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When taking a tour of a city people tend to be drawn to places of interest, art, museums and great restaurants, but what about fabulous bathrooms?

During lockdown, Unidrain did a virtual tour of the homeland and found HighLine Custom drains are specified not only in the most prestigious hotels and spas, but the quaint, quirky, unique and interesting places too. Although there are many to choose from, Unidrain has selected three of its favourite projects.

Fjordgaarden

Pictured top – this recently refurbished hotel with its Nordic-inspired spa features 90 High Line Custom drains, yet so uniquely have they been incorporated into the design they blend perfectly into the overall décor and style of the room. With its huge windows, wood panelling, sand and lyme grass; the space manages to feel open yet inviting at the same time.

The Audo

It’s all about perspective. this century-old, large, bold red building sitting on corner was turned into an amazing creative space. It is now a contemporary head office, showroom, restaurant and boutique hotel with a small number of individually and uniquely designed rooms; where the bathrooms feature HighLine Custom drains.

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

All hotels cover the practical requirements but the best do so with efficiency, then add personal touches and elegant style. Nowhere is this more apparent than in a hotel bathroom. The secret is in the choice of materials and tailor-made solutions, and 100 of the bathrooms in the Nobis Hotel show that Unidrain must be one of their ‘secret’ ingredients. The shower cubicles are enclosed by a sleek sheet of glass with an oversized waterfall shower head.

UK and European shower manufacturer Roman has joined the United Nations Global Compact network.

The UNGC aims to generate a positive social impact as a business. There are four core pillars within the main activity of the UNGC – the Environment; Human Rights; Labour; and Anti-Corruption – and also broader sociable aims such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Roman is committed to using recycled materials in the production process – and to ensure that all parts of all products can be recycled and reused back at their original value at their end of life. Roman is currently in a Carbon Neutral process and there are many other initiatives active within the business relating to sustainability.

The UNGC has well-established lines of communication with key UK government departments to help evolve the responsible business environment. Within the four pillars of the UNGC sit ten fundamental principles for ethical business. These are enshrined within the conduct of the members. These principles firmly reinforce the policies and direction of Roman and the international links of the UNGC that are driving these principles across the business world.

David Osborne, CEO of Roman, commented: “We are delighted to join the UN Global Compact and to help drive the business case of their Sustainable Development Goals across our sector and to help partners embed them within their business processes and culture. This is a truly global initiative and one which we are honoured to be a part of.”

GROHE is participating in London’s first-ever Planted event taking place at London King’s Cross this weekend.

Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA and responsible for the GROHE brand is guest panellist on headline talk on ‘Age of Waste’.

The three-day event – which started on 23rd September – seeks to reconnect people and spaces with nature, and ignite positive change in behaviours across the design industry.

As a sustainably driven brand leading the way in the production of eco-conscious bathroom and kitchen fittings, GROHE will participate in Planted’s debut live talks series, ‘Planted Unearthed’, set to highlight the challenges facing the design industry and explore the ways in which people, communities, cities, and buildings must adapt and evolve.

Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA which includes the GROHE brand, will discuss these issues in the ‘Age of Waste’ talk chaired by Sam Peters, addressing the increasingly critical waste crisis and the shift towards circularity.

Ebru Bircan, GROHE Leader Marketing Activation UK, LIXIL, comments, “At GROHE, we are passionate about leading the bathroom and kitchen industry in transformative change to protect our planet. We are pleased that the topic of sustainability is pushing further up the agenda. Our attitudes to the way we live, work, and relax has changed dramatically in 18 months alongside how we view sustainability and climate issues such as waste. We look forward to engaging in a dialogue with other industry leaders at Planted to dissect our volution to a circular economy.”

Ideal Standard’s Together World Tour has landed in London to premier Tipo-Z, the flagship piece from Atelier. The digital event follows on from the Milan and Berlin tours which saw the launch of Linda-X and Extra ranges from its new Atelier Collections.

The collections are the result of the partnership with Italian design studio Palomba Serafini Associati (PS+A) and its co-founder Roberto Palomba, who is also Ideal Standard’s chief design officer.

The event was the first in the series to be premiered at a physical event, the Design London exhibition, as well as being streamed live from the Together World Tour microsite.

At the session, Jan Peter Tewes, CEO of Ideal Standard International, shared the future strategic vision of the company and explored the icons that have shaped and influenced the creation of the Atelier Collections.

