Richard Braid, Managing Director at water management specialists Cistermiser, reviews how the latest infrared, non-touch washroom products are flying off merchants’ shelves as the demand for more sustainable solutions grows ever stronger.
Non-Touch, Sustainable Living
Infrared (IR) technology touches all our lives on a daily basis, when we pick up a TV remote control unit or turn on a heater. In more specialist applications, IR is at the core of thermal imaging and night vision cameras used by the military and police; it’s found in hospitals across the UK and even plays a role in art conservation. When it comes to specifying, refurbishing and installing domestic bathrooms and commercial washrooms, non-touch products deliver a lifestyle-enhancing “added value” solution that not only increases hygiene, but also saves water and meets the ever-changing society demands. These three-pronged benefits are offering merchants a huge opportunity to stock and sell value-added products into both the domestic and commercial markets.
Non-touch to meet changing society demands
Bathroom design must continually evolve to meet the changing needs of our society and IR is certainly entrenched in ongoing product development. The infamous UK housing shortage has led to a rise in multi-generational households. Not only do WCs need to be appropriate for toddlers and young children, they are increasingly being called upon to be suitable for an ageing population, such as living with dementia and requiring assistance when using the toilet. Little ones are notorious for not flushing the loo and this problem can occur with elderly residents too, who may be forgetful. If a carer is assisting an individual in the bathroom, the use of IR non-touch activation can definitely ensure, hygiene is easily maintained.
Non-touch for better sustainability
In 2019, when Net Zero first became embedded in UK law, 2030 seemed like a lifetime away. Now, we have under eight years to achieve this before the clock stops and we learn if we have exceeded the critical 1.5oC temperature increase. Global warming negatively impacts sea levels, increases temperatures, and drives extremes in rainfall and drought, all of which have significant consequences on water: an extra 3.4 billion litres of water would be needed every day before 2050, on top of the 15 billion used now, if no changes are made. IR washroom solutions are helping our sector progress on the road to Net Zero. Take for example the latest innovation from Cistermiser.
Tackling Leaky Loos
We all know as an industry how much water is wasted through leaking toilets. According to experts Waterwise, a leaking toilet wastes between 215 and 400 litres of clean drinking water on average every day. Between 5 and 8% of toilets are estimated to be leaking, adding up to around 400 million litres of water leaking from UK toilets every day. Against a backdrop of the climate crisis and the road to Net Zero, losses like these are clearly unsustainable. That’s why we are proud to announce the launch of our unique EasyflushEVO range, which will revolutionise WC flushing by bringing together the previously unattainable benefits of IR non-touch and leak-free flushing. The patented flush design means there is no flush seal below the waterline, so unlike traditional flush valves, it will not leak due to debris, scale or seal degradation. EasyflushEVO is calculated to save up to 78,475 litres of water per unit per annum. Although it may not single-handedly solve the water wastage problem, it goes a long way to raising standards and is just one of the many highly innovative approaches we’ve taken to help address this industry-wide problem. Merchants already stocking this unique product are reporting high levels of demand.
Giving your customers what they want
I recently attended the Bathroom Manufacturers’ Association Annual Conference where it became clear that it is the responsibility of manufacturers to not only drive product innovation such as IR, but to also communicate the sustainability message across the supply chain, from builders’ merchants to installers and contractors, to consumers. If we don’t educate our market how we can help mitigate climate change, as consumers will naturally keep asking for the same, less energy efficient products, with no counterargument or recommendations on alternatives from installers or merchants who will continue to supply what they’re asked for. This is a huge, missed opportunity. Forward-thinking builders’ merchants are already seizing the opportunity to add value to their sales, through innovative differentiators such as IR, or products that offer true sustainability. If this is of interest, we are keen to talk to you, to not only demonstrate the benefits of our products, but to also explain how you can optimally future proof the environment with our products.