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Collegiate charter school of Lowell pulls cost savings, energy efficiency and hygiene out of ThinAir  

Lowell Case Study

New Sabis school starts strong with ADA

Sabis is a global education network serving more than 70,000 students across 20 countries and 5 continents. The Sabis system offers an integrated, comprehensive K-12 academic program that prepares students for college, promotes life-long learning and cultivates well-rounded, community-minded individuals.

Harris Associates, a full-service architectural firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has designed several Sabis schools in the United States — including the brand new Collegiate Charter School in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Starting with a green slate

The 66,000-square-foot Collegiate Charter School, constructed in two phases, opened in September 2016. It currently holds 754 students from kindergarten through 7th grade and aims to accommodate grades 9-12 by September 2019. Eventually, the school will have a total of 1,200 students across all grades.

Hand dryers, and other green features including solar panels, were part of the plan from the beginning.

“Sustainability and environmentally-sound design, throughout the industry, is the biggest trend that we see,” says John Harris, owner of Harris Associates and architect of the Collegiate Charter School. “Not only in the washroom, but throughout the design of the building.”

The ThinAir® Hand Dryer offers a 70% reduction in carbon footprint — even compared with 100% recycled paper towels. It is BuildingGreen Approved® and helps facilities qualify for LEED credits. In 2017, Excel Dryer became the first hand dryer manufacturer to publish third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) by UL Environment.

A clean, quiet learning environment

“They did use the typical paper towels,” Harris says of the Sabis network’s previous policy. “And they found that it was really becoming quite a nightmare maintenance-wise, student health and cleanliness-wise. Students would jam paper towels down the toilets. They love to do that. And so they decided to make a change to go to electric hand dryers. As a result, maintenance costs have gone down. The cleanliness of their restrooms has gone way up.”

The ThinAir dries hands completely in 14 seconds* and represents a 95% cost savings when compared to paper towels, eliminating their labor, maintenance and waste.

Another big plus for Harris also was ThinAir’s adjustable sound feature.

“Adjusting the sound on a hand dryer is absolutely key. It’s the biggest complaint that we get. Sometimes washrooms don’t have doors. So to have that control of sound is really important.”

“Hand dryers have worked very well for the Sabis schools,” says Harris. “Hygiene is becoming more and more of an important factor. In fact, we find that school facilities in general are moving much more rapidly toward hand dryers.”

An ‘A’ for ADA compliance

Another key feature of the ThinAir Hand Dryer is that it is ADA compliant. When surface mounted, the dryer meets the 4” ADA protrusion guidelines to accommodate the person with visual impairment.

“The design of the Excel ThinAir is sleek. It’s modern. It’s low profile and I really like that they are ADA compliant,” Harris says.

Born in the USA

In the age of outsourcing to the lowest bidder, Excel Dryer remains committed to the great tradition of American manufacturing. This was another key point that resonated with Harris.

“If I am taking a look at a product, the first thing I look at is where it’s made,” he says. “Not only do we want to keep jobs in America, but the fact that there’s certain controls in the manufacturer and design of those systems. We always look at a product in the light of how sustainable it is. Of course, that’s got to be looked at within the realm of affordability as well, but we find that the Excel ThinAir fits both bills.”

Excel Dryer’s expanded and enhanced product line — featuring XLERATOR®, XLERATOReco® and ThinAir Hand Dryers — comes equipped with speed, sound and heat control, multi-voltage options (110-120V or 208-277V) and an externally visible service LED to streamline maintenance. It offers the most LEED v4 credits of any hand dryer. With the most options and accessories in the industry, you can create the best hand drying solution for any restroom environment.

*Dry time and energy use testing performed by SGS International on standard ThinAir Hand Dryer with 0.8” nozzle to 0.25g or less of residual moisture, pursuant to the UL Environment Global Product Category Rules (PCR) for Hand Dryers.

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