Commenting on the event, Jan Peter Tewes, Joint CEO of Ideal Standard International, said:

“For centuries, the rich diversity of London has allowed it to lead the world in design, art, music and more. The mix of its boroughs and cultures helps create the energy that London is known for, and is something we were intrigued to delve into a little deeper. It was great to be joined by the international design community online, as well as by those attending Design London in person, to explore how that distinct London attitude has contributed to the launch of Tipo Z.”

A Flagship Icon from Atelier: Tipo-Z

Tipo Z is the centrepiece of the Atelier Collections and a modern reimaging of the Gio Ponti’s timeless Zeta basin, created by the Italian architect and designer in 1954. Approaching design as a timeless concept is a key notion at the heart of Atelier and Tipo-Z, which harness the past, present and future for inspiration.

Roberto Palomba, co-founder of PS+A and chief design officer at Ideal Standard, said:

“Tipo-Z is a natural evolution of Gio Ponti’s original Zeta basin, drawing inspiration from modern life, the diversity and viewpoint of varying cultures, and Ideal Standard’s rich design heritage to create a unique piece for the present-day bathroom.

“Tipo-Z has been sculpted into an architectural, monolithic silhouette, expressing elegance and allowing it to become the shining star of the bathroom. We believe in designing pieces that push the boundaries of what’s come before and challenge what we know about bathroom design. By capturing the elegant, iconic elements that Zeta expressed, we have reinvented its shape and used new technologies and materials to create a striking, lightweight single cast basin.”

The next event on the Together World Tour will take place in Paris, with the final two events in Dubai and Shanghai.

To register for these events, view previous ones and access exclusive additional content, visit www.togetherworldtour.com.

Luce, the translucent porcelain surface from RAK Ceramics, has won Best Innovation at the TTA Awards 2021.

At a gala awards ceremony held at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel, the TTA Award is one of the first events of its kind to make a welcome return since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ben Bryden, Sales and Marketing Director at RAK Ceramics UK was in attendance to collect the award. He said: “It is a privilege to accept the Best Innovation Award. Luce really does amaze, both aesthetically and practically which is why it is such a popular choice among designers and award-winning too!”

According to RAK Luce looks simply stunning when used over large areas, thanks to its maximus slab format, that removes the need for grout lines and creates a seamless impression. Luce shifts up a gear even further when enhanced with backlighting technology.

Turning public spaces such as hotel reception, bars and restaurants into ambient, style led areas, Luce is also highly practical, with the surface boasting all the advantages of porcelain.

Luce TTA Award

Celebrating the very best in the wall and floor tile industry and with the final shortlist voted for by industry members, retailers and customers, the TTA Awards are an outstanding symbol of excellence, winning the Best Innovation category with Luce is an important moment for the manufacturer, which was also a finalist in two other categories this year.


New analysis from the field service management software for the trades, Powered Now, has revealed that the home improvement boom experienced during lockdown has seen sales for SMEs in construction during 2021 increase by 35%, compared to those in 2020.

Figures from almost a quarter of a million invoices recorded by 915 trade SMEs has shown that the average invoice value in 2021 is 6% higher than those recorded in 2020, with sales for the first 8 months of 2021 amounting £111 million, compared to the £82 million recorded for the same period last year.

What is particularly intriguing from the data is the continual increase of the average value for invoices throughout 2021. Originally prescribed to the national lockdowns witnessed in the Spring of 2020 and Winter of 2021, the explosion of home improvements have continued to become more valuable throughout the summer months. Usually a quieter period for the trades, the significance of this increase is further emphasised by the growth that has continued past ‘Freedom Day’, with the average value of an invoice amounting to £1,233, reaching total monthly sales of £15.1 million, making August near the highest month for deal flow in 2021, second only to March.

Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now, discusses the golden year of record revenue experienced by tradespeople.

“Since the reopening of the construction sector after the very first lockdown in 2020, there has been an unprecedented boom period. Sales in 2020 surpassed those in 2019, which was totally unexpected as we learnt how to deal with the pandemic.

“2021 by all accounts has taken us all by surprise even further. Starting the year with an equally restrictive lockdown didn’t dent the appetite of the British public for home improvements, and even the very well documented shortages of labour and materials couldn’t deter Brits from going on a renovation bonanza.

