower communities to feel confident and safe when using public facilities; while designing for a comfortable user experience, benefits the facilities managers with easier cleaning processes and less maintenance.

Working with architects and communities to create beautiful, innovative, and practical solutions, with a primary focus on design intent is the ASCO way.

We proudly remain on the forefront in the revolution of public building design – determined to continue the delivery of sustainable, welcoming and safe amenities buildings.

We’d welcome you to get in contact to discuss your next public amenity project.

Earlier this year the Changing Places Specifications for 2020 were released, in this post, we’ll break them down in easy to digest, bite-sized pieces.

Note: This blog post was not written in partnership with Changing Places and has instead been created to educate our audience.

What is a changing places facility?

Changing Places are bathroom and changing facilities designed to accommodate those with disabilities or high support needs. They are larger than standard accessible toilets and are fitted with changing tables and hoists (VHHSBA).

Changing place facilities are only accessible with a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) ensuring they are reserved for those who need them most.

These facilities are regulated by local governing bodies at a state level. In Victoria, it’s the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA).

The numbers
Changing Places Infographic
The timeline

Changing Places Timeline
Figure 6: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 26.

Why do we need changing places specifications?

Changing Places specifications are in place to ensure that designated facilities are adequately equipped and function to a consistently high standard.

Standardised layouts allow for adequate circulation throughout the building. The specified layout options also ensure hoist coverage is maintained for each section of the facility.

The updated 2020 specifications have been effective since 1 April 2020 and are in place until updated specifications are released. New information is typically released every three years.

Covered in the specifications
  • Branding guidelines
  • Approved configurations
  • Fit-out requirements
  • Case studies
  • Certification processes and requirements
What are some of the basic features of a Changing Places facility?
  • Height-adjustable adult-sized change table
  • Ceiling track hoist system
  • Centrally located accessible toilet
  • Circulation spaces
  • Automatic door with a clear opening of 950 mm at a minimum (1100 mm for beach and lake locations)
  • Privacy screen

Port Campbell Changing Places Hoist

Changing Places certification
What is a changing places certification?

For your facility to be recognised by Changing Places as compliant, it must go through a certification process. This ensures all aspects adhere to stringent specifications set out to benefit those who use them.

Once your facility is certified, it will appear on the official Changing Places map, where users can locate the facility.

Port Campbell Changing Places Door

Why should you consider being certified?

Users can find you easily
Having your facility certified ensures it will appear on the digital map, which is usually the first point of reference for users. This will encourage users to visit your community, knowing they can utilise your parks and public spaces without worry.

Guidance
A Changing Places Assessor will provide guidance and recommendations, so your facility is compliant.  This process will ensure that no elements of the facility have been overlooked.

Can you obtain certification once it’s open?

Yes, but it’s difficult
It’s in a council’s best interest to be certified, this process needs to be started at the beginning of the planning process. Certification becomes difficult to obtain after the fact as a variety of requirements may have not been considered during the project.

Starting the certification process during the planning stages of your facility ensures that nothing is overlooked, and the facility is built with the user in mind.

Port Campbell Changing Places External Shot

How long does the certification last for?

The Changing Places certification will last for the life of the building. When new specifications are released your certified facility won’t need to be updated or altered in any way. The only exemption is when the facility is located within a building undergoing renovations or significant upgrades. In this case, building codes may require a facility upgrade in order to meet compliance.

How does the certification process work?

There are a few steps in the process, broadly it will follow this order:

  1. Engaging an Access Consultant at start of the project (there is a fee associated with this)
  2. The Access Consultant will review your plans and specifications to provide recommendations
  3. Once plans are submitted you will receive an Access Report which will include:
    1. Building codes
    2. Specific to the plans you submitted
    3. List of modifications required
    4. Rating for each checklist item
  4. Upon completion, the Access Consultant will conduct a site inspection in accordance with guidelines
National Construction Code:

Australia is the first country in the world to regulate adult changing facilities in it’s building code.

National Construction Code

The National Construction Code (NCC) specified that as of 1 May 2019, a new type of toilet known as the ‘Accessible Adult Change Facilities’ (based on the Changing Places design) must be included in certain classes of public spaces.

 

LocationCapacity RequirementAlternative Requirement
Class 6 buildings:
Shopping centres
3,500 people or more
Class 9b sports venues

 

35,000 people or moreContains a swimming pool that has a perimeter of 70 m or more
Museum and art gallery (or similar) buildings

 

1,500 or more people
Theatre and entertainment venues

 

1,500 or more people
Domestic and international passenger airports.1,500 or more people

 

Specified Designs

The four design options as specified by the Changing Places Technical Advisory Team:

Design 1A: Without shower rectangular

Changing Places Design 1A
Figure 1: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020

 

Design 1B: Without shower square

Changing Places Design 1B

Figure 2: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020

 

Design 1C: Without shower alternative door location

Changing Places Design 1C

Figure 3: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020

Design 2: With shower rectangular

Changing Places Design 2
Figure 4: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020

 

Can the four layouts be modified in any way?

