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Whilst the world has been focussed on the COVID pandemic, another equally concerning pandemic affecting the health of our planet has been bought to the fore. A new report by E.ON shows that today’s consumers are now more than ever aware of their environmental footprint and are actively seeking sustainable products for the home.

The good green consumer

More than a third of Brits surveyed said they had made a shift in their buying habits to actively source products from businesses with eco credentials with a further four in five (80%) planning to purchase goods and services from businesses they know have made a concerted effort to be environmentally friendly.

Sven Rensinghoff, Head of Marketing & Product Management for Bette agrees “The pandemic has resulted in many of us thinking more about our lives and what is important, and this has had an impact on how we think about the products we buy. There seems to be a desire to buy better and to buy in a more considered way. How a product is made and used, and the resources used to make it are an important part of that story.”

Bette produces glazed titanium-steel baths, shower trays and washbasins that combine high-end design with robust eco-credentials, the company also strives to improve its sustainability every year through a host of initiatives that cover everything from the energy it uses, to the packaging that protects its products. 

Bette Undermount loft Washbasin
Bette Loft Undermount Basin

Green promises

As businesses respond to growing consumer demand, more than half of business decision-makers said a ‘green recovery’ should be a priority as the nation rebuilds with 72% of businesses saying the pandemic has made them reconsider their environmental credentials. However, as the eco battleground becomes more competitive, greenwashing is, without a doubt on the rise. For the consumer, it can be difficult to evaluate the true eco-friendly credentials of your next purchase. “We need a shared understanding of what sustainable building means. It has to be measurable, applicable and comparable.” says Franz Kaldewei. 

Somewhat a pioneer of long-lasting and recyclable bathroom products, Kaldewei works with various partners and architect networks to raise awareness of sustainable building among professionals and private builders. Its commitment to the environment and sustainability doesn’t end with the finished product it goes much further, they are involved in numerous collaborations, including the long-term partnership with an environmental conservation organisation, the WWF. 

Ming Washbasin

Waterways

Water conservation is also a key factor when it comes to sustainable design, not only for house-builders and architects but increasingly for consumers. Paul Bailey, Leader, Category Specialist UK, LIXIL EMENA, responsible for GROHE bathroom product category in the UK explains “As a nation, we are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact we are having on the planet and sustainability will therefore continue to be a key trend for homeowners.

“Ignited by the introduction of smart water meters, we are more aware of our water consumption than ever before, which is in turn leading to more informed purchasing behaviour which will extend to the foreseeable future and well beyond.”

Technological advances are making it easier for homeowners to integrate sustainable fittings and practices into their everyday lives, catering to the rising demand for an eco-conscious lifestyle.

Pictured below: GROHE’s EcoJoy™ products are systematically designed to save water and energy.

GROHE Tempesta Sustainable Design
GROHE Tempesta 250 Cube head shower

All that glitters is green

There is no reason why sustainable design means we should compromise on style, one example is VitrA’s Suit U design – it comes with an integrated water aerator: a small attachment that sits on the end of the tap. The aerator adds streams of air into the water flow so less water is used in the same amount of time, a simple way to take control over water usage.

VitrA is also committed to reducing the use of non-renewable resources in manufacturing, all VitrA products are made in line with the Blue Life philosophy, set to the highest sustainable standards. VitrA’s portfolio includes a variety of stylish innovative water-saving designs for taps, WC’s baths and showers.

Picture credit: Ming Washbasin (middle) photography by Bryan Adams

Sustainable Design Feature by Diane Larner

All GROHE EcoJoy™ products are systematically designed to save water and energy so that precious resources are conserved. These products, equipped with water-saving technologies, offer the perfect water experience without the need to compromise. Reducing water and energy consumption goes hand in hand with convenience and attractive design. Less water, perfect flow.

GROH Tempesta Shower set
GROHE Tempesta 250 shower set (Cube design) with thermostat for wall mounting

Designed to be wall-mounted, this exposed shower system features a Tempesta 250 Cube head shower, a Tempesta Cosmopolitan 100 hand shower, thermostat, shower rail with 390mm swivable shower arm and gliding element to adjust the hand shower, plus a 1750mm Rotaflex Twistfree hose.

At 250mm the head shower creates a generous showering area and has an appealing slim profile. The spray pattern is the gentle, refreshing Rain Spray. There are 2 spray patterns to choose from on the 100mm hand shower – the soft Rain and the powerful, targeted Jet Spray. Both showers feature water-saving GROHE EcoJoy – limiting flow to 9.5l/min on the head shower and 5.7l/min on the hand shower – for reduced water consumption but the same great performance.

