Scholarly article on topic 'Sustainable Development in the Concepts of Modern Bathrooms'

Sustainable Development in the Concepts of Modern Bathrooms Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Procedia Manufacturing
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{Sustainability / "Sustainable development" / Ergonomics / "Bathroom design" / "Modern bathroom" / "Ecological bathroom" / "Green architecture"}

Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Anna Jaglarz

Abstract “Good ergonomic design” in the bathroom is not just about looks but equally or maybe above all about functionality, practicality and sustainability. Sustainable development in modern bathroom is not a fad. It is undeniably an absolute necessity. This applies to the materials, devices and installations used in the bathroom, their environmentally-friendly production, design and use. The bathroom industry, taking care of the environment and the needs of users at the same time, is offering more and more products that prevent waste of natural resources and control their consumption while providing a healthy and hygienic conditions and safety of use of the bathroom. Leading bathroom manufacturers and designers are active in many environmental initiatives and introduce new concepts and technologies that save water, energy, materials and costs. Sustainable solutions, an economical in operation and at the same time comfortable to use, appear as a result of work on the optimal use of natural resources and the preservation of natural compounds in the system: user - bathroom - the environment.

Academic research paper on topic "Sustainable Development in the Concepts of Modern Bathrooms"

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Procedia Manufacturing 3 (2015) 1638 - 1645

6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the

Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015

Sustainable development in the concepts of modern bathrooms

Anna Jaglarz

Wroclaw University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, St. Prusa 53/55, Wroclaw 50-317, Poland

Abstract

"Good ergonomic design" in the bathroom is not just about looks but equally or maybe above all about functionality, practicality and sustainability. Sustainable development in modern bathroom is not a fad. It is undeniably an absolute necessity. This applies to the materials, devices and installations used in the bathroom, their environmentally-friendly production, design and use. The bathroom industry, taking care of the environment and the needs of users at the same time, is offering more and more products that prevent waste of natural resources and control their consumption while providing a healthy and hygienic conditions and safety of use of the bathroom. Leading bathroom manufacturers and designers are active in many environmental initiatives and introduce new concepts and technologies that save water, energy, materials and costs. Sustainable solutions, an economical in operation and at the same time comfortable to use, appear as a result of work on the optimal use of natural resources and the preservation of natural compounds in the system: user - bathroom - the environment.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review underresponsibilityofAHFEConference

Keywords.Sustainability; Sustainable development; Ergonomics; Bathroom design; Modern bathroom; Ecological bathroom; Green architecture

1. Introduction

In the aftermath of climate changes there has been an increase of overall interest in sustainability of material environment of human life. Sustainable development in living environment is not only a trend. Similarly sustainable development in modern bathroom is not a fad. It is undeniably an absolute necessity. Contemporary societies are not able to function without water, energy, heat, electricity and fuel. It is obvious that the precious natural resources are not available in unlimited quantities. Therefore is absolutely no alternative to necessity of sustainable development. Man must learn to be more careful with using of natural resources.

2351-9789 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference

doi: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.481

Even if sustainability begins with the individual consumer and his hygienic and toilet habits, washing, cleaning, that cause a domino effect with consequences for our planet and ecosystem, bathroom companies that manufacture millions of hygienic and sanitary facilities for distribution around the world bear a particular responsibility.

The contemporary bathroom industry is aware of this responsibility and taking care of the environment and the needs of users at the same time, is offering more and more products that prevent waste of natural resources and control their consumption while providing a healthy and hygienic conditions and safety of use of the bathroom. Leading bathroom manufacturers and designers are active in many environmental initiatives and introduce new concepts and technologies that save water, energy, materials and costs. Sustainable solutions, an economical in operation and at the same time comfortable to use, appear as a result of work on the optimal use of natural resources and the preservation of natural compounds in the system: user - bathroom - the environment. Sustainability applies to the materials, devices and installations used in the bathroom, their environmentally-friendly design, production and use [1,3,5].

