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  • Writer's pictureBenny Kuriakose

Planning and Designing of Service Blocks in a School

Service rooms are an absolute necessity in any building. When designing and planning such rooms, it is important to understand the type and number of occupants in the built space. As far as designing a school is concerned, it involves people of various ages and from different backgrounds.

A school may have provisions to provide other basic services offered for the benefit of students and teachers at the school. Parking and toilet facilities are a few of the services provided. Considering the toilet facilities, both girls and boys have different requirements. In the case of parking facilities, vehicular access from bicycles to buses must be considered. This blog looks at how to design and plan such service rooms.

List of Contents

Site Layout Showing Various Service Sectors

Toilet Facilities

Providing toilet facilities for maintaining a clean and healthy lifestyle is important. Children learn from this lifestyle practised in schools. As much as possible, the construction of separate toilet blocks on campus can be avoided. The facilities can be provided within each block of the school. If the space does not permit, or in the case of an existing heritage building, building new blocks for toilet facilities may be considered. Separate facilities for girls and boys shall be provided. It can be kept in mind that the facilities are not provided in dark and dingy corners of the site, considering the safety of the children.

Toilet Facility Within the Classroom Block

The facilities can be provided:

  • Within the block, or on each floor of a building. This method is preferred in schools.

  • At a convenient distance within the campus, if being constructed as a separate block.

Converting verandahs or classrooms of existing buildings into toilet blocks or adding toilets on the first floor of a heritage building is not recommended, as the timber used in these buildings may get rotten. If it is being constructed as a separate block, a shaded pathway can be provided to access the toilet block.

Addition of Toilets in the Verandah of Old Buildings Will Lead to the Damage of Buildings

The National Building Code of India specifies the facilities to be provided according to the number of students in the school.

The Table Shows the Number of Sanitary Fittings to Be Provided in Schools

Toilet cubicles in Sankalp School

Wash Basin Heights

The standards for each student age group vary according to the physique of the child.

Different Wash Basin Fitting Heights for Various Age Groups

Wash basins need to be fitted at different heights according to the age of the child.

A Table Showing the Heights of the Washbasin Fitting, for Different Age Groups

Toilets need to be cleaned and maintained in schools to look after the students' health and hygiene. Indian-type water closets might be more hygienic and easier to maintain. The differences between Indian and Western toilets are given to compare the use and efficiency of the toilets.

The Table Shows a Comparison Between Indian and Western Toilets for Use in Schools

Closet Fitting

The standards for providing western toilets in schools at the appropriate toilet seat height for different age groups are to be considered. The height is measured from the finished floor level to the height of the fixture.

Toilet Seat Height for Different Age Groups

Illustration Showing Different Toilet Seat Heights for Different Age Groups

Standards for Providing Urinals for the Boy’s Toilet

Urinal Fixture Height Details for Different Age Groups

Urinals at different heights in  Harishree Vidyalaya
Urinals at different heights in Harishree Vidyalaya

Sample Drawing - 1

Sample Drawing - 2

Sample Drawing - 3

Sample Drawing - 4

In the case of a western toilet, there are two types, namely, wall-mounted and floor-mounted toilets. Wall-mounted toilet seats are preferred as they can be fixed at any height, whereas floor-mounted toilets of different sizes are not available in India.

Difference Between Wall Mounted and Floor Mounted Toilets

Parking Facilities

Parking facilities for teachers, students, and other staff members of the school need to be provided. Provision of more cycle parking facilities may encourage students and teachers to commute by cycle rather than two or four-wheelers. Students are also encouraged to use public transportation.

Parking Facility for Bicycles

The vehicular movement can be restricted to the entrance of the school campus, providing vehicle-free zones for the children. The average parking area for bicycles, bikes, cars, and school buses recommended by the Bureau of Indian Standards is given. This area calculation includes circulation spaces between vehicles and road width.

Area Required for Each Vehicle

Parking Layout Which Includes Circulation Space and Sufficient Road Width

The most efficient parking layout is the 90-degree layout, as it uses the least amount of space because the angle is reduced, though greater turning effort is required to park at 90 degrees.

Illustration Showing a Parallel Bus Parking System with Minimum Standard Dimensions

A bus parking stall uses a 10000 x 2400 mm area. The turning radius to be provided for a bus is:

  • Inner radius: 5300 mm

  • Outer radius: 12500 mm

A two-way bus driveway can have an approximate road width of 8000 mm.

The Inner and Outer Turning Radius for a Bus Is Shown with the Required Dimensions

The Inner and Outer Turning Radius for a Car Is Shown with Minimum Dimensions

One car parking space can be provided for every 300 square metres of built-up area in schools. A minimum of 25% of this parking space must be provided for two-wheeler and scooter parking; however, this number can be higher in the case of schools. The parking space can preferably be provided with a covered roof due to the high amount of rainfall observed in Kerala.

Angular and Perpendicular Parking Layout

The car parking space to be provided with respect to the Kerala Municipality Building Regulations is about 5500 x 2700 mm. The minimum stall to be provided is 5000 x 2400 mm. The driveway or aisle space to be provided for a 90-degree parking bay is about 6000 mm for a two-way bay and 3000 mm for a one-way bay. The turning radius provided for a car or minivan can be about 3500 mm for the inner radius and 6000 mm for the outer radius.

Parking for Visitors Outside the Compound

If space allows, the visitor’s car parking can be provided inside the campus with restricted movement, while in the case of restricted land areas, the visitors can park their vehicles outside the compound.


A building without services is incomplete. Providing a space for the head, hands, and heart of the child while completely neglecting the basic amenities like toilets is a major failure in design. Every design must follow their respective state’s building code, which, irrespective of the place, states providing toilets and other facilities. However, designing purely to satisfy the building code will not suffice, as these are basic requirements. As designers and architects, we must understand the occupancy and build beyond the basic services to make the space as comfortable as possible.

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