FMD puts the finishing touches on touchless restroom project 

Facilities Management Division (FMD) is in the final phase of installing touchless restroom fixtures throughout King County facilities to create a more hygienic environment for employees and customers, in keeping with COVID-19 best practices.  

FMD’s goal is to provide minimal restroom contact for people using facilities in public-facing buildings and  mitigate potential restroom touchpoint contamination during the current pandemic, while saving energy and water.  

FMD will replace nearly 1,000 wet fixtures in public-facing restrooms by the end of 2020 to take advantage of federal CARES Act funding, which must be used this year. 

Thanks to technological advances, today’s touchless fixtures limit water output and are equipped with solar panels that utilize restroom lights to extend battery life up to three years. Non-rechargeable touchless systems need new batteries every four months. “This version will reduce maintenance costs and minimize battery disposals, in addition to saving water,”  Chris Stenger, FMD Building Operations Section Manager said. 

The project had three phases to replace manual restroom faucets, toilet and urinal flush valves with touchless fixtures. The initial project included installation of touchless soap and paper towel dispensers, which was completed between July and September 2020. Phase 2 focused on wet fixtures in frontline and public spaces with an emphasis on judicial, correctional, and public health facilities that have remained operational throughout the pandemic. Upgrades to Administration Building facilities are now underway as part of Phase 3.  

In addition to touchless restroom fixtures, FMD has implemented additional cleaning protocols to regularly sanitize highly touched surfaces such as door handles, elevator controls, and conference rooms.