2. Perspectives for sustainable development

Sustainable development should not be treated as a distraction and complication, but rather as a possibility of preparation to needs of the future. Awareness of sustainable values and necessity of sustainable actions and practical, rational involvement and contribution in sustainable development of material environment gives a sense of responsibility for the future [3].

Ethics of responsibility of German philosopher Hans Jonas belongs to the most popular trends of global ethics. The most often it is treated as coherent with ethics of a sustainable development. He formulated the ecological imperative "Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life" - Be aware of the responsibility for the consequences of their own actions. In this sense it is understanding of sustainable development regards the possibility of satisfying the needs of the present and, at the same time, maintaining a healthy, safe, livable and ready for existence, environment for future generations. It is about creating spaces of life, that are both ecologically compatible and economically acceptable and that give maximum priority tothe needs and interests of users. In the hygienic-sanitary spaces, as in other areas of our life, sustainability is not just about ecology and economy but it is also based on psychological, social and cultural factors, such as health and the comfort and social interaction of the respective users. Sustainable development is based on a holistic view of the ecological, economical and social impact of the material environment on man and nature [1].

Sustainability applies to the materials, devices and installations used in the bathroom, their sustainable design, construction and production methods that enable sustainable use. It means the economical use of resources, lightweight construction, minimizing energy consumption and emissions, the ability to return built components to natural or technical cycles, namely the possibility of dismantling or disassembly phase, or the ability to identify the used materials at a later stage as a necessary prerequisite for reintroducing them into biological or technical cycles so that nothing is lost [1].

Some objects and forms last longer and have a longer appeal. But ongoing study and search for optimum solutions the sustainability turns out not to be a matter of chance. It is decided in advance, from the outset, at development. Designers and producers focus on water-saving and energy-efficient solutions, environmentally -friendly manufacture, timeless forms that retain their appeal for years and simple product assembly [1].

3. Sustainability in bathroom design

"Good design" in the bathroom is not just about looks but equally or maybe above all about functionality, practicality and sustainability. Therefore, it is important to develop and offer sustainable forms without an expiry date, timelessly modern forms for all bathroom products and ranges rather than following fashion trends.

A well-known sanitary company, Duravit, and designer Philippe Starck have gone back to the beginnings of hygiene, body care and wellness with the products of Starck 1 range. This collection describes bathroom history and the evolution of the bathroom equipment: the washbasin, bathtub and toilet are clearly descended from their historical ancestors - the washbowl, tub and bucket - even though they have been perfectly reinterpreted (see Fig. 1). A simple water bucket was sufficient to inspire Philippe Starck to design this classic bathroom collection indicating

the sustainability of an everyday object of hygiene. The products of this range - ceramics, furniture, shower trays, bathtubs and accessories - have not been changed at all since their market launch in 1994, which proves their timelessness without the need for optimization and adapt to modern times [1].

The design of the 1930 Series, another collection of Duravit, is the essence of sustainability in the bathroom. The characteristic form of the octagonal washbasin designed in the golden twenties of the last century and first presented to the world's public in 1930, has remained unchanged and is popular to the present day (see Fig. 2). Although over the years, many other attractive elements were added to create the range as we know today, the 1930 Series with its unique design became a timelessly modern bathroom classic and will doubtlessly continue to be so for many more years to come [1].

Fig. 2.Examples of sanitary ceramics from the characteristic collection of Duravit - The 1930 Series. (Source: own work).

Fig. 3.Washbasin from Happy D. collection designed by Sieger Design for Duravit. (Source: own work).

Fig. 4.Examples of sanitary ceramics from the Vero collection of Duravit. (Source: own work).

Collection Happy D. developed by Sieger Design for Duravit is simple, clear, classic, aesthetic and, above all, since its market launch in 1999, timelessly modern. For many years the range has scooped numerous design awards. There are many reasons for the success of Happy D. collection. One, because it offers outstanding value for money.Other, because sustainability is a product of permanence of memory. Thanks to their archetypical, concise D form, the washbasin (see Fig. 3) and other elements are true icons in the successful bathroom design [1].

