Personalized Bathrooms Greenness Abounds Here
It's not just about human care, the concern for environment is also essential. Luckily, contemporary bathroom solutions do that with precision, writes S.D. Khan.
In the previous edition of MGS Architecture we published a Special Feature on 'Personalized Bathrooms' wherein we discussed various points such as human touch in bathrooms, people's growing fondness for an extravagant lifestyle, and how manufacturers are channelizing their expertise in research and development to make bathrooms ideal rejuvenation hubs. In continuation to that, we are now touching upon the sustainability and corrosion resistance features of bathrooms in this issue.
Sustainability, as we all know, is one of the most uttered words of this age. Simply put, a sustainable product is designed to meet the current needs while leaving some scope for the future needs. This stems from the fact that concern for the environment and nature's precious resources has become the focal point of our existence nowadays. And since water is one of the scarcest resources, its conservation is paramount. Green Buildings, for instance, lay a lot of emphasis on water saving products. In tune with this sentiment, contemporary bathroom solutions lend more than a helping hand in preventing us from indulging in wanton water wastage.
Going a step ahead, bathroom majors have also taken cognizance of the fact that water quality in India is very poor and might affect the long-term performance of their products. In order to counter this, they have equipped their wares with corrosion fighting abilities.
Bathrooms are hubs of reckless water wastage and sustainability is all the more important in this segment. In fact, water conservation tops the list in the global Green Building design parameters. It's no different in India too.
Imparting water conservation wisdom, Mr. Sushil Luniya, President, Marketing & Sales, HSIL Limited, elucidates, "With diminishing ground water, a fresh water source is a major headache across the world and India is not immune to this problem. And, with bathrooms accounting for about 65% of water consumption in a house, eco-friendly bathroom products are progressively becoming a popular choice for the Indian consumer. Based on research and upcoming modern technology, brand Hindware offers a whole range of eco-products aimed at saving water or efficient usage of water. Special consideration is given to design, size, capacity, and flushing parameters along with smart use of technology such as sensor operated automatic flushing mechanisms, temperature control and auto-washing mechanism to name a few."
NANO is one of Hindware's prominent product offerings which flushes in only 1.5 ltrs of water and is equipped with a foot pedal flushing mechanism for hygiene. In addition to NANO, the company also offers the star-rated Eco-Range. "The Star Rating is given by the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and India Plumbing Association (IPA). The WEP (Water Efficient Product) rating will help consumers to make a smart choice, provide them quality assurance and will encourage the use of green products. The range of Star Rated Hindware sanitaryware saves 50,000 lItres of water per family per year. Besides sanitaryware, Hindware Tiles offer GRIHA rated (green building evaluation system that has been conceived by TERI and developed jointly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) products as well. This initiative, another first in the industry includes, Glazed Vitrified, Multi Charge Vitrified, Soluble Salt Vitrified & Exterio Vitrified Tiles," he asserts.
Meanwhile, Kajaria carries a long legacy of quality and trust, and any product from the house of Kajaria, including the entire range of KEROVIT bathroom solutions, bears the parent company's hallmark of sustainability. Mr. Dhirendra Joshi, General Manager, Kerovit says, "Kajaria Ceramics has received the ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environment management, OHSAS 18001 for safety and health management, SA-8000 for commitment to society, ISO 22000 for Food Safety Management System and ISO 50001 for Energy Management across its various production facilities. These certifications speak volumes about our relentless focus on environmentally-conscious practices and our sustainability credentials. Kajaria's membership to the Indian Green Building Council also reassures consumers and stakeholders that each product is consistently created through an eco-friendly process."