“The knock-on effect of this golden year for tradespeople has meant that the trade has become a hugely popular sector for job seekers, and we’re seeing training courses becoming over-subscribed as education centres are inundated with new apprentices.”

 

kbb merchant service provider Simon Acres Group Ltd (SAGL) has been shortlisted by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) for a Workplace Initiative Award Sponsored by Fleet Evolution.

This award is one of four inaugural awards launched by the BMA to acknowledge those members that are making environmental progress, and can demonstrate the commitment they are making to sustainability. The Workplace Initiative Award recognises initiatives that have been implemented by staff to support the companies green agenda and have a positive environmental impact.

The SAGL submission for the Workplace Initiative Award details a new cycle to work scheme for its staff that encourages and supports those that wish to cycle to work.  Eight of the 20 staff have signed up for the scheme which will reduce their travel carbon footprint by 40%. 

Director of Services Jordan Burns says, “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this exciting new award and proud to be playing our part to reduce our collective carbon footprint.”

The myth that housing developers are hoarding land after gaining planning consent in order to benefit from a rising market has been debunked in new research by leading planning consultancy Lichfields.

Lichfields was commissioned by the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to undertake research into how the pipeline of sites for housing development compares with what might be needed to meet the government’s ambitions for 300,000 net additional homes per annum across England.

The report – Tracking Progress, the second stage of Lichfields’ research – provides a ‘deep dive’ review of monitoring data to establish what happened to the planning permissions granted in a single base year across five case study local planning authorities (LPAs) over a five-year period.

Central Bedfordshire, London Borough of Wandsworth, Cheshire East, Colchester, and Stratford-on-Avon LPAs were chosen to provide a geographical spread and mix of types of authority area.

The report states: “None of our analysis suggests (at least outside of London) any systemic failure in converting planning permissions to development by the industry.

“The planning and development process is complicated and with risk, the mismatch between planning permissions granted and housing output on a yearly basis is readily explained by the simple matter of the time it takes to progress development through the regulatory stages, the risks associated with small site delivery (and by smaller builders), the overall phasing of build-out on larger sites, and the role of the planning system (via new planning permissions) in facilitating changes to planned development schemes to reflect practical requirements.” 

Paul Brocklehurst, chairman of the LPDF, said: “This research highlights the gross over-simplification in the analysis by the Local Government Association frequently quoted in the national press and by many politicians regarding the ‘stock’ of unimplemented consents. Building on Lichfields initial Taking Stock report this latest analysis further highlights the desperate need for there to be an increase in planning consents in the short term if we are to achieve the Government’s target of building 300,000 new homes per annum.   

“The Government’s Planning White Paper process has exacerbated the impact of the pandemic. Urgent action is needed to ensure that the housebuilding industry, on top of the labour and supply chain challenges that they face, is not confronted in the near term with an inability to restock its land.  

“We fully appreciate that the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will want to carefully review the responses to last year’s Planning White Paper proposals before making critical policy decisions. However, we would call on Government to clarify the changes they propose to make to the current planning system quickly, so that local authorities can return to producing their Local Plans, land can be allocated for much-needed housing and the development industry can continue to deliver on the Government’s 300,000 per year new homes target.”

Tracking Progress adds: “The past 10 years has seen periodic commentary about how the number of planning permissions for housing has exceeded the number of homes built.

“Often drawing upon an annual research piece by the Local Government Association (LGA), the most recent being in May 2021 which purported to show 1.1m homes with unimplemented permission, the commentary has been associated with the allegation that developers ‘hoard’ land with the intention of benefitting from a rising market, generating a ‘backlog’ of permissions waiting to be built.

“This argument leads to the hypothesis that sufficient permissions exist for all the homes that are needed nationally, but that these are simply not being built out and that ‘planning is not the problem’.

“We explored the national and sub-national picture in the first phase of this research entitled Taking Stock. This highlighted logical fallacies involved in the LGA’s method of comparing national permissions and net additions data over the same period, most notably because it double counts schemes that are subject to multiple planning permissions. These fatally undermine the credibility of the 1.1m figure, the robustness of which is not enhanced by its repetition.

Andrew Whitaker, planning director at the HBF said: “This myth that housebuilders land bank has been dismissed by a growing number of independent reviews. As this latest research demonstrates, aggregating numbers of outstanding planning permissions misses the ‘story’ behind each and every site that comes forward for development.”