The Vero bathroom classic range is another collection of Duravit which turns out to be timeless, without an expiration date. The forms of this ceramic range are entirely restricted to the rectangle (see Fig. 4). Our life and the surrounding material world is inconceivable without the rectangle. Therefore consistently rectangular Vero collection is one of the most universal ceramic ranges of all time. As the restrictions and limitations inspire and provide new possibilities, this range with its clear, minimalist design has been provoking designers, architects, builders and bathroom users [1].

4. Sustainability in bathroom production

Sustainability in production with environmental protection and a sense of responsibility for the present and future means first of all:

• manufacture of water-saving and energy saving products,

• manufacture products with a long service life,

• environmental life cycle assessments of products for the sustainability strategy in production and product development,

• significant reduction in CO2 emissions,

• using renewable energies,

• sophisticated recycling systems and heat recovery in production,

• environmentally-friendly manufacturing technologies,

• using less hazardous materials in the production process,

• global environmental and climate protection projects,

• information campaigns to promote the sustainable use of water,

• responsibility for society, employees, consumers.

Contemporary sanitary industry is constantly improving the environmental compatibility, quality and durability of bathroom products that allow water, a precious resource, to be used sparingly and therefore demonstrates its commitment to preserving natural resources. It places priority on environmentally-friendly production, using energy and raw materials sparingly at all levels of production - from development to marketing by continuously introducing new inventions, which are exciting from both an ecological and an economical point of view [1,2,3].

Environmental compatibility of materials and natural resources is very important in production, so the selection and purchasing of materials and components are subject to strict ecological and economical requirements.

Bathroom furniture and wooden elements are often made from native wood that is sourced from certified, sustainably managed forests. In the case of bought or imported parts, only products manufactured in compliance with DIN standards are used and clearance certificates are required in order to verify their environmental relevance. Current checks are carried out to ascertain whether a material or chemical can be replaced by a product with a lower environmental impact [1].

Most bathroom products can be recycled, so the intentional aim is to return everything to the production cycle, wherever possible. Many of the materials used in the bathroom industry can be recycled: sanitary ceramic can be recycled and used as a wear-resistant material in road constructionand some of it can also be used for further production. Recycling sanitary acrylic is more complex but the acrylic component can be used in the manufacture of varnishes. Recyclable raw materials such as plastics, board materials, fittings and glass are used for the bathroom furniture. In the case of dismantlability the furniture elements can be disposed of in accordance with the raw materials used [1].

Manufacture of sanitary ceramics generates a great amount of heat, that cannot be simply wasted but recovered and reused. According to the principle of heat recovery, the energy obtained from the surplus heat is returned directly to production. This means that up to 50% of the heating requirement can be derived from recovered surplus heat [1].

Unconditional product safety is of utmost importance. All manufactured products must comply with the fundamental requirements of relevant directives and are subject to strict internal quality requirement. Numerous internal and external checks with regard to safety, hygiene, usability are carried out during product development. Each individual element is subjected to quality test [1].

Consumer satisfaction is an important element that proves the sustainability of a product. This is whystrict criteria apply in terms of quality, innovation, logistics, conditions and collaboration. Technical delivery and acceptance conditions and quality assurance agreements stipulate product-specific quality characteristics and technical requirements for the product. Environmental aspects, including environmentally-friendly packaging, also play an important role [1,2].

As a fundamental part of the quality control of product, the production process is continually accompanied by analyses and optimizations concerning product safety and quality, guaranteeing that all standards and legal regulations are complied with. Many elements are also inspected by external licensing offices. During the design, development and production phase, research, technology and product management teams work with an FMEA, a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, which is designed to preclude any quality risks in the production phase and during use by the consumer. Quality control and risk management is used to fulfill customer demands for functionality, reliability and safety of products to the highest standard [2].

Bathroom industry goes a step further when it comes to the subject of product responsibility. A frequent cause for consumers complaints is incorrectly maintained and cleaned products. Tests for cleaning detergents and cleaning recommendations to ensure a long life span for products are developed together with manufacturers from the cleaning agent industry. There are many ways to influence the durability of high quality products in everyday use. As sustainability also equals a long life cycle. It has a strong relationship with care and cleaning. New detergents and unique expertise are constantly tested [2,3].

