With the Environment Agency predicting an extra 3.6 billion litres of water will be required each day by 2050 to meet the nation’s rising demand, here Martin Walker, CEO of Methven, explores how housebuilders can significantly reduce the water usage of their new build developments, specifically within the bathroom.
As national water usage continues to rise at an alarming rate, developers are under increasing pressure to improve both the water and carbon efficiency of their properties. With the bathroom presenting the biggest source of daily water output throughout a residential property, professionals have the opportunity to take a fresh approach to the technologies and products specified throughout these rooms to support the overall water efficiency of the house, without compromising on quality or aesthetics.
In 2016, the Government updated Approved Document G, requiring all new dwellings to achieve water efficiency of 125 litres per person per day, with an ‘optional’ requirement of 110 litres per person per day.
As conversations throughout the industry continue to address the potential for the optional 110 litres obligation to become the new legal requirement, developers have the opportunity to take a proactive approach to the showering solutions specified throughout their bathrooms by choosing products that feature a flow rate of 8 litres of less.
This will not only ensure developers are compliant with current and future regulations, but simultaneously futureproof the property, supporting the new homeowners in actively reducing their water and energy usage, and most importantly, their ongoing bills.
Historically, some water efficient showerheads, particularly those at entry level that are commonly constructed of white plastic, have gained a negative reputation with consumers for having poor performance and forcing compromise on the overall bathroom aesthetic.
While many of these products may have significantly reduced the flow rate of water used per minute, the overall function was so limited that individuals had to shower for up to twice as long, resulting in the same level of water usage as a normal shower head.
As a result, Methven research concluded this led to a proportion of homeowners being sceptical of water efficient products and ultimately replacing the shower head with their original, or less efficient, model to gain better performance and visual appeal.
So, how can developers minimise the overall water output of their bathrooms, without comprising on the showering experience for future owners?
Latest advancements in showering technology is delivering a new generation of high quality, visually appealing chrome showers that feature a contemporary construction, whilst also providing the lowest flow rates available.
This includes systems such as Methven’s unique, contemporary range of Chrome Satinjet® handsets, shower roses and fixed shower heads, which offer a flow rate as low as 5.7 litres a minute, without compromising on the overall showering power and experience for the homeowner.
This is achieved through its unique twin-jet technology, which creates optimum water droplet size and pressure, delivering over 300,000 droplets per second. The result is an immersive, full body showering experience that provides individuals with the highest standards in performance every single time, whilst simultaneously using less water.
Whilst the quality of the overall showering experience is essential, aesthetics are also a key priority for developers when specifying water efficient showering solutions for upcoming developments.
Taking the place of ordinary white sanitaryware, is a new era of showering and wider bathroom solutions that offer both style and performance. This is showcased with the current popularity of matte black and metallic finishes, as potential homeowners search for monochrome bathrooms and en suites that feature sleek, streamlined aesthetics combined with eye catching highlights.
By choosing a complementary range of high quality showers, tapware and accessories from a single manufacturer, developers can create an effective and cohesive appearance throughout an entire bathroom that creates a first class finish, whilst actively reducing water usage, yet increasing overall functionality.
Whilst the requirements outlined in Approved Document G may not be updated in the near future, developers have the ideal opportunity throughout next year and beyond to proactively improve the overall water efficiency of their developments by specifying innovative showering technologies that work to actively reduce flow rate, without also reducing performance levels.