The shower system delivers water at a constant temperature with no nasty surprises, thanks to GROHE’s TurboStat technology makes sure that the water is a constant temperature with no unpleasant fluctuations. The GROHE SafeStop override button is set at 38°C to prevent scalding and keep the whole family protected. And the GROHE SafeStop Plus temperature limiter can be set to limit to 43°C for an extra level of safety. Switch between head and hand shower and adjust the volume, all via one handle, with the AquaDimmer function. 

www.grohe.co.uk

More news from GROHE

The new digitally advanced GROHE Plus basin taps offer users the possibility to accurately control the water temperature and includes a visual colour marker to encourage users to avoid wasting energy.

Using the principle of “nudging”, a concept from behavioural economics, users are made aware when hot water is flowing unnecessarily which in turn encourages users to avoid wasting energy. This design approach promotes responsible use of the valuable resource of water and saves energy at the same time.

The eco-friendly functionality of GROHE Plus is reinforced by its accessible Eco Spray setting. To switch from the standard spray to the more refined Eco Spray of just four litres per minute users can simply swipe their hand over the lit icon on top of the spout to activate the sensor-controlled system which will change the water flow. The GROHE Plus collection also skillfully combines round and square elements, this makes the range a real statement for every modern bathroom, both in terms of sustainability and design.

Progressive design for elegant features in the bathroom
The dynamic design language of GROHE Plus is inspired by the arc, which symbolises both strength and lightness. Combining circular shapes with the crisp, clean lines of a cube, GROHE Plus creates an exciting architectural silhouette. At the same time, the design supports ergonomic comfort and invites interaction. The 90-degree swivel spout also increases the user-friendliness and caters for a variety of different interactions and uses.

The combination of cubic and organic shapes not only distinguishes GROHE Plus aesthetically but also makes the tap collection the perfect counterpart to both square and round ceramic lines such as GROHE Essence or GROHE Cube – all according to personal interior design style. To complete the harmonious overall look of the bathroom, the two-tone surface of GROHE Plus’ LED display made of chrome and high-quality acrylic glass in MoonWhite can also be found in several of GROHE’s shower collections too, such as the GROHE SmartControl thermostat and GROHE Rainshower SmartActive head showers.

In addition to the new digitally-enhanced models, the GROHE Plus collection includes a wide range of classic single-lever mixers in different sizes and with additional functions such as a pull-out spout, wall-mounted 2-hole basin mixers, taps for shower and bathtub, and a visually striking freestanding bathtub option. For even greater design freedom that meets the growing demand for personalised style in the bathroom, GROHE Plus is available in Chrome, SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite finishes, the latter of which is accompanied by a black LED display.

RRP from £699.00

Learn more about GROHE’s sustainable technologies by visiting GROHE X.

The Cascade, Smart Lime Clean (SLC), retrofit tap aerator from Neoperl has been created to ensure a long-lasting quality flow stream, whilst protecting the tap from limescale build-up.

The Cascade SLC is available in many sizes to suit most basin, bath and kitchen taps. It is a low-cost, precision-made device that fits into the end of a tap and can be easily retrofitted. Most taps today come with some form of stream control that after use gathers calcium deposits restricting the flow of water. The beauty of the Cascade SLC is that it does not need to be removed for cleaning, the limescale can simply be rubbed away with a finger ensuring the tap stream remains straight and soft.

Cascade Neoperl

It is available in various flow rates and can be purchased with an integral flow control too with pressure compensating (PC) technology, helping to reduce the amount of water used. It can deliver either an aerated or laminar flow stream, the latter being a requirement for some commercial environments. Cascade can also be purchased with an adjustable stream angle (SSR) which allows the tilting plate at the spout to be angled between 6-10 degrees. Cascade is a really affordable, easy to retrofit solution, that saves water too.

For more information visit www.neoperl.net

More news from Neoperl

The Ritmonio DOT316 round taps range is manufactured from AISI 316L stainless steel, delivering both functionality and aesthetics for hospitality venues.

DOT316 Round takes its name from the perfect and harmonious geometries of the archetypal circle shape, which in this new version is reflected in both the body and the spout of the tap, for a simply sophisticated bathroom. A great alternative to the straight lines of DOT316, DOT316 offers a new option for those who love more delicate and sinuous lines.

DOT316 Round features ‘rotative’ controls that enhance this design that is so distinctive of the collection. The collection also maintains water-saving features, to meet the needs of all users.

