Hansgrohe’s Green Vision Beyond Water: Rethinking the Bathroom

After two years of developing a vision of a sustainable bathroom that functions almost without water, an interdisciplinary team of hansgrohe innovators and PHOENIX design have created the concept design of the ‘Green Vision’, which uses 90% less water, 90% less energy and therefore 90% fewer CO2e emissions in the bathroom.

The concept goes far beyond the usual sustainability triad ‘Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle’ and ‘Rethinks’ our individual needs in the bathroom. With a planet-centric design, it aims to consider these questions: how can consumption be reduced to conserve increasingly scarce water and energy resources? How can the carbon footprint of a bathroom be reduced to as close to zero as possible over its average 20-year service life?

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Rethinking the Bathroom – Growing Wellness Needs vs Saving Water

Individual wellness needs are in clear conflict with the growing need to save water. To help tackle this issue, Hansgrohe’s Green Vision separates hygiene and wellbeing to enable virtually waterless regeneration, by looking at two specific areas:

BASE – Space for Physical Hygiene

BASE is a new conceptual platform for personal hygiene, that includes a 10-litre shower with PH-neutralised water to enable showering with virtually no shampoo or shower gel. The overhead shower features a light that will become darker as the water begins to run low in the shower, so users know how much water is left. The used shower water is then collected and used for flushing the toilet, to create a circular flow of water in the bathroom.

The platform also includes a new visionary wash station, featuring three spray types: a non-heated, misty spray for hand/face washing, and both heated and non-heated mono spray for smaller hygiene rituals. The wash station also features a sensor on the arc to detect the desired spray type, which stops automatically as soon as the hands are no longer beneath the spray nozzles, to prevent the unnecessary use of water.

Finally, BASE includes a brand-new separating toilet. The toilet uses a pivoting lid to separate faeces and urine to reduce the number of toilet flushes, and utilises the used water collected from the shower. A bidet function means the toilet does not require toilet paper, which makes a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2e emissions. This innovation also saves a total of around 55,000 litres of virtual water, which is used in the production of toilet paper. [1]

SPHERE – Space for Mental Hygiene

SPHERE is the conceptual area of the bathroom used for mental retreat, which includes an inviting armchair with a flexible dome. The dome creates a multi-sensory experience through an interplay of light, sounds and warm water vapour infused with essential oils, with the minimal consumption of water, energy and thus fewer CO2e emissions. There is also the ability to open or close the dome, which creates different states that impact the intensity of the experience, almost like a bathtub, but without wasting water and energy.

The interior space of the Green Vision utilises materials within a circular economy. For example, aluminium extracted from seawater is used instead of chrome-plated brass for everything metallic, such as the fixtures. The bathroom furniture is also made of wood and recycled materials, giving the space a warm yet earthy feel.

Showcasing the Green Vision ISH 2023

This month, Hansgrohe showcased the Green Vision concept study to the public for the first time at ISH in Frankfurt.

“Together with PHOENIX, we set out to solve the problems of the future in the bathroom: water shortage, climate crisis and resource scarcity. The result is a modular system based on the idea of a circular economy, keeping circles small and closing them as quickly as possible. Part of sharing this concept is to open discussion around ‘Green Vision’ in the bathroom, not only leading to further development and ideation of our own but perhaps even more far-reaching concepts in the industry.” Steffen Erath, Head of Innovation and Sustainability, Hansgrohe Group

“Global warming and our use of resources needs to be rethought. The sanitary industry has a responsibility to develop new solutions that are not only produced more sustainably but above all, make more efficient use of resources in the bathroom. Alongside Hansgrohe, the Green Vision embodies the challenges that this rethinking entails, addressing them in both a targeted and tangible manner.” Matthias Oesterle, Design Director at PHOENIX

The technical innovations of the individual modules of the Green Vision are already being incorporated into the development of AXOR and hansgrohe products and will continue to inspire Hansgrohe’s overall ambition to reduce water consumption in the bathroom without compromising on experience.

[1] Calculated over the life cycle of an average bathroom used by a family of four. Source: Hansgrohe Bathroom Analysis 2022.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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