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Water conservation

[Sustainable products] Since last year the Building Regulations cover water efficiency. Sandy Patience looks at water-saving taps

In this country of notoriously frequent wet weather, it seems odd that a crisis of water supply is upon us. Yet a combination of diminishing rainfall and a growing population, coupled with increased personal consumption up to an average of 150 litres per person per day has caused the supply of water to be seriously regulated.

The 2010 revision of the Building Regulations addresses water efficiency for the first time. Part G2 and Regulation 17K require that personal consumption does not exceed 125 litres per person per day. It is no surprise then, that technological development has focused on the six litres a minute flow delivered by the traditional domestic tap.

Simplest of all water-saving devices is the flow restrictor. For retrofitting, it is widely available as a small adaptor fitted below the existing tap. In new taps, it is either integral within the body of the fitting or applied as an aerator at the tap nozzle, where air is mixed with water to provide the same pressure while using less volume.

A more lateral idea is one that engages the effort of the user to increase the water flow.

‘Click’ or ‘two-stage’ technology has made its way into most manufacturers’ catalogues. It operate in two stages: firstly, as the operating lever is raised, the water flow increases to typically 50 per cent capacity before a brake is reached; then, to increase the flow requires additional force to overcome the brake.

Taps that are operated by proximity sensors have been familiar in many commercial washrooms for some years. Although the technology has often infuriated users in the past, it has improved to a point where specifiers can be confident that operation will be slick, water will be delivered at the correct temperature and in an appropriate volume.

Although the technology and products are now available, Cath Hassell of ech2o consultants believes they are only half the story.

‘Effective water conservation is just as much about education and awareness,’ she says.

IDEAL STANDARD

Ideal Standard

Ideal Standard

Originally designed in 1969, the modern Ideal Standard Ceramix is available in standard and hand-rinse sizes. It uses a ceramic disc cartridge to provide double-click operation that also includes hot water limitation. The tap also features low lead and nickel-free water carrying components for improved quality of water.

Product Ceramix Blue monobloc mixer tap
Product code A5649AA
Manufacturer Ideal Standard
Finish Chrome plating
Operation Single lever
Method Click and aerated flow restrictor
Flow rate Maximum 5 litres/min
Mounting Deck
Accessories Pop-up waste
Country of manufacture Germany
www.ideal-standard.co.uk

 

ROCA

Roca

Roca


Designed by Antonio Bullo, the Thesis features an ‘Eco disc’ cartridge, which provides a double-click facility as well as temperature limitation - the limit is set when installing the tap - to eliminate the risk of scalding. An optional flow restrictor can also be added.

Product Thesis monobloc mixer tap
Product code 5A3050C00
Manufacturer Roca
Finish Chrome plating
Operation Single lever
Method Click
Flow rate Maximum 6.5 litres/min
Mounting Deck
Accessories Pop-up waste
Country of manufacture Spain
www.roca.com

METHVEN

SENSOR4D

SENSOR4D

This chrome mono basin design, sensor operated tap can be mains- or battery-operated. The vandal-resistant sensor is effective between 260mm and 310mm and controls water flow with a maximum operational temperature of 45°C. The fitting is suitable for both cold and pre-mixed water.


Product Sensor4D
Product code Sensor4D
Manufacturer Methven UK
Finish Chrome plating
Operation Battery/mains-powered hand sensor
Method Proximity-operated flow
Flow rate 8.3 litres/min at 1 bar
Mounting Deck
Water discharge time limit 70 secs
www.methven.com

TOTO

Toto

Toto

This tap combines two water- and energysaving technologies: a highly accurate hand sensor, supplied with electricity from a generator inside the fitting driven by the energy from the water flowing through the tap. The generated energy is stored in a battery, which in turn powers the sensor.

Product Integrated self-powered monobloc mixer tap
Product code TEXN 20ALV300 (thermostat) TEXN 10AV300 (cold water)
Manufacturer Toto
Finish Chrome plating
Operation Self-powered hand sensor
Method Proximity-operated flow
Flow rate 2 litres/min
Mounting Deck
Water discharge time limit 60 secs
Country of manufacture Japan
www.eu.toto.com

TWYFORD BATHROOMS

Twyford

Twyford

This low-flow, dual action tap can deliver water at 2.5 litres/min at a pressure of 1 bar with one click back, and at 5 litres/min with two clicks. Even with high-pressure systems, the flow never exceeds 5 litres/min.

Product Aquations low-flow basin monobloc
Productcode AQ5126CP
Manufacturer Twyford Bathrooms
Finish Chrome plating
Operation Single lever
Method Click
Flowrate 2.5 litres/min or 5 litres/min
Mounting Deck
Accessories Pop-up waste
Country of manufacture China
www.twyfordbathrooms.com

VOLA

Vola

Vola


The first wall-mounted Vola tap, was designed by Arne Jacobsen for the National Bank of Denmark in 1968. Since then a range of fittings and accessories have evolved into a global brand. Even incorporating modern water-saving technologies, the tap’s design remains true to the original concept.

Product Vola basin mixer
Productcode HV1
Manufacturer Vola
Finish Powder coated, polished chrome, brushed chrome or brushed stainless steel
Operation Top-action lever
Method Aerated flow restrictor
Flow rates 1.9 litres/min to 4 litres/min (depending on model of regulator)
Mounting Deck
Country of manufacture Denmark
www.vola.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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