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3.7 Building Support Spaces

General Use Toilets
Toilets are part of the permanent building core and should be designed with good quality, long-lived finishes. They are an extension of the public spaces of the building. The most appropriate finish for floors and walls in toilet rooms is ceramic or porcelain tile. In light-use areas, less costly moisture-resistant materials may be substituted. In all cases, carefully chosen patterns and colors will enhance the design image.

Continuous vanities of stone, artificial stone, tile or plastic laminate should be designed for lavatories. A large, continuous mirror should be provided on at least one wall of each toilet room. See section 3.2, Space Planning Requirements.

Equipment Spaces and Maintenance Shops
Walls and ceilings of all equipment and maintenance shops should be gypsum board, concrete masonry surfaces or other durable surfaces; exposed batt or other forms of insulation should not be used at wall surfaces. Walls in these areas should be painted.

Floors in mechanical rooms and maintenance shops should be waterproofed. Floors in electrical and communications rooms should be painted or sealed. Communications equipment rooms may also have resilient flooring.

Rooms containing major electrical or environmental equipment must be designed to provide clearance for service including replacement of components or the entire piece of equipment.

Staff Locker Rooms and Custodial Spaces
Storage rooms should receive minimal finishes. As in other support areas, these finishes should be coordinated with adjacent spaces. Janitors’ closets should be similarly finished, except those containing sinks, which should be provided with a ceramic tile floor and base. Staff locker rooms should be provided with resilient flooring and vinyl wall covering (or equivalent), except in “wet” areas, which should be finished similar to general use toilets (ceramic tile floor and walls).

Building Engineer’s Office and Security Control Center
If theses spaces are included in the building program space requirements, they should be finished like an office. Flooring in the building engineer’s office should be vinyl tile if it is located near the central plant or other utilitarian support spaces.

Food Service Areas
Cafeteria Kitchens and Serveries. These areas are operated under concession agreements. Finishes are governed by health regulations and the requirements of the concessionaire. Designers should coordinate their work with the GSA handbook Concession Management Desk Guide PMFC-93.

Kitchens Other Than Cafeteria Kitchens. This section describes smaller kitchens typically used by employees. Flooring in these kitchens should be resilient. Walls should have durable, washable finishes such as vinyl wall covering or ceramic tile, depending on intensity of use. Ceilings should be acoustic material with consideration given to the use of moisture resistant ceiling materials in kitchens with higher humidity.

Other Specialty Areas
Court buildings, border stations, and child care centers have special requirements for finishes. See the U.S. Courts Design Guide and Chapter 9: Design Standards for U.S. Court Facilities for Court spaces. See the U.S. Border Station Design Guide (PBS-P130), and GSA Child Care Center Design Guide (PBS-P140) for finishes for these facilities.


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