urinal divisions

this is my first blog from my new firm. it’s a fairly small office, with no fixed seating. we are expected to be away at client sites most of the time so it’s ok. we don’t have a loo of our own, but share it with a few other firms in the same building.

the interesting thing I noticed in this loo was the huge barriers that have been erected between adjacent urinals. So high that you can’t even figure out who it is next to you! Quite a contrast to, say, my office in London where I interned, where there were absolutely no barriers between urinals! Would be a really pissing-off experience when your boss would come and stand next to you.

One problem which I’ve always worried about is about designing the optimal urinal division (by minimizing the size of the stone slab required to separate). For one, it is different for different age groups. For example in a school, where most users will be young boys, the walls can be lower than in other places. Also, another problem would be to whether put more stone above (near the people’s faces) or below (near the center of gravity). Then there is the other dimension (the length of the slab sticking out of the wall). The thickness of the slab depends on the material used, and that also needs to be taken into consideration.

One should also take into account the cultural differences, and openness of society. In more open societies, a smaller slab can be used, and in some cases (like in my old office in London) totally dispensed with. In places like India, where people feel more insecure, it is better to have larger slabs.

I think I could do a BTech project on this.

For the record, several years ago, had remarked that urinals are like exam halls – prudence demands that you leave one slot vacant between adjacent users!

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