A changing places assessor can approve modifications or an alternative layout based on the needs of the community and location requirements and limitations. An alternative layout may need to be assessed as a Performance Solution under the National Construction Code, if applicable.

The Technical Advisory team may also be required to approve the modifications to ensure it can be listed as an approved changing places facility.

What are the door requirements?

The door must be automated with a clearing of at least 950 mm, at beach locations the minimum is increased to 1100 mm to accommodate beach wheelchairs.

Changing Places Door Requirements

Figure 5: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 26.

The door must be calibrated to have a dwell time of 9 seconds, allowing enough time for people to safely enter prior to the door closing. The door must also be fitted with a fail-safe opening mechanism that opens the door if an object is detected in its path.

New Changes:

Site inspection
A site inspection is required prior to the opening of the facility, this is the final step in the certification process.

Hot water
It’s a requirement that hot water must be available within the facility regardless of the layout chosen.

Finishes

Changing Places hasn’t listed any mandatory finishes, but they have provided some guidelines and some ‘nice to have’ finishes.

Bold Colours Encouraged
The use of bold colours is encouraged to prevent the facility from looking cold and sterile. It’s suggested that warm and inviting colours and patterns are used, murals are also encouraged to give the facility a warm and inviting look.

Changing Places Mural

Busy Patterns Discouraged
Bold or busy patterns are discouraged to prevent over-stimulation, baby, and childlike decorations are not permitted within the facility as they are not appropriate.

In Summary

Ultimately, it is up to you if you’d like your facility to be Changing Places certified. Our recommendation is that you go through the process, even though it may alter the finished product it’s done for the benefit of the user.

 

Need a little bit more detail? Detailed plans and elevations are included in the full report here.

 

Want to see some ASCO completed Changing Places facilities? They’re part of our Stellar® range of amenities buildings, more information is available here.

 

References:

VHHSBA, 2020, Changing Places, Retrieved 20 July 2020, < https://www.vhhsba.vic.gov.au/health/disability/changing-places#:~:text=Subscribe-,Changing%20Places,be%20accessible%20to%20all%20Victorians.&text=Changing%20Places%20facilities%20are%20larger,side%20of%20a%20peninsula%20toilet>.

Figure 1: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 14.
Figure 2: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 15.
Figure 3: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 16.
Figure 4: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 17.
Figure 5: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. 26.
Figure 6: Changing Places Design Specifications 2020, pg. ii

 

The design and installation of a public toilet building is complicated, there are many small details that have a large impact.  Variations are stressful, result in unbudgeted costs and time delays, all of which can put the entire project into jeopardy.

To make the design process easier to navigate, we’ve put together a list of 7 things to consider when planning your next public toilet building.

Placement

First things first, where are you going to put your toilet building? What direction will it face?

The placement is incredibly important and must be very carefully thought out. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and there are many factors to consider.
Port Campbell Toilet Building - Side View

The best thing you can do is seek advice from an expert at the beginning of your project. If your facility isn’t strategically placed, it can cause project delays and result in significant additional costs and unexpected variations down the track. We’ll take a deep dive into this in a future blog post.

Ventilation

How many times have you been into a public toilet and had to cover your nose because of the smell? Chances are, there were a few issues at play, one of them being adequate ventilation.

An essential element to consider is that your toilet building will have ample ventilation, this can be either natural or mechanical. The circulation of fresh air is essential, as it evacuates airborne germs and diseases whilst maintaining hygiene levels for users. Ventilation helps odour to escape ensuring a more comfortable user experience.

Port Campbell Toilet Building - Ventilation

Building material selection plays a big part here. Where timber is used in construction of ‘wet’ rooms like these, it absorbs and retains odour as well as adding odours of dampness and decay over time.

Surfaces

A common concern we hear is the ongoing cleaning and maintenance of public toilet buildings. In order to meet and maintain hygiene and safety standards, it costs councils time and money.

Did you know that the materials and surfaces chosen can also have a significant impact on the cleaning and maintenance of these facilities?

What surfaces should you be looking for?

Flat internal cladding has a smaller surface area than corrugated cladding (pictured below), meaning there is less surface area to clean, this results in a reduction in ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs. This material repels bacteria and dirt such as Polymer, Composites and Metals, making it easier to clean and more hygienic for users. This is why it’s our preferred choice and what we recommend to our customers.

