Housebuilder product feature - Kitchens and bathrooms

29/09/2010 | 1. What trends should housebuilders look out for over the next six months? Digital technology is becoming firmly established in the bathroom and designers are keen to embrace the advantages it brings to consumers. Digital showers and taps which were once the playthings of the very rich are now more common place and a ‘must have’ in the modern bathroom. Not only are these very safe they are also, by default, more economical to use. Digital technology has advanced to such a degree that today’s precise temperature control can be employed to prevent those dreadful scalding accidents which still cause around 20 deaths per year. These showers and taps are a real boon in the home where the very young or the elderly, with thin and frail skin, are the most susceptible. 2. Does sustainability remain a key driver? 2010 was the year when sustainability in bathrooms really took off and it is set to remain a key driver in the next few years. This has manifested itself in the BMA’s Water Efficiency Product Labelling Scheme (WEPLS) which has attracted interest from over 1000 stockists who registered with the scheme and from manufacturers who were keen to upload details of their most efficient products. Around 1000 cutting edge, designer-led bathrooms are now listed in the on-line database at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/ Sustainability is in the forefront of government thinking right now and award winning WEPLS is recognised by officials as the way forward. The scheme is being copied in Europe and further afield. 3. What are the latest energy and water saving products? Water efficiency means not only saving water but also saving the energy required in delivering and using it. We consume huge quantities of energy in purifying, transporting, and delivering water. We then consume energy in warming it up to a comfortable temperature to use in the home and then we use another huge quantity of energy to take away the waste and purify it once more. Bathroom products which are designed to be extremely water efficient are therefore, by default, energy efficient too. The very latest WCs flushing at an effective average of 3 litres, eco-click taps with built in temperature regulators, and digital showers are contributing enormously to the drive for more efficient bathrooms. 4. How are your clients utilising sustainable materials? Members of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, who meet regularly in their technical and marketing committees, are making huge strides in developing their products. They are keen to ensure that they function in the most water and energy efficient way. They are also keen to ensure that the materials used in creating them are, in themselves, sustainable. Ceramic sanitaryware is a perfect example - being created literally from Mother Earth. New pottery recipes ensure lowest possible firing temperatures and once created ceramic will last for decades. Research into recycling ceramics continues apace. In addition the most common metals used in the bathroom (copper, brass and steel) are fully recyclable. Further Information For further information please visit www.bathroom-association.org Or email info@bathroom-association.org.uk Or telephone 01782 631619

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