Available in brushed black and brushed champagne stainless steel, DOT316 Round offers a touch of modernity and greater freedom when planning and designing.

A new balance between shape and functionality, DOT316 responds to new interior design trends.

Technical Features:

This series is among Ritmonio’s products with water-saving features, characterized by the ECO water flow – delivering less than 9 l/m – it is designed to encourage consumers to use environmental resources responsibly.

DOT316 Round Taps

www.ritmonio.it

About Ritmonio

Ritmonio has manufactured safety valves and brass, copper, aluminium and stainless steel components for 70 yrs. In addition, the Bath and Shower Division produces designer taps and fittings for bathrooms. By combining fine craftsmanship, design and production skills, Ritmonio creates exclusive and authentic Made in Italy products that are functional yet stylish and eco-friendly.

VASCO is expanding its range of electric heating solutions, to include an updated Wi-Fi-controlled electric radiator, the Niva, together with a hybrid version of the designer radiator the Niva Mix.

Electric radiators are the perfect partner for new ‘green’ builds and renovations; especially when
combined with the installation of ground source heat pumps or solar panels.

The newly upgraded Niva range of electric radiators are easily controlled you can choose from a radio frequency version, which is not connected to your home internet and comes with a compliant thermostat as standard.

The electric radiator also has a VASCO Climate Control app (you will need the E-Volve Wi-Fi control version), this and the control unit can be ordered separately. The compact Wi-Fi module uses Bluetooth to communicate with a small temperature sensor located in the same room as the radiator. A third version, which allows you to control the radiator with your home automation system, is also available.

The Niva is a dry thermal panel electric radiator and does not contain any water; it heats up very quickly as it uses VASCO’s new infrared technology to generate a comfortable, radiant heat.

The upgraded electric Niva allows you to control and limit the radiator’s surface temperature, which is an extremely practical feature in rooms where safety is paramount, such as nurseries, it is far lighter than a water-filled radiator making it much easier to install based on a plug-and-play principle.

Niva Mix: hybrid radiator available in 2 sizes
The VASCO Niva Mix is an exciting new hybrid radiator. It is an ideal solution as it offers two options: it can be connected to a hydronic central heating system or run on electricity. This makes the Niva Mix hybrid radiator perfect for areas that need to heat up quickly when the central heating system is switched off, such as bathrooms.

The minimalist, sleek and stylish electric Niva and Niva Mix radiators are available in an extensive range of colours that will work with any interior.

Wide range of accessories
All VASCO accessories that are suitable for the hydronic Niva radiators are also available for the upgraded electric Niva and the Niva Mix.

Smart Bathrooms

About Vasco – www.vasco.eu
Vasco offers a wide range of innovative and sustainable total solutions in the field of heating, ventilation and cooling for an optimal indoor climate. For example, Vasco delivers high-quality and internationally acclaimed design radiators that are characterized by a combination of top design and functionality. The quality brands for panel radiators are Superia in Belgium and Brugman in Germany, France, Poland and the Netherlands. In addition to radiators, Vasco is also an important player in the field of ventilation and underfloor heating. Vasco radiators are guaranteed with a quality guarantee for a period of 10 years on waterproofness and lacquer. The production companies are located in Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. Vasco, headquartered in Dilsen (BE), has approx. 500 employees and is part of the Swiss Arbonia Group.

Flow regulators are devices that control the flow of water through our household appliances. They are manufactured here in the UK by Neoperl and are made in hundreds of sizes that can now be retro-fitted to taps and showers throughout the home, so everyone can now do their bit to save water and the energy that heats it.

Most taps will already include a flow control device at the end of the spout and it’s often only when in situ that one can identify whether the flow is too strong. We’ve all experienced a splashing cloakroom tap for instance where the flow is too fast for a smaller basin. Now the incumbent device can be easily removed and replaced with one that reduces the flow to a comfortable level. The same with showers, a valve shower often delivers far too much water and even a slight reduction adds up to a substantial water saving over the year.

Neoperl flow control device

Regardless of the prevalent water pressure, a flow regulator maintains a consistent water stream at the chosen flow rate. A typical flow regulator consists of three components, a housing, a seating area and a precision-ring. The flow is determined by the interaction between the seating area and the o-ring. As water flows through the device at a higher or lower pressure, the shape of the o-ring changes to restrict or release the flow of water.

This is demonstrated in an easy to understand way at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TktKkFck2cM&list=PLxg7O65GE0aJwYMVzOu1QJ13kP5zp2Q2B

As a spokesperson for Neoperl tell us, now is the time to look at both our own homes and advise your clients on this easy water-saving win.