5. Sustainability in bathroom use - ideas for sustainable bathroom

In recent years, there has been a great change in the way in which people want to use water and energy. Contemporary bathroom industry responds to this request with innovative technology.This has become an essential part of every new development in bathroom spaces. It continues to give rise to new product ideas that can contribute to a responsible present and responsible future.

5.1. Innovative bathroom fittings and fixtures

Using water and energy sparingly not only protects the environmentand reduces CO2 emissions, but also helps give reducedcosts for water, wastewater and energy. Technologically advanced solutions show how this can be practically achieved on a daily basis. Modern wash basinfittings are now often equipped as standard with this technology.A special aerator ensures the water flow is limited to aboutfive liters per minute - without loss of comfort. In comparison:wash basin mixers without this technology easily use 13 litersper minute.The latest technology shows how precious natural resources can be used sparinglythanks to simple and at the same time impressive ideas. In the case ofconventional wash basin fittings, mixed water is automaticallydrawn when the fitting handle is in the central position.Modern advanced faucets ensure that only cold water flows when the handleis in a neutral, central position. Thus, the pipe system is nolonger filled unnecessarily with hot water and flowthroughheaters or circulating pumps need no longer be specially activated. This technique and the reduced consumption of hotwater also means less energy is required along with lowerCO 2 output [3].

5.2. Innovative flushing technology

The toilet bowls designed for hygienicand at the same time efficient flushing are now the new standard. The amount of water needed to flush depends on toilet shape. Already in the eighties, some sanitary companies harmonized the geometry of the body of the toilet with the flushing volume and reduced the amount of water consumed by its toilets to 6 liters as opposed to the 9 or more liters that were standard at the time. Thanks to ongoing research and development, bathroom industry is today able to offer toilets that flush hygienically using just

6, 4.5 or even less water. Thanks to the dual flush technology, a household of fourcan additionally save about 17,000 liters of water per year. Pressing the large button releases the full water volume, pressing the economy button releases only half the water volume and washes away liquid waste cleanly and hygienically (limited but efficient flushing). In addition, pressing "the stop+go" button interrupts the flush [1].Non-contact flush devices respond to the presence of at least 6 seconds the user in the impact zone of photocell. Automatic water flow occurs within 3 seconds after leaving the user. In case of necessity of additional flushing, this is possible by pressing of manually operated button.

5.3. Innovative urinal technology

The new intelligent, electronically controlled urinals with individual flushing and service programs guarantee high hygiene and a controlled, low water consumption of just one liter per one flush.Selecting the various flushing programs is done by the magnetic key that comes with the urinal.The automatic infrared sensor control triggers the economical flush as soon as the user has moved away. The intelligent urinal flushes automatically 12 hours after the last useto prevent the development of odors. Thanks to compact form, material durability and the discreet, integrated placement of the controlsuch urinals offer maximum protection against vandalismand this important aspect is also very important when it comes to sustainability [1].

The innovativedry urinal can even operates without water. A hose diaphragm integrated into the outlet opens automatically when urine flows through and then closes again, effectively preventing odors. Also a purely plant-based and thus biodegradable sealing liquid efficiently prevents unpleasant odors. The siphon, like the urinal itself, is made from durable sanitary ceramic so it is not necessary to keep changing the plastic siphon, as is the case with other urinals. High functionality and ease of care make the urinal is incredibly easy to keep clean [1].

Fig. 5.Examples of the toilet and sink hybrid. (Source: own work).