Significantly, luxury and environmental consciousness can certainly go hand-in-hand, and each product of GROHE is a case in point. Highlights Ms. Renu Misra, Managing Director, Grohe India, "We have a plurality of faucets and flush systems designed with a focus on water-saving technologies and sustainable practices. For instance, GROHE offers single-lever basin mixers which feature a flow-limiting mousseur with aerator that reduces water consumption without compromising on user experience. The inclusion of a temperature limiter, which can be adjusted to meet requirements, can also reduce energy consumption. Another way to save water in the home is to install a toilet with a dual-flush cistern. Designed for use with wall-hung toilets and back-to-wall toilets, concealed dual-flush cisterns let the user choose how much water to use when flushing the toilet. By using a lower volume of water to flush the toilet one can dramatically reduce one's annual water consumption and contribute to the conservation of this valuable natural resource."
H&R Johnson (India) is a firm believer in sustainability. And the development of water and energy saving solutions for its products is done with a view to encourage responsible consumption, a result of commitment to respect the environment. Emphasizes Mr. Sushil Matey, the company's Chief Operating Officer – Mega Accounts, Emerging Businesses & Marketing, "All Johnson cisterns are dual flush, allowing you to choose the amount of water that is required with 6/3 and 4.5/3 litre flush options available. All cisterns also feature delayed fill valves as standard so fresh water does not start to enter the cistern until the flush valve closes after the cistern has completely emptied."
Talking of Sensor Taps, he says, "This is one of the most effective ways of saving water as the proximity detector turns on the tap when your hands get close to it and turns it off when they move away. This type of tap operation is also very hygienic as there is no need to touch the tap to operate the flow." Simultaneously, the Flow Regulators reduce water usage. "Without changing the tap one can easily add a Johnson flow limiter to our basin taps, shower heads or shower hoses. Flow controls reduce the maximum flow delivered by the tap to a specified economical flow rate per minute."
According to Mr. Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India, "In the early 1980s, Duravit already offered toilets that functioned effectively with as little as 6 litres of water instead of those days' normal 9 to 14 litre consumption. "Today, Duravit WCs even flush with 4.5 litres of water. The shift from 9-14 litres down to 4.5. litres demonstrates easily the financial opportunities that water saving sanitaryware products can offer."
"Sustainability and water saving products," he adds, "have a vital impact on bathroom design in general. The contemporary bathroom has to meet sustainable design, green production and ecological usability. In its overall balance, it is economical but nevertheless joyful and relaxing. In conclusion, it is about general criteria that are valid for all bathrooms."
Moving on, sustainability has been an important part of Kohler since its inception in 1873, and in recent years, the company has further increased its focus on environmental sustainability and set a strategy targeting three key areas – operations, product development and education/awareness.
"For well over a decade, we have been consistently evaluating and improving our manufacturing processes, business operations, waste management, transportation, and water use. Kohler offers more environmentally favorable products now than ever, specifically low flow and flush plumbing fixtures and faucets that can greatly contribute to earning LEED credits in Water Efficiency as set forth by the United States Green Building Council [USGBC]and carry the EPA WaterSense label. The company has made substantial contributions to support the EPA WaterSense program in the promotion of water conservation and the USGBC's efforts in sustainable or Green Buildings," shares the company' spokesperson.
He continues, "We have WCs which are designed to perform while saving on water (lesser water consumption). Also, we have faucet products like showerheads which are designed to deliver same quality showering by using lesser water. This is done by innovatively designing the waterways in the showerheads. These water saving products have been used by various green projects in India such as ITC Gardenia, Bangalore, Nirlon Corporate Office, Mumbai, Runwall Greens, Mumbai (Corporate Office), Tata Raisina, Gurgaon (Residential Housing), and ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon (5 Star Hotel)."
Keeping the Fittings Fit!
In India, 'Hard' water often chokes/corrodes the sanitary fittings, and ensuring longevity of the sanitary fittings can be challenging. As a result of extensive research and development, GROHE has developed kitchen and bathroom faucets and fittings which are lead-free and corrosion-resistant. "This technology has been one of the cornerstones of GROHE's success in India. Lead is replaced by harmless metals like copper, ensuring unprecedented longevity as this composition is five times more resistant to corrosion. GROHE's vast experience and expertise in the production of the GROHE StarLight® technology ensures that the fittings will retain their shine in the long-term and will also be resistant to dirt, harsh water quality and scratches," explains Ms. Misra.
In 2012, Kohler launched the Vibrant collection of faucets with Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) technology. "A nickel undercoating enhances the strength and color integrity of KOHLER PVD technology. This technology gives KOHLER faucets a rich lustre that resists scratching, tarnishing and corrosion. With unique design lines and three glamorous finishes - Modern Polished Gold, Modern Brushed Gold and French Gol, Vibrant marries Kohler's bold design with longevity of the product and remains always new," apprises the company's spokesperson.
Johnson Faucets are manufactured using virgin brass and plated with high quality DURASHINE chrome that ensures the finish of faucets does not get deteriorated when used with hard water. "We have used special cartridges to ensure smooth movement and long life of our faucets. Our Cartridges and spindles are tested for over 2 lakh cycles, assuring long life of faucets," states Mr. Matey.
According to Mr. Luniya, "The hard water problem is rampant in almost every house that uses groundwater and bathroom products bear the brunt over time. To combat this everyday problem, Hindware uses 'Rubbit Cleaning' system in shower heads. It is easy to clean, which one can do with one's hand, in addition it avoids calcification within the nozzles. As for faucets, most advanced 'Electroplating technology' is used which prevents corrosion, keeps the faucets rust free and keeps them shining for a longer period of time. Ceramic bathroom products are not exposed to corrosion however all products manufactured under the Hindware brand are composed of glaze and the thickness of coating is such that the surface has more glass and remains abrasion free."
Crucially, all these developments are testament to the constant revolution taking place in the bathroom segment. Personalization of bathrooms is incomplete unless it factors in 'greenness', and while the 'human touch' is playing its part beautifully in making soul refreshing showers commonplace, the sustainability features are aptly taking care of the environment. Such innovations are likely to go to the next level in the bathrooms of the future.
Kohler's Personalized Bathing Solutions
- Moxie: One of Kohler's latest innovations, Moxie goes out to all those who want to enjoy music during a shower but are too skeptical of carrying their phone or mp3 players to the bathroom. Moxie is the first of its kind showerhead to combine the delivery of water and music. With the proximity of Bluetooth enabled wireless speaker, bathers are simultaneously showered with music and a best-in-class spray experience.
- Pureclean: Kohler introduced the bidet seats in March 2013. Marked by cutting-edge design and superlative build quality, this latest offering provides utmost hygiene in a comfortable manner for the entire family.
- Airfoil: The new showering experience from Kohler, inspired by 'Chan', a Chinese philosophy and enabled with Kohler's exclusive Katalyst technology, Airfoil is a must have for design connoisseurs. Katalyst technology creates large and heavy air infused water droplets which cling to your body making every shower as smooth as silk.
- Awaken: It makes you experience the Nature of Force with three different features–Wide Drench Mode, Intense Drench Mode, Massage Mode. Wide Coverage Spray is an encompassing spray great for everyday use. Intense drenching spray delivers a forceful spray ideal for rinsing soap from hair and Targeted spray is a focused stream for targeting sore muscles or use as a utility spray.
- Flipside: With a fun, innovative design and four different spray types, Flipside delivers a unique and indulgent showering experience. This Flipside multifunction handshower features an elegant, versatile style and advanced ergonomics for easy operation. By flipping the sprayhead on its axis, you can seamlessly switch between four distinct spray types: an enveloping coverage spray, a dense and soft spray, an exhilarating circular spray, or a targeted massage spray.
- VibrAcoustic Underscore-Kohler's VibrAcoustic technology brings personalized hydrotherapy to this spacious Underscore bath, for a sensual experience unlike any other. Hidden speakers emit sound waves that envelop and gently resound within the body. A soothing spa session with built-in compositions brings you an opportunity to unwind to your own music playlists, or catch up on news and podcasts. Chromatherapy lights, with a sequence of eight colors, accompany the acoustics for the ultimate relaxation experience. Whether the user wants a profoundly relaxing bathing session or an entertainment stereo system for the bathroom, Underscore VibrAcoustic has versatile options to realize their vision.