The single topic of discussion Sustainability.

11/03/2011 | The single topic of discussion Sustainability. This single topic is being talked about more than any other in the building industry. Rocketing utility bills have added fuel to the fire, and water and energy efficiency are key to helping us all survive. So what is all the fuss about? There seems to be an awful lot of water around us. Its seems to be constantly raining in the UK and elsewhere in the world massive areas are being swamped with it. But our water is in the wrong place and is of the wrong type – we can’t drink it. At the recent ‘freshen up’ event held by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association in London the three main speakers all alluded to the need to embrace sustainability in the bathroom. Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the BMA referred to the great strides which bathroom manufacturers had been making over recent years to ‘build-in’ water and energy efficiency into their product ranges. She also referred to new British and European Standards which will soon be launched since these will have a mandatory requirement for efficiency. Sustainable products will be the default position. Vanessa Brady, President of the Society of British Interior Design, spoke about sustainability being included into every new interior design project and Roman Russocki, CEO of TrustMark, talked about his plans to role out the government-backed association to bathroom manufacturers. It is clear that water and energy efficiency in the bathroom has to be embraced and installers have a role to play in encouraging consumers to accept the new technologies to help us attain the goal. One technology which is beginning to take off in a big way is rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling. Many new homes are now being equipped with recycling equipment as standard. Rainwater falling on to the roof is channelled into storage via a system of gutters and pipes. Simple treatment keeps the water from becoming sour. It can then be pumped to the WC and used for flushing. In-room-recycling is also available with WC and Washbasin combinations coming to market. Waste water from the washbasin is stored, disinfected and then used to flush the toilet. Members of the BMA are playing a major part in the drive for sustainability and their product ranges are being seen in increasing numbers on the award winning Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme (WEPLS) website. Around 1500 products are now listed and over 1000 stockists have signed up to the scheme at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/

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