5.4. Toilet and sink hybrid

Toilet and urinal flush consumes too much water for needs of users. However, bathroom manufacturers try to solve with this problem in a variety of ways. One of the latest concepts of innovative system are combined by using a tank for waste water from the bathroom sink to the toilet flushing (see Fig. 5).In another example of the bathroom hybrid, in this case, combination of sink and urinal, water which was used for washing hands is used to flush urine

5.5. Shower or bath?

The bath in the tub, although pleasant, is not eco-friendly. On average, taking a shower consumes less than one third of the water volume required to fill a bath.Filling the bathtub requires about 180 liters of water, while each minute of the shower is the consumption of about 10 liters of water. For persons, who in addition to water, save time, the choice seems obvious. However, the question arises whether it is possible to take a bath in the tub without having a guilty conscience. Contemporary bathroom industry gives the profound answer by offering bathtubs that, thanksto their optimum use of space, conserve our water resources by every means possible. For example, some the bathtubs with a length of 160 cm, have a comparatively low filling volume and, thanks to their innovative, ergonomic shape offers maximum bathing comfort with minimum water consumption [1].

5.6. Low energy consumption

Numerous product innovations show that sustainability in the bathroom goes far beyond simply saving water. LED lighting is used wherever it makes ecological sensebecause generates power savings of up to 80% compared with halogen lights. Applications of resource-saving LEDs (light emitting diodes) include the light and colored-light programs for bathtubs, whirltubs, pools and saunas, as well as the controls on bathtubs or mirrors with integrated light. Energy-saving lights are also used to illuminate bathroom furniture [1].

The whirl systems for whirl tubs and pools can now be feature a special fan that generates power savings of up to 40%, at the same time as reducing the whirl volume by 9 dB, which corresponds to a noise reduction of almost 50% [1].

Economical energy-efficient washing machines, which have special functions of washing and consume less water with less clothes and energy efficient hand dryersare further examples of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions in hygienic and sanitary areas.

5.7. Innovative materials

Bathroom materials and surfaces with new, sustainable properties have been developed, for example, the special acrylic, glass and ceramic coating. Acrylic coatings are still enriched with new, primarily bactericidal, features, that strongly increases the comfort and hygiene to use the bathroom.In addition to special acrylic coatings, various types of anti-pollution and anti-bacterial are also used in glass and ceramics.The effect of such a coating is achieved through the elimination of microscopic pores and irregularities on the surface of the material, giving it the properties of hydrophobic (water contact surface area of the material naturally tends to a minimum).Thus the liquid impurities flow down faster. Smoother surface minimizes the adhesion strength and the water accumulates on the surface in the form of coarse droplets.In the case of sanitary ceramics, and increasingly also in the case of ceramic tiles, such an effect is achieved by the use of special glazes used during the so-called a second firing at lower temperature.Modern ceramic coatings provide not only easy to clean, but also bactericidal effect achieved by the use of trace amounts of silver with antiseptic features. Bactericidal coatings are also used in other parts of bathroom equipment exposed to particular risk of bacteria [4].

Hygienic and easy-care innovations of materials was also developed on the basis of nanotechnology. Nano ceramic coatings have the properties of anti-bacterial and anti-pollution: dirt and limescaledo not adhere and residues run off more easily with the water. Thanks to its easy-care properties, it greatly reduces the amount of water and cleaning agent used and saves natural resources [1].

6. Summary

During times of climatic change and a depletion of precious natural resources, the design of sustainable architecture is increasingly important. Many factors contribute to a building's environmental and energy-saving credentials, however, the mostimportant are location, building materials, construction, installations, insulation, ventilation, energy generation and supply and water consumption. This not only presents new challenges for building owners and users but also for designers, architects, builders and manufacturers of products related to building equipment and furnishing. Contemporary bathroom industry welcomes the move towards "green architecture" and ecological design and its products offer suitable solutions for environmentally-friendly and sustainable bathroom development. Sustainability applies to the most of the materials, devices and installations used in the bathroom and is based onsustainable process of design, production and use [1].

References

[1] Duravit, Living Bathroom, The Sustainable Bathroom, Sustainability report no.1 from Duravit.

[2] Hansgrohe, Sustainability, Hansgrohe Sustainability Report 2011/2012.

[3] Hansgrohe, Sustainability, Initiatives 2012/2013.

[4] Lazienkowa kronika polwiecza, Lazienka, Publikator, Bialystok (6/2004).

[5] Sustainable development in the concepts and systems of water-saving bathroom for the future, http://www.ofdesign.net.