For hoteliers and commercial building developers, being able to take the concept of sustainability and position it as luxurious, as well as aspirational, could be the key to unlocking new customer experiences. In addition, a truly sustainable space which is also comfortable and inviting can help you to stand out in an increasingly saturated market. Jay Phillips, Managing Director at Hansgrohe UK and Ireland looks at how bathroom fittings that deliver on design, performance and long-term durability, can pay dividends and take the meaning of sustainability to the next level for the hospitality industry.
Design developments in showers and mixers serve a fundamental purpose – to enhance the user experience. At the heart of this is how we use and enjoy water in the bathroom. In the luxury hotel market, we are seeing an increased demand for a more bespoke and individual bathroom experience, meaning a heightened interest and demand for innovative spray patterns, extra-large shower heads and instinctive water controls.
In addition, consumers are becoming more aware of the impact their choices will have on the planet. For commercial enterprises, customer awareness of sustainability means they are looking to brands to provide them with great experiences that doesn’t cost the earth or its precious resources. What’s more, when luxury also comes top of a customer’s list of wants, it is vital that their overall experience isn’t compromised by these eco-friendly efforts.
Mixing the elements
The good news is that amazing showering experiences can still be achieved using less water. Enriching water with air for example, results in lighter and softer droplets whilst reducing the amount of water used. At Hansgrohe we have pioneered AirPower technology in both our AXOR and hansgrohe products, which produces a velvety soft water stream and significantly reduces overall water consumption without compromising on performance.
Equally effective, we have developed CoolStart technology as an environmentally friendly option for basin mixers to help reduce water consumption and energy bills. The continuous flow heater or circulation pump starts up immediately on standard taps when the handle is in the middle position, yet this is needless if the user only requires cold water. With CoolStart, only cold water flows initially, meaning pipes are not filled unnecessarily with hot water.
From an ecological standpoint, by using CoolStart or AirPower products across entire hotels or larger commercial properties, the savings could be significant from a financial and water consumption perspective.
Sustainable luxury in the heart of London
London’s first super boutique hotel in Leicester Square, The Londoner, is a collection of spaces, tastes and experiences brought to life across 16 storeys. Part of Edwardian Hotels London, The Londoner has been curated to reflect the drama and elegance of West End life.
Synonymous with luxury, The Londoner specified AXOR brassware throughout the entirety of the hotel. From its rooms and suites to the Retreat Spa and hotel restrooms, AXOR provided all basin and bath mixers, showers and handsets, kitchen taps and brassware accessories to this iconic building.
Mirroring the industrial metalwork on the outside of the building, AXOR’s Brushed Black Chrome from the FinishPlus collection was selected for all products and will maintain its bold colour intensity for many years to come.
Paying attention to the smallest of details, the iconic Brushed Black Chrome finish has also been applied to all Universal Accessories. From shower door handles and rail grab bars, to towel hooks and toilet paper holders, The Londoner bathrooms have a truly unified, luxury aesthetic.
Chosen for its sleek silhouette and premium feel, the AXOR Citterio stands pride of place in every room. In standard rooms, AXOR Citterio E 3-hole wall mounted basin mixers have been selected, whilst suites boast AXOR Citterio M Citterio E Shower sets complete with overhead and 120 3 jet hand showers, and the Citterio E bath spout can be found in both.
With environmental sustainability at the core of The Londoner’s design, the hotel boasts an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM, exceeding the requirements for sustainable energy and water use.
Playing a key part in this is AXOR’s innovative technology which reduces water consumption without compromising on performance, thanks to its AirPower and EcoSmart technologies. The use of AirPower technology reduces consumption by up to 60% compared to traditional mixers, without compromising on performance to give an unparalleled showering experience.
Commenting on the project, Rob Steul, The Londoner’s head architect and Creative Director of Edward Group London, says: “AXOR was the natural choice for this hotel. The Londoner is all about understated luxury, we wanted guests to feel they were experiencing the best. AXOR delivers that in both its product design and function. The showering experience is like no other.”
Sustainability also goes beyond technology and can be achieved simply by selecting products that are designed with longevity in mind. Customers are increasingly design-savvy and therefore find it easier to spot where corners have been cut to save money. In bathrooms, a finish that is peeling away or has become dull is a clear indication of this. For luxury brands, this can be a significant risk to reputation.
For hoteliers looking to promote a sustainable brand image, selecting products that have been built to last and will not need to be replaced after a few years of use is key. This will also help to keep rooms usable and reduce the potential for emergency callouts and disappointed customers. Here, form and function must go together, with products incorporating precision engineering which is built to last.
For example, all Hansgrohe and AXOR products are tested with water or air to get as close to the bathroom experience as possible before leaving the factory. We also ‘over-test’ to ensure robustness of all our showers and taps. In the UK, three bar working pressure tends to be the average but Hansgrohe products are all tested to sixteen bar as standard.
To keep our FinishPlus finishes looking pristine even with daily use, we have invested in a refined PVD process that is resistant to external factors and durable enough to offer years of protection against wear and tear. While trend-led colours such as Polished Gold Optic continue to prove popular with consumers, a colour intensity that will last ticks both the sustainability and customer experience boxes.
Made to last
Sustainable luxury can take different forms, but the fundamentals of opting for both precision-engineered products with distinctive, individual and long-lasting designs are essential. For over 120 years, we have been combining our outstanding designs with excellence in manufacturing and innovative technology, to create products that last a lifetime.
Our ‘repair over replace’ ethos is also backed by a spare parts guarantee, which is upheld even after the product is discontinued, for up to 15 years. Hansgrohe also manufactures its own mixer cartridges, so the whole product – whether it’s a hansgrohe basin mixer or an AXOR shower – is guaranteed by a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Indeed, water and energy saving measures go a long way to ensure our products are environmentally conscious, but by coupling this with product and aesthetic longevity we can bring an extra level of sustainability into the equation.
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