Sustainable Renovation of school sanitary area: Homapal covered the trio of design, function and economic efficiency


From occasional impulse reactions to architecture with a long, well-thought-out vision for every user, Rüdiger Peglow is all about rethinking approaches when it comes to renovating schools. At the Co-operative Comprehensive School in Neustadt am Rübenberge, Germany, the qualified designer, who has a university degree in art and education, created learning environments that help the school achieve its objectives. He also made a point of including the oftneglected sanitary facilities, for which the HOMAPAL Aquaris SpaSystem meets extensive requirements in terms of design, functionand economic efficiency.

The Co-operative Comprehensive and All-day School in Neustadt am Rübenberge (KGS Neustadt), in the heart of the German state of Lower Saxony, considers it as its task as an educational establishment to ensure students complete their schooling to the highest possible level, to teach them how to act independently, to develop their communication, team-working and conflict-resolution skills, and to foster their democratic, social and environmental awareness and involvement. Through the nationally recognised and award-winning ‘Neustadt model’, the school also gives lower and intermediate secondary students excellent opportunities to secure top-class apprenticeship placements.

The planers of this project firmly believes interior design can support these education targets, and, through his Peglow Design agency, the school has set up a distinct, standardised colour scheme of red, grey and white at the school. Its full symbolism additionally gives rise to a pale green, which was used to enhance
the upper secondary area in the form of new seating. Green is the colour of nature. It symbolises the notion of growing and is relaxing.


A recent focus of the school renovation also included the sanitary facilities. And Peglow himself sets a high bar: ‘It’s not something you can just do quickly because the school is closed due to lockdown. It’s about creating future-oriented, value-preserving concepts. This includes having the renovation completed quickly and
cleanly during school operations, using materials that will be appreciated, and ensuring they are hygienic, low-maintenance, durable and offer a high degree of economic efficiency.

Based on the requirements they opted for the HOMAPAL Aquaris SpaSystem, because it demonstrates that hygiene concepts can also be achieved in a visually appealing manner. And that was indeed the objective HOMAPAL had pursued when creating the system – the idea that versatile functionality and sophisticated
aesthetics should go hand in hand. Dimensionally stable and robust, while also being authentic, expressive and fade-resistant, the large, lightweight panels with low-maintenance surface can be fitted cleanly and virtually nearly joint-free, without any long drying or waiting times.

In this context it needs to point out the increasing importance of fingerprint-resistant surfaces here – on the one hand because they make cleaning easier, and on the other because of stricter hygiene requirements. At the moment, HOMAPAL’s ‘Aquaris SpaSystem’ offers three anti-fingerprint decors.

The decors of the Aquaris SpaSystem collection reflect contemporary design trends, and are an affordable way to add high-quality, natural-looking materials to spaces. The harmonious interplay of look and feel creates a sense of authenticity, and Peglow hopes that ‘the high quality also protects against vandalism and unnecessary spending‘. Green is coupled with a sparse use (due to its sterile look) of white on the doors to continue the school’s colour scheme in its sanitary facilities, with generous splashes of anthracite to add an element of warmth. All of the Aquaris Spa System finishes match the colour schemes of the Formica Express Door Collection and HOMAPAL’s fire-safety elements – a crucial factor that plays a particularly key role in public buildings.

Hygienic concepts of school sanitary renovations have an enormous importance, especially in these special times. A meaningful execution requires materials that enable the trio of design, function and economic efficiency, especially in public buildings. ‘HOMAPAL should continue to focus all its energies on developing future-oriented materials’, says the designer, who believes that robust, durable, low-maintenance and easy-to-use materials will play an increasing role in hygienic concepts, and that hygiene and cleanliness requirements – not just at schools – will become even stricter in future.

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