“As clients spend more time working from home and adding home improvements in abundance, why not take the opportunity to talk with them about saving water too? Especially as we are all spending so much more time washing our hands resulting in many thousands more litres of water being washed down the plughole.

“It’s a really affordable solution to retro-fit a flow regulator, most consumers could do it themselves with a little advice. They simply need to be aware that flow regulators exist, obtain the right advice as to which regulator to fit to retain adequate performance and purchase a simple tool to fit it.”

More news from Neoperl

The award-winning Mikado aerator from Neoperl certainly does its bit when it comes to saving water. This clever device, which can be retrofitted to a bathroom tap, reduces the flow of water to just over a litre a minute, that’s at least a 65% saving on an average tap.

Its eye-catching flow creates a grid-like spray pattern formed by individual water jets, clearly demonstrating that a practical solution can also produce a beautiful design. It’s a perfect solution for a cloakroom or bathroom where the bowl is rarely filled and is predominantly used for hand washing.

The Mikado, which won a Red Dot award on launch, offers three attractive water stream patterns from slim, close-meshed to expansive and all offer integrated PCA* technology enabling a virtually consistent flow rate from 1.3 litres per minute, regardless of pressure fluctuations. With less water being used through the tap, the energy needed to heat it is saved as well.

Retrofitting an aerator is very simple. The water supply can be left on and It requires a special tool from Neoperl to remove the incumbent aerator or stream straightener affixed to the end of most modern taps. The new Mikado is then simply screwed back in to the holder.

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Checking labels and understanding how products are created is increasingly important to today’s consumer. According to the Ethical Consumer the total UK ethical consumer market was just £11.2bn in 1999,  but almost four times that today, at £41.1bn. The report also reveals that ‘green home’ spending has increased eight-fold, from over 1bn 20 years ago to in excess of 10 bn last year.

When it comes to bathroom design, consumers want to know products are manufactured sustainably without leaving a negative legacy on the world. As Kaldewei’s Adam Teal tells us “Today’s consumer is more aware of the environmental impact being placed on the planet, especially the effects of plastics on our environment and oceans.”  

VitrA’s Suit L basin mixer shown in copper saves water and energy – shown with Equal bathroom furniture.

The good news for the bathroom industry is we are not short of responsible manufacturers, with many already ahead of the game.  For example, Vitra’s Blue Life approach to production and design is central to all group activities. Manufacturing plants are equipped with specifically designed recycling systems to reduce raw materials, and power consumption and products are designed and developed to promote resource and energy conservation. 

Kaldewei (pictured top) has been awarded an Environmental Product Declaration and is also a member of the US Green Building Council LEED.

All Kaldewei steel enamel bathroom solutions are 100% recyclable and Kaldewei avoids the use of colour additives in production. In 2017, Kaldewei won a Green Good Design Award – one of the world’s most prestigious sustainability awards.

Bette’s baths, shower trays and washbasins are made from glazed titanium-steel.

Bette has invested in energy-efficient manufacturing and creates 2/3 of its own energy requirements. Its baths, shower trays and washbasins are made from glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production, and they are so durable that they come with a 30-year warranty. When Bette products do, eventually, reach the end of their life, they are also 100% recyclable.

Planet-friendly bathroom design Novellini
Novellini

Novellini’s products are designed and manufactured to meet the latest European standards in terms of quality, safety and environmental friendliness. The adoption of low environmental impact production processes, the total control on toxic substances and significant energy savings, are the answers to the problems of a world in constant evolution.

Together, these eco-aware brands deliver a comprehensive portfolio of products, making green design easier to execute than you might think.

Novellini’s products are designed and manufactured to meet the latest European standards in terms of quality, safety and environmental friendliness. The adoption of low environmental impact production processes, the total control on toxic substances and significant energy savings, are the answers to the problems of a world in a constant evolution.

Throughout the world Novellini creates inspiring bathrooms that appeal to individuals at home. Via their merchant partners and working alongside architects and designers, the company creates beautiful and functional bathrooms.  Design-led, on-trend styling complements your home.  Likewise, helping to create tranquil spaces means Novellini can effectively promote well-being within the living environment.

Diane Larner recently visited the Novellini factory in Italy and was impressed to discover sustainability is a key consideration for the Mantova based company.  Barbara Novellini told us “People are very important to us, but we also want to concentrate on our planet. It’s a key focus for us everyday.”  See the interview in full.