While locations for mixing stations may be limited in existing buildings, end users have more leeway when it comes to new construction.

“With new construction, people are more aware of housekeeping’s needs, and they do design that in as a strategy,” says Engoren. “They’ll have a mop closet on the fifth floor that has water, and the room is 4-by-6 feet so the janitor can get in there and store a vacuum and mop bucket, etc.”

According to Bergholtz, facility managers are more likely to get the type of room they need to house a chemical proportioner if they’re involved in planning from the start.

“With new construction, it’s not the priority of architects to take care of custodians,” says Engoren. “But most of the time when a town puts up a new building or school, the head facility manager is involved in the meetings, and that’s one of the first things they ask for: ample storage space and a janitor’s closet on each floor, ideally with a floor drain.”

St. Lawrence is noticing a trend toward centralized mixing stations in new construction.

“We’re seeing a lot of people changing the way they want the equipment installed and used,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of central systems, particularly in food plants, where they deliver all the chemistry from a centralized location to all the facilities in the area, and they proportion it in the backroom so they don’t have the chemistry on the floor in the different locations of the plant.”

Currently, St. Lawrence has three customers — two dairies and a specialty food manufacturer — building new facilities, and all of them have chosen to build a central mixing location. Safety and efficiency are often key drivers for centralized mixing stations, he adds.

“Inspectors have concerns about drums and buckets of chemicals sitting on the floors or on racks near openings and where people are operating forklifts,” he says.
With a centralized mixing station, customers have better control over how and where chemicals are stored and distributed.

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Chemicals To-go: Using Preportioned Packets