Port Campbell Toilet Building - Corrugated Iron Close Up

What are some materials and surfaces that you should be staying away from?

At the top of your list of things to avoid should be tiles and corrugated surfaces. Tiles can be problematic as the grout is known for absorbing dirt. Whereas corrugated surfaces also create spaces where dirt, insects and rubbish can gather.

Hand Washing

A key concern when it comes to public restrooms and amenities buildings is hygiene. What are some simple steps you can take to ensure your facility is as hygienic as possible?

Handwashing is a great place to start. Traditionally handwashing facilities have been located within the building itself. However, it’s worth considering having your handwashing station placed outside the toilet. Allowing users to wash their hands after exiting, eliminating the need for users to touch any doors, post handwashing, where they could potentially transfer or pick up germs.

Baden Powell Drinking Fountain - Close Up

This station should be equipped with an alcoholic hand sanitiser dispenser, offering a simple alternative. This eliminates the need for a hand dryer or paper towel making it cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Design Drawings - Toilet Building
Seat sanitation

Did you know that toilet seats can carry 50 bacteria per square inch?

To minimise the transfer of this bacteria, it’s worthwhile installing a seat sanitiser dispenser or wipes so users can clean the seat prior to use.

This is an added measure to ensure hygiene is maintained whilst providing users with peace of mind.

Doors

In recent years, there have been a variety of changes to doors in public restrooms, including the introduction of automatic doors. Many of these automations have been to improve hygiene standards. In some cases, a button still needs to be pressed to open the door, which minimises the effectiveness of these automations.

Instead, consider an outward opening door with a stainless-steel kick plate. This allows the user to exit the toilet building with minimal contact, preventing the transfer of bacteria.

Toilet Building - Door Kick Plate
Technological Innovations

You’ve sorted out the placement and materials for your facility, now you can move onto the user experience. Sensor technology can play a part in ensuring your facility is as hygienic and efficient as possible.

Additions such as sensor-operated flushing, hand washing, soap dispensing and hand drying all assist in providing a touch-free experience. Minimising the touchpoints within a toilet building plays a vital role in maintaining hygiene standards.

Even if you’re designing a touch-free facility, we still recommended installing your handwashing station outside the building to guarantee users will be germ-free after leaving the premises.

We hope you found this helpful and will help in your future planning.
There are of course many other elements to consider which we will touch on in future posts.

You can find out more information about our Stellar® range of public toilets and amenities buildings here.

Stay in touch

To make sure you don’t miss out on future updates and articles, follow us on LinkedIn here.
You can also sign up for our newsletter here.

 

We’re in unprecedented times. 

Businesses across the globe are making significant operational changes in order to maintain safety for employees and the public.  

Governments Federal and State levels are putting control measures in place to flatten the curve of COVID – 19. We’re committing ourselves to these measures, as we aim to actively contribute to the national effort of containment. 

As an organisation, ASCO Group has implemented an action plan which allows us to remain open for business whilst maintaining the strict control measures required. 

This plan includes but it not limited to; site works project meetings, tender submissions and general business operations.  

We are continually monitoring all government communications and updating our plans as new information becomes available. 

Some changes that we have implemented are: 

  • Face to face meetings with clients replaced by video conferencing 
  • Client information is safely stored in a secured cloud environment enabling remote access if, and when required 
  • All staff equipped to work and communicate remotely 
  • Providing staff with accurate information so they can self-monitor for symptoms 
  • All staff are committed to personal hygiene and hand sanitisation (including social distancing) throughout the workday and in their private lives 
  • Staff will report any COVID-19 potential contact and the staff member will self-isolate as required 
  • Continuous project monitoring to maintain ontime completions. Should delays occur due to external forces these will be immediately communicated with appropriate solutions put in place.  

As an organisation, we understand that it is our responsibility to keep our employees, clients and contractors safe.
We do not take this lightly and will be reevaluating our approach each time more information on COVID-19 becomes available.  

We wholeheartedly hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe during this time. 

 

If you’d like accurate and up to date information on the pandemic, we’ve been keeping an eye on the government DHHS website here.

Should you have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to contact us here.

The Omega™ Methodology has seen us work on some incredible projects over the years, the Tip Top project is no exception.

You would have seen some images from the Tip Top project on our social media platforms and our website, but you probably don’t know where it began and how we successfully executed the project.

Omega™ Tip Top Seats

The Tip Top project consisted of custom-designed furniture pieces for the redevelopment of the old Tip Top Bakery site in Brunswick, Victoria. The site saw a major redevelopment and now consists of luxury apartment buildings.

A bit of history

Established in 1939, Tip Top Brunswick East is the location of Melbourne’s oldest bakery. The site was originally known as the Northern Bakeries and later changed their name to Tip Top Brunswick.

