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Horne - Sustainable Design for Team Showers

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Horne Engineering Ltd brings you the Duŝo shower column for group showering applications in team and community sport & leisure facilities. It’s a striking visual design that is further enhanced by Horne’s attention to detail regarding its environmental credentials.

Water usage

Let’s first look at the obvious features of the Duŝo shower as a fitting that uses water.  Water consumption by showers in commercial premises is increasingly important as BREEAM scoring becomes more prevalent for new build and refurbishment building projects.  The Duŝo is a simple timed flow control shower, generally installed in a group, fed with pre-blended warm water from an upstream Horne thermostatic mixing valve (TMV).  Timed flow controls are favoured in group mixing applications to prevent unnecessary wastage of warm water as the showers cannot be inadvertently or deliberately left running.  However, the majority of mechanical timed flow controls are notorious for short their running times, sometimes as low as 15 seconds, which can be annoying for the user.  This frustration may be further compounded if young children also require assistance to activate their own showers.  To provide a more pleasurable and uninterrupted shower for users, the Duŝo will run for a minimum of 60 seconds as standard.  It’s finding that balance between saving water, providing a pleasurable shower experience for the user and avoiding user annoyance (and potential vandalism of the fitting).  If preferred, an insert can be provided that reduces the flow duration to 30 seconds.

The other obvious feature is the flow rate during the shower’s operation.  The Duŝo is supplied with an integral flow regulator that governs the flow rate to a constant 8 litres per minute across a range of inlet water pressures – providing ample spray for an invigorating shower without excessive use of hot water and, therefore, energy.  

A less obvious water saving feature is the shorter mixed water deadleg - the section of pipe-work between the shower head and the upstream thermostatic mixing valve supplying the mixed water.  After a period of no usage, the mixed water deadleg will cool to the ambient temperature, which may not be comfortable for showering.  Usually this volume of colder water will be purged to drain prior to the user stepping under the shower and the shorter pipe length compared with some installations means less wastage.

Operational Lifespan

The Duŝo has been designed for a maximised operational life through the use of quality, durable materials and a simple, yet clever, design that enables easy operation, maintenance and cleaning.  For the same reason that anodised aluminium is used as the main mast material on modern sailing yachts, it has been selected for the main body of the Duŝo shower column.  An extremely lightweight yet hard, strong and inert material, anodised aluminium is inherently suitable for school installations, team sports facilities as well as the harsh, chlorine-rich environment of an indoor water park or a salty coastal environment. 

The polished and chromium plated brass shower head protects the active mechanism of the timed flow control while the actuator paddle and coloured trim are made from robust injection moulded polymers to ensure they are resistant to abuse.  

A factory endurance test of the actuator paddle mechanism, which requires minimal pressure to open the flow, involved over 2,000,000 hydraulic ram impacts of approximately 14Kgf – equating to over 4 years of continual, and rather severe, use.

The operation of the Duŝo is very easy – requiring minimal pressure on the actuator paddle such that even a young child can start the shower with ease. 

Cleaning and maintenance are also straightforward due to its simple design and smooth surfaces.  The spray plate is easily cleaned in situ due to its flexible silicon rubber nozzle array, or it can be removed using a special tool for temporary replacement with a clean spray plate.  Removal of the spray plate also provides easy access to the flow regulator, timed flow control (TFC) mechanism and the protective strainer, which prevents damage (and thus reduces reactive maintenance) to the TFC.   Regular cleaning or replacement of these parts will contribute to an extended operational life.

Manufacture, Packaging and End of Life

The clever, yet simple design of the Duŝo has allowed its overall size, shape and weight to be kept to a minimum and this has positive implications for the volumes of materials used, the amount of packaging required, transportation costs as well as material recovery at the end of its useful life. 

Water is not required during the manufacturing process for pressure or performance testing the shower mechanism.  Instead its function and build quality can be effectively verified using compressed air only. 

The packaging for the Duŝo has also been specifically designed for ease of recycling following delivery.  Not only is it not oversized for the task, but it is also composed entirely from cardboard: i.e. there is no contamination from adhesive tape or plastic wrap.

The simple design and construction of the Duŝo means it’s cost-effective to install and operate and, at the end of its useful life, it is also easy to disconnect and demount from its fitting and then dismantle into its constituent parts and materials for recycling – thus recovering a portion of its cost.

For team showers that offer a stylish and contemporary design, optimal performance and cost effectiveness, there really is no contest. 

Additional information about the Duŝo is available in a narrated animation here.

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