The report adds: “When local residents and councillors refer to permissions that have not yet delivered, they are, in many cases, simply observing a lag period for delivery on outline schemes that is entirely to be expected. Even with that, most such schemes deliver early, with the majority of outline permissions in the research either completed or delivering – and a third of the homes on those outline planning permissions completed – within five years.”

Adopting a very broad-brush approach, and informed by the case studies (as opposed to profiling of all permissions in the country), we conclude that when looking at the number of units granted any type of permission (both full and outline) in a given year, after five years one might expect roughly:

•             3% to 5% of homes granted permission will lapse or stall;

•             10% to 15% of homes granted permission will be superseded at a later date by fresh permission (and not necessarily harming the pace of delivery);

•             35% to 50% of homes granted permission will have been delivered;

•             35% to 50% of homes granted permission will remain extant but on sites delivering on a phased basis beyond five years.

Cumbrian shower products manufacturer, KUDOS, has opened a new 60,000 sq ft warehouse in Sandbach, Cheshire, to house its finished goods stock in a more central location for efficient UK delivery to its retail customers.

The move was part of a larger £650,000 investment creating space at their Cumbrian factory for increased production and has seen logistics and marketing staff take residence in this new facility.

The warehouse also houses a 2,500 sq ft showroom and training facility where all the businesses latest product collections are on display including their shower doors, walk in enclosures, shower trays and wetroom systems.

It’s a facility that they are encouraging their retailers to use to show end consumer customers certain products or to book product training for new staff.  It also enables the Kudos Retail Support Managers, who offer technical support, to carry out installation demonstrations too.

Nick Graville, Sales & Marketing Director at Kudos said: “We’ve always had a showroom on site in our factory near Kendal for local retailers to use and this new showroom in Sandbach offers more retailers that support. We’d like our customers to treat these areas as an extension of their own showrooms, perhaps to show consumers a product they don’t have on display. They just have to let us know and we will facilitate the visit for them.”

Kudos Shower Products Ltd has been designing and manufacturing shower products in the UK since 1999. 

Visit their website kudosshowers.co.uk, call them on 01539 564040 or email info@kudosshowers.co.uk

Kudos Warehouse

More news from Kudos

REHAU has upgraded its smart temperature control system – the NEA Smart 2.0. Suitable for new build and retrofitting for up to 60 rooms, the NEA SMART 2.0 uses an intelligent algorithm to regulate temperature and improve efficiency. The latest upgrades help contractors and developers deliver efficiency on each project.

The latest research predicts the smart home sector will grow by 15.06% each year to a projected market volume of £9.249bn by 2025. This new upgrade from Rehau – a polymer specialist – caters for the boom across residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings,

Data learnt from occupant habits means the system reaches the desired end-user temperature without excessive energy use. In short, it uses an intelligent algorithm to regulate temperature and improve efficiency.

As building use and occupant habits change over time, the device also gives flexibility and adaptability to contractors and consultants so developments are futureproofed while the smart home market grows.

As Franz Huelle, Head of Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, explains.

“As we see offices and shops being converted into homes and flexible working spaces, the way we use buildings is changing more than ever, and with that so are occupant temperature requirements.

“In the wake of sustainability and renewable energy targets and changes in legislation, futureproofing buildings in terms of efficiency and environmental credentials must be prioritised no matter the building type.

“With the latest upgrades to NEA SMART 2.0, we are looking to assist contractors and consultants with ensuring all buildings meet efficiency requirements no matter the use, while satisfying the growing demand for smart controls long into the future.”

To further help with efficiency demand, an optimised start feature has now been integrated. This begins to heat or cool ahead of the programmed time to reach the desired temperature in a controlled way to make sure the space is comfortable for occupants at the right time without excessive energy usage. A manual and automatic boost function is also available should the desired temperature need to be reached sooner.

Franz added: “Energy efficiency and driving down running costs are key requirements of all end users, residential or commercial, and developments in government legislation is only going to increase this priority. Consultants and contractors are now required to deliver buildings that facilitate this need for efficiency and sustainability long into the future.

“These upgrades will hopefully provide them with an easy to install and flexible system that lowers energy costs in a variety of building types. The smart home market is constantly growing, and we are optimistic that with these additional features, the NEA SMART 2.0 will continue to satisfy growing demand for this technology long into the future.”

For more information about the NEA SMART 2.0 smart control solution, please visit www.rehau.uk/neasmart