During their operation, they made and delivered bread all over Melbourne. The site was abandoned in 1993 and is of great historical significance to the community. In 2014 the site was developed into an award-winning residential complex.

Accolades include;

  • Winner 2016 Asia Pacific Property Award for Best Residential Development Australia
  • Winner 2015 National UDIA Award for Excellence in Urban Renewal
  • Winner 2014 Victorian UDIA Award for Excellence in Urban Renewal
  • Winner 2014 Australian Property Institute Heritage Property Award
Our role

The landscaping project was awarded to IKON Constructions, who partnered with architect Mark Jacques at OCULUS. Once they had reached the conceptual stage, they approached us.

When it came to the delivery of the project, we worked with Chris Brenchley from Living Landscapes.

We developed the fabrication methodology and detailed drawings, taking the project from concept to fabrication. We were entrusted with selecting practical materials to bring the project vision to life.

Although this marked the first time we worked with Mark Jacques and OCULUS, we have continued our partnership and have produced a variety of their designs since.

IKON Constructions had a clear vision, they wanted the furniture to pay homage to the historic site. There were two custom-designed pieces;

Bead-loaf seats and benches 

The seats were designed to pay homage to the history of the Tip Top site by resembling a loaf of bread coming through a bread-slicer. The benches were intentionally designed in the shape of a slice of bread.

Sliced Bread Tip Top Seats Loaf of bread Tip Top Seats

Bike racks

The bike racks were integrated with concrete platforms which offer multiple public seating options. The simple design was intentional, in order to not detract from the centrepiece

Tip Top Bike Rack Square Tip Top Bike Rack

Material challenges

Our expertise ensured the client was well-informed when it came to which materials would be used.

Material selection is always important, choosing the incorrect materials to suit a location of style can ruin the whole project. As you can imagine we put a great amount of thought and planning into this stage.

Initially, we planned to source large slabs of timber and specifically cut them. The issue with this method was that it had the potential to move significantly as the timber dried out.

We’re problem solvers who thoroughly enjoy a challenge, so instead opted to source slabs in glue-laminated hardwood. This provided us with a stable option that would minimise twisting and warping.

Sliced Bread Tip Top Seats

Our expertise ensured the client was able to make a well-informed decision at each stage.

Design specifications required us to bend a 20mm thick steel plate to form the ends of the bench. To complete this stage, we partnered with a large steel fabrication firm in Melbourne. They were the only company with the equipment capacity required to fold steel of this thickness that met our specifications.

The finished product

The result speaks for themselves, combining outstanding landscape design, architectural design, and craftsmanship. What we love about a project like this is the continuous collaboration between the designers and contractors on and off-site. All working together to achieve a common goal.

We’re proud of our ‘tip-top’ quality work on such a high-profile project that will be enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

You can view more projects like this one here. 

 

Have any questions about this project? Contact us at media@ascogroup.com.au

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We’ve been busy…

You would have noticed some big changes around here. We’re excited to be launching our new website today which has been a long time in the making.

We approached the update and reinvigoration of our website much like we approach projects with our clients; with much thought, consideration and planning.

Our friends at Evolution Design Agency shared our vision and helped us bring it to life.

 

Why the new website?

As we’ve grown and matured over the years, we’ve found our niche. This has led us to develop a deeper understanding of our client’s challenges and needs. We’ve also had the opportunity to further define our organisational purpose and values.

Last year our friends at Seesaw Studio reinvigorated the ASCO brand by designing our new logo. We didn’t want to make a simple update to our website, instead, we knew it needed a complete overhaul.

Our website had served us well, but we needed a place to showcase everything that is ASCO.

The team at Evolution Design Agency worked with us to design and launch our new website.
A primary focus of the project was to highlight our Product Ranges;

  • Alpha™ (Bus Shelter Design)
  • Stellar™ (Urban Restroom Design)
  • Centaur™ (Urban Furniture Design)
  • Omega™ (Design Process Map)

 

What’s important to us about our new online space

 

Show not tell
Instead of telling you about what we’ve been up to, we wanted to show you. Our website was designed with high-quality imagery being a focal point.

Consistency
Consistency is key, we needed to deliver the same message as our other lines of communication. This meant more information on our product ranges and completed projects. We also wanted a space to share our story, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Inspire you to see what’s possible
We wanted to create a place where you (our clients and partners) can gain inspiration from work we’ve done before, to help decide what’s next for your own projects.

 

We’re not done yet

We’re all about continuous improvement, so we’ll continue to add more information and content as we go.  To make sure you don’t miss out on our updates, follow us on social media or subscribe to our mailing list!