Water is an irreplaceable natural resource and access to adequate quantities of good quality water ranks as one of our most basic needs. The provision of water also touches upon a core issue of sustainability: meeting the needs of the present generation while avoiding adverse effects on generations to come. In the contemporary bathroom, sustainability encompasses everything from the use of environmentally friendly materials to resource efficient production process and innovative ways of providing fresh water and disposing of used water as well as interior design concepts that transcend generational divides.
Schiltach-based bathroom fixtures manufacturer Hansgrohe has been a leading advocate of environmentally friendly, sustainable product approaches for several years now. Cutting down on pollutants produced during production and electro-plating procedures, recycling and the use of renewable energy sources are all part of the firm’s approach. An in-house radiology lab is meanwhile used to develop methods of cutting down on water consumption. The company aims to develop water-saving showers and fixtures that provide the same level of comfort and usability as other types of fixtures.
Axor, a design label and Hansgrohe offshoot, showcased a collection of fixtures developed in collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck in September 2012. A blend of harmonious, organic design, reduced material requirements and ultra-efficient water jet technology, the design incorporates a mixing tap with a flow rate of 3.5 litres per minute and 90 small apertures, providing the same level of comfort as a regular shower. (A remarkable feat especially when one considers the best rating possible in the European classification system WELL awarded by the association of European fixture manufacturers EUnited Valves: a flow rate of ≥ 6,0 l/min or respectively ≥ 4,0 l/min.)
The walls of fixture meanwhile are, thanks to their unique construction, produced using only two thirds of the brass conventionally used—a significant reduction in energy input.