Guest Viewpoint

Turnkey Renovation Solutions for A+ Aesthetics

Ensuring your school makes guests feel welcome, generates excitement in students and supports the organization’s values is essential to running a successful educational facility. Oftentimes, first impressions are made by the surfaces that individuals immediately see, such as floors, windows, doors, countertops and walls. However, those are also the areas that are most susceptible to damage due to heavy usage and usually require the most frequent renovations. But with limited budgets and time to make extensive updates, it’s imperative to identify simple, turnkey solutions that can easily improve the quality and aesthetics of key surfaces.

In addition to refreshing aesthetics, sustainability is often a priority for educational facilities. By working to proactively identify different areas where you can use products and processes that support both your renovation and green efforts, you can effectively reduce your carbon footprint.

Whatever your needs, there are solutions that can minimize overall renovation costs and reduce downtime while supporting a building’s sustainability goals. Fortunately, by staying up-todate on aesthetics, you can achieve an A+ facility in no time.

Start from the Ground Up

In order to decrease downtime and save on cost, identify ways to improve a school’s environment quickly and efficiently. To simplify the process, facility managers can start at the floor and work their way up to the ceiling to easily target areas for potential improvement.

With heavy foot traffic and daily wear and tear, educational facilities must first rely on consistent floor care solutions to maintain overall aesthetics and safety. This starts with selecting products that are efficient and easy to use, support sustainability efforts and produce consistent results.

When deciding on floor care solutions, it’s important to select products that restore, protect and maintain surfaces while giving you the ultimate shine without sacrificing non-slip features. Utilizing products that streamline processes and extend the maintenance cycle — such as cleaning and shining in one step — will also ensure that your building remains in top condition without additional labor and expenses.

Walls, doors and cabinets are also areas that often need a little TLC. Luckily, there are a variety of architectural finishes available that provide easy surface updates without the hassles associated with painting or comprehensive replacement. Whether you are looking for a wood grain finish to update a desk, or a whiteboard film where students can write, draw and create, there’s a finish available for any need. Installation is also incredibly easy and can often be done quickly, limiting disruption to students, faculty and visitors.

When analyzing replacement solutions, it’s also essential to keep your budget goals in mind. It’s important to look at the pencil sale of whatever material is being considered. When purchasing new fixtures, such as a door versus an architectural finish, the hard and soft costs that typically aren’t fully considered will quickly add up. With the cost of purchasing a new door, in addition to the labor, material waste and downtime necessary for installation, opting to apply architectural finishes on an existing surface can minimize downtime and revenue loss.

Not only do surface solutions such as architectural films provide a customizable approach to cost and design, but they also create an immediate impact guaranteed to make an impression that bolsters school pride.

Make the Switch

If sustainability is a key priority during your renovation, evaluate the products you are using on a regular basis to identify areas where you can minimize environmental impact. Opting for more sustainable solutions, such as utilizing non-PVC options and choosing products that increase efficiencies while maintaining lower waste, is key.

Facility managers can also take the extra step to ensure an educational facility is operating as efficiently as possible. Sun control window films can help reduce energy costs and are significantly less costly than a full window replacement. Installing window films with solar and UV protection capabilities also helps to maintain indoor temperature — both heating and cooling — resulting in less energy demand on your facility’s HVAC system. Additionally, reducing UV ray damage can protect against fading of floors and furniture, keeping your school looking beautiful for years to come.

Glass doors and windows can be especially vulnerable to damage and broken glass, which can cause safety concerns. Whether trying to keep an intruder out or protecting others from shattered glass, safety and security window film is designed for fragment retention to hold shattered glass together. Choosing a product that improves safety will help give students and faculty that extra peace of mind.

Identifying areas that can be refreshed through turnkey renovations not only creates an engaging space that promotes creativity but can also support other initiatives such as sustainability and cost-savings. From repurposing existing surfaces to proactively protecting high-traffic areas, there are refresh solutions that provide a beautiful environment where students and staff feel welcome and proud.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Spaces4Learning.

About the Author

Jake Oberle is a U.S. Marketing Supervisor with 3M Commercial Solutions Division