KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
4th March 2011
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Premium Italian cooker hood producer Falmec has introduced Plane On Demand, the new customisable extractor based on its popular Plane model.
Welcome to the
In last week's leader I complained that my daughter, despite having achieved an excellent degree, cannot find a job - and as John and I were unable to attend Ecobuild this year since it clashed with the three-day Cleaning Show in Birmingham (for which we produce the 'Official Daily' on behalf of the organisers) John suggested that Chervana attend Ecobuild on our behalf.
When Chervana and I met up again last night to discuss our experiences and argue over whose feet ached the most (she's saying she's never going to wear heels ever again!) I asked whether she'd managed to find her way around easily and she said, "No - and I wasn't the only one!"
Long time readers of KBZine might remember my rant after last year's Ecobuild about how the organisers had set the stands diagonally in diamond-shaped groupings, rather than in the easy to follow square grid format used by all the other multitude of shows I've attended over the years. It was so confusing that I didn't get to find some of the stands I'd wanted to visit (and from frustrated discussions with other visitors I wasn't alone!) and the organisers had employed lots of staff to help direct those who were lost to where they wanted to be - although this didn't always work either!
I had hoped that with the move to London's ExCel, the more normal grid format would be used, but Chervana tells me that this was not the case. She said that there were booths "all over the place" where lost visitors could seek directions.
I suppose it creates jobs though, doesn't it - and with over 50,000 visitors expected over the three days - perhaps the organisers don't feel the need to make things easy for everyone!
I could be cheeky and say that perhaps this confusing stand layout is why renowned environmentalist Professor David Bellamy was up at the Cleaning Show rather than at Ecobuild (where he was chatting to me about how proud he is of British innovation) but cleaning and the environment go hand in hand and as David is President of the British Insitute of Cleaning Science his rightful place was at the NEC.
Our conversation made me wonder: do any of you who are involved in the design of products for the KBB industry seriously take into account ease of cleaning when it comes to designing new products? I'd really be interested in finding out so do please get in touch.
Chervana really enjoyed Ecobuild and said the industry made her very welcome - thank you! Below is her report...
This Week's News
by Chervana Hobbs
'Ecobuild is the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK's largest construction event of any kind', says the blurb, but I really had no idea how big it would be, how many people would attend and how many products were going to be on show. I didn't quite know where to start.
'The focus in recent years on energy efficient new build is increasingly understood and accepted: the path to zero carbon is drawn. But the carbon impact of the built environment is made by the existing stock, and it is here that the challenge to reduce energy consumption lies. How can homes and non domestic buildings use less energy? What are the technical, financial, regulatory and social issues? And, how can a more energy efficient building stock be brought about?'
I'd heard about all-in-one basins/WCs, the space-saving and water-conserving designs - where the water from the basin is used to flush the loo, but I'd never seen one, so was fascinated by Roca's W+W, launched last year.
Here it is, with Roca's Simon Baker and Sarah Holey. Sarah described the W+W as a Super WC and told me that it can reduce water use by up to 25%.
Away from the WCs, Jaga Heating Products (UK)'s stand was radiating with attractive heating designs and state of the art, eco-friendly technology. "They aren't radiators, they're convectors," Steve Charles, pictured here with a few of the eye-catching, recycled material designs, explained to me.
The Bathroom Manufacturer's Association used its stand at Ecobuild to launch its new on-line learning package.
"It's taken quite while," said Bathroom Academy Chief Executive Yvonne Orgill. "But we've done it! We have completely rebuilt the Academy website and revised the downloadable bathroom guides.
There were two stands that really impressed me and Wedi Systems UK was one of them. The leaflet states: 'Wedi is more than just building boards -Wedi is a building system,' and you just have to look at what this system can be used for to realise that it is indeed a remarkable product.
Wedi building boards have been developed over the last 25 years and are now being used for bathroom architecture and fashioning wellness worlds, having been adapted from their original use in wall and floor construction.
Britons fork out over £1.8 billion per year to repair the damage caused by leaking water in their homes, according to recent research from Halifax Home Insurance. Leaking water from washing machines, dishwashers, burst water tanks, pipes, showers and baths causes damage to some 3.3 million homes per year.
However if there is a water emergency a third of householders don't even know where their stopcock is located!
Methven's was the other stand which most impressed me as the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. They were really passionate about the products too. Also, visitors could experience just how the showers felt when they were working (rather than just having to look at them and imagine) by holding their hands under the flow.
After experiencing the Satinjet showers myself, I could tell straight away that I have never experienced anything like it before - it really did feel like satin over my skin; it was incredible and I am sure that anyone else who visited the stand would say the same. I am also sure, that like me, many of them wished they could hold their aching feet underneath instead! This technology definitely seems like the future generation of dream showers.
The product demonstrated was Kerlite, which comes in sheets up to 3000 x 1000mm and is just 3.5mm thick. The ultra slim format utilises 70% less raw material than traditional tiles, less energy and CO2 emissions to produce, less adhesive to fix and less packaging and transportation compared to thicker, heavier tiles!
The new heat pump range includes the LA PMS medium temperature range for domestic installations, the LA MAS which is designed to meet the space and water heating requirements for larger domestic installations and the LA MI range which features an inverter to reduce the load and power requirements.
The last stand I visited at Ecobuild was Geberit's. It was nice to see the pipe work behind the walls and how it works to get the water into the bathroom, about it and out again. Michael Dillon (Senior Specification Manger) told me that the stand has been constantly inundated by people.
Geberit was showcasing its range of innovative sanitary and piping solutions with a strong focus on sustainable products for hotel design. Paul Ashby (Technical Sales Manager) posed next to the bathroom design.
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The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) has issued a Policy Position Statement supporting the use of food waste disposers in the management of food waste from kitchens.
Brit Liggett, a 26 year old blogger from Brooklyn, New York, wins the Electrolux and 5 Gyres competition, where first prize is becoming a crew member on the forthcoming 5 Gyres research expedition through the Beagle Channel in March.
Around 40% of SMEs in the UK - two million businesses - do not keep adequate records, even though they are legally bound to keep them, to make sure they make a correct income tax or corporation tax self assessment return. Failure to take reasonable care in record-keeping leads to a loss of around £6.5billion in tax every year.
London's status as a leading global capital - financially, socially and culturally - has been the subject of much debate in the wake of the worst recession on record. A modern, commercially effective and sustainable built environment is paramount to the successful development of 21st century London as the city rises to the challenges of economic recovery and growth, climate change or realizing the 'Big Society' vision.
Tuesday's official inflation figures are evidence that little inflationary pressure is coming from the retail sector. The latest numbers from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show Shop Price Inflation running behind both CPI and RPI. The main factors driving inflation are high fuel and transport costs - the result of soaring global commodity prices, not shop prices.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association has announced that Smart Systems is the latest industry supplier to become a corporate member.