The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront an acute awareness of infection control in building design, both in public spaces as well as our personal spaces like homes and offices. Infection prevention and control experts consistently advise that improved hand hygiene is critical in maintaining a safe and sanitary environment. However, handwashing is not as simple as it would seem at first blush. The faucet itself is a major infection vector unless careful precautions are taken. The obvious answer to increasing the effectiveness of hand washing is by reducing the danger of being re-contaminated by the faucet through hands-free operation.
When the Lancaster General Hospital decided to design their new Seraph-McSparren Pediatric Inpatient Center, they wanted to create an engaging and uplifting space for patients and their families. At a hospital, however, infection control is a key consideration in the design of any new unit. One of the many showpieces of design in the new pediatric waiting area is a custom-designed washbasin intended to help promote hand washing for the children and families as they visit the unit.
The project architecture firm, Stantec Architecture and Engineering LLC, approached Tapmaster Incorporated to co-develop a custom hands-free solution for this washbasin. Tapmaster® provides faucet control solutions that operate entirely on water pressure, rather than relying on electromechanical valves and sensors. These faucet controllers do not need batteries or electrical connections of any kind and are compatible with any faucet or spout a designer chooses to use. This flexibility allowed Tapmaster Incorporated to work with Stantec and design a custom plumbing solution that made it possible for multiple kids to use the wash basin simultaneously while also providing easy operation for individuals in wheelchairs.
In another example embracing hands-free operation, Mt. Sinai hospital in Toronto has recently flat-specified hands-free products to replace all manual and electronic sensor faucets in the Sinai Health region after a pilot project showed significant improvements in operational effectiveness. For more information on this project visit the Tapmaster® Mt Sinai story.
Driven only by water pressure, Tapmaster® products do not require electronics, batteries, or mechanical linkages. They have no sliding or rotating seals, which allows them to withstand in excess of 5 million operation cycles with no detectable sign of wear or reduced function. Both knee- and foot-operated options utilize the building's existing water pressure, simplifying installation. Tapmaster® products are also 100% compliant with California Prop 65 low-lead requirements and are approved for sale to childcare and medical centers within California.
For more information on the Tapmaster® line of hands-free faucets please contact them at: