Activities and Relationships

This section is the crux of the design program. Focus on the various activities that will take place in the bathroom and what is needed in the design to support them. You may want to group ac­tivities together into centers. For example, teeth-brushing, hair-combing, and face-washing all have similar requirements and could be grouped together as part of the grooming center. Form 3: Checklist for Bathroom Activities and Form 4: Bathroom Storage Inventory are designed in sections by centers so that you can collect activity and storage information in an organized fashion.

Since the focus is on the activities taking place in the space, the emphasis is on who is doing what. Organize the activity information into a user analysis chart. (See Table 10.1 for a sample user analysis chart.) You might want to prepare a user analysis for each center in the bathroom or group of related activities. The user analysis can include the following information:

• Activities that take place in the space

• Who will be doing the activities; the users

• Frequency of activities

• Fixtures, fittings, furnishings, accessories, and any other physical items needed to support the activities, including special sizes or characteristics

• Storage to support the activities

• Amount of space for the activities including clearances, and relationships to other spaces

• Ambience requirements

• Special requirements, such as safety features

• Future changes to be accommodated

• Summary of Planning Guidelines or Access Standards relevant to the activities and requirements of the client and their bathroom

Preparing the user analysis as a chart or table helps to organize the information into an easily referenced format to which you can refer during the development of your design. Using a spread­sheet program or the table function in a word-processing program on your computer makes it easy to prepare a user analysis. However, it is a good idea to leave some open space for extra notes if changes are needed.

As you develop your user analysis, you will be relying on the client interview and needs assessment to determine what activities will take place in the bathroom. Using the prepared assessment forms can help assure that all activities are considered. However, you will want to review your user analysis to make sure that it is inclusive.

Some activities are so common and routine that we might not think about them. For example, your clients might tell you that they brush their teeth at the lavatory (affecting height of lavatory, and

TABLE 10.1 Sample User Analysis Chart*





Fixtures, Fittings, Furniture, etc.


Space and Relationships







Shower area— full-body shower:

Wash hair; Shave legs




Tile shower, 48 "by 48" (1219 by 1219 mm) preferred;

42" by 42"

(1067 by 1067 mm); minimum:

Adjustable height showerhead;

Interior seat

Interior shelf for toiletries;

Towel rack adjacent

30" (762 mm) clear space for access and door swing;

6" (152 mm) wet wall;

Adjacent to bathtub to share wet wall

Adjustable light level; Ventilation fan





Planning Guidelines 4, 9, 10, 11 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 26

*This will be used in the visual diagram shown in Figure 10,5 for clients Adia and Leroy,

storage for toothbrush and toothpaste), but assume you know that means they also rinse their mouth with water, and then use mouthwash (requiring storage for a drinking glass and the mouthwash).

As you develop the user analysis, it is a good time to review the Bathroom Planning Guidelines and Access Standards that apply to the space you are designing. You can note the number of the Guidelines, as in our example, or note detail, such as "pressure-balanced shower control." This also creates opportunities to determine if the design will meet both current and future accessibility needs of the client.

Reviewing the user analysis also gives you an opportunity to consider other aspects of the design that were not initially identified by the client. For example, for the shower area described in Table 10.1, Adia and Leroy (the clients) may not have considered water conservation. You, the designer, could then recommend WaterSense® showerheads (see chapter 3, "Environmental and Sustainability Considerations," for more information).

Relationship or Adjacency Matrix

The detail you include in your user analysis will depend on the complexity of the project. For a larger project, especially if it involves multiple spaces, you may want to use a relationship or adja­cency matrix (Table 10.2). A relationship or adjacency matrix is a graphic method of organizing the

Table 10.2 This is an example of a matrix showing visual access. Similar matrices could be developed for physical access or auditory access. This matrix was used in developing the visual diagram shown in Figure 10.5.
















1, Direct visual access acceptable

2, Partial or indirect visual access acceptable

3, No visual access

To read the matrix: you read down a column and across a row from the right to the cell where the column and row meet, For example, the yellow highlighted cell is in the shower column and the lavatory row, There is a number 2 in the cell, That tells us that partial or indirect visual access is acceptable, However, if we look at the pink highlighted cell, in the shower column and the bedroom row, we see that there is a 3, which means that there should be no visual access,

relationships of multiple spaces. The matrix can help you more easily see the types of relationships among activity spaces, and assist in determining how you will group and separate activities into different centers and spaces.


Updated: October 12, 2015 — 3:37 pm