Mar 18, 2015

Dads change diapers too

Last week diaper changing stations were trending when actor and recent new dad Ashton Kutcher mentioned them on his Facebook page... To be more accurate, he was more like venting about the lack of them in men's public restrooms. He was not alone. Thousands liked, shared and commented his post and more articles were wrote in a week about changing stations than ever before (just a wild guess). Some even mentioned how sad it was that a non-architect would bring the issue to the table. 

Last week actor and new dad Ashton Kutcher started the internet conversation about diaper hanging stations.

This is a call for all architects because the consideration and placement of diaper changing stations start with us. We draw them in schematic plans, produce construction specifications and review the shop drawings. There are many things architects design because is just plain common sense, not because it is code-mandated. Perhaps changing stations are not required in your area or by the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction). But if a women's restroom (or toilet for the building code fans) includes a diaper changing station, then the men's restroom should have one too. This common sense logic seems to be a bigger issue in private facilities (ie: offices), as opposed to facilities open to the public (ie: airports, stadiums and alike). 

It is much easier to start adding it on paper rather than after construction is completed. Additional blocking between studs may be needed, or stall areas may be restricting. I know you can draw it. Men also need a safe, sanitary and convenient way to change diapers. 

Times change. Men